Many of you may know I am down the home stretch finishing Massage Therapy School in South Carolina. It’s been an educational experience that will enhance my extensive resume thus far. Several students and instructors have asked me if they thought my fitness and nutrition coaching experience will help me in being a better massage therapist. Now that I have massaged about one hundred people I had a moment of clarity the other day. For over 25 years as a personal professional I have and continue to assess individual’s body fat, blood pressure, heart rate, strength, endurance, height, weight, BIA, breathing, flexibility, behavior choices, nutrition habits and functional movement patterns. During a functional movement screening or during their workouts I ask people to move and visually see what their body is doing or how they can’t move their body as per my demonstration. Often followed by “There is no way my body is getting into that position!” or “I’ll try, but it’s not gonna look like yours!”.
So the realization moment came to me that I have only been using two of my senses to create an understanding of a problem or issue from an individual for all these years with their body. Simply hearing (auditory) and seeing (visual) someone say my back hurts, my hip also hurts or my neck and traps/shoulders are sore just wasn’t the whole story.
Aside from stretching someone or assisting them do a movement where I could only half determine (with use of touch sense) their possible link to weakness or dysfunction I could not really get a complete story.
Did you know that prescribing fitness or nutrition is outside the scope of a licensed massage therapist?
With the application / modality of massage therapy in my toolbox it’s so much more meaningful. Being able to use my hands to manipulate soft tissue to feel for muscle tautness/tone or underdeveloped/lack of tone of a muscle, the tightness or laxity in a joint or fascia and the position a body lies at rest can be such a great marker for how to help someone further. This is where I am really excited as now I will be able to help ease the aches and pains with massage and stretching whilst offering massage therapy as a service and since I’m an expert in fitness I can give them advice on how to keep the pain or aches away from incorporating simple stretches or exercises. Having lots of client success stories already I feel confident in my ability to help others going forward in a greater capacity and readers of this blog as well.
Here’s an example of WHY YOU NEED TO DO EXERCISES OR STRETCHES THAT YOU DESPISE (OR HATE FOR A STRONGER WORD). Let me just say I hated lunges for years and had to force myself to do them to stay injury free. What do you hate to do? Maybe, it’s just what you need.
Train your weakest link.
Mark Tittle, my husband said I could use this short video for this blog post. This is too funny! My sweet funny, husband. I love a good laugh, how about you?
Mark has complained of back pain for many years, especially after hurting it doing a deadlift exercise several years ago. I gave him a massage last weekend and noticed that he lacked tone in his gluteus medius muscle. I now have a greater reference point having massaged numerous others then massaging him as to compare and prescribe him exercises. Although I have told him many times, it is this official hands on training that finally has given him more reason to start doing the hated “abductor/outer thigh exercises” that he thinks are silly. Well, I gave him many of the exercises I did a blog post on a while back and said “no the outer thigh machine in the seated position at the Y isn’t going to cut it, you will have to do other exercises and stretches as well. Click here for previous blog post.
Here’s a big weakness many people have including myself. See the pic below. Lots of people can’t even lift their arm off the ground. This is an assessment of shoulder function. You can see that this is my worst arm as I am lifting it off but not keeping it straight.
Take the take to do the things your body needs and you won’t regret it. Your devotion to your weaknesses will pay off by staying injury free, reducing chronic pain and getting stronger. You will have the satisfaction of having a well balanced and functional body.
Just like exercise, nutrition can be often referenced the same way but opposite actually. What you crave is what you need to stay away from as it’s your body working against you to maintain homeostasis. Crave carbs? Eat less carbs and eat more fat. Crave fat? Eat more carbs and less fat.
Come see us onsite for a bit longer at our Memphis location 552 South Main, Memphis, TN 38103 or find me online with live personal training/coaching or hire me to write a program for you with your own personalized 4-6 minute demo of each of your custom workouts included. Onsite following local covid guidelines as well as maintaining our current disinfectant procedures. You will have to sign a Covid19 release form, wash your hands upon arrival, etc.