Jan 3, 2008

Why I know what I'm talking about

Hi! Let me start my blog off with, I LOVE my job. I feel blessed to go to work every day. Here's why: I get treated like a mini celebrity, people are happy to see me and happier when they leave, my ego gets boosted with comments like, "YOU'RE THE BEST!" all day, but the real reason is, to see the look of amazement when they get off the table and their pain is gone.

The next thing I would like to say, is any little bit of work is helpful- except when you're put in pain with no relief at the end. I don't care if it's getting done by another massage therapist, your spouse, your kids, or some massaging chair or device.

However, if you have any muscle related issues that cause pain in that area or that radiates else where or have a condition or illness that gives you chronic pain and you want someone to take care of the pain then you need to see someone like me. There are many things massage can help with that people just don't realize. Like sciatica, low back pain, arthritis, chrones disease diabetes, fibromyalgia, whiplash, high blood pressure, numbness and tingling, limited range of motion, migrains, carpal tunnel.... I could go on and on, but these are the common ones

Let me tell you how I work differently than most therapist. First, I went to Columbia-Greene-Community- College and graduated with an Associates in Applied Science. Most schools are 6-9 months,- with vacations.

I have taken review classes for the NYS boards with them, worked events, and in offices. They don't get a quarter of the information we got. They're told what to memorize for their test/ licensing board. Now, some people have a natural gift and talent and the education is icing so to speak- unless you learn the science and theory of why you're doing what your doing. In my opinion, they missed this crucial part.

We LEARNED about the human body from using western medicine and eastern medicine. We learned theory and the anatomical, physiological, and nerological reasons people have pain. I emphasis that we learned. They memorized. Any one who has memorized anything can tell you, you don't retain that information. Don't get me wrong, initially it is all memorization. I think that's where their schools ends and ours really began.

We studied the body over and over using common conditions and pathologies to learn what we could do from a western poin, eastern point and through massage. I know the human body. People are always surprised how much I, as a massage therapist, knows.

I work at a GE Research and Development Center, a Physical Therapy office, I go to local business, sport events, health fairs etc. At GE I am told constantly that I am better than anyone else. I get told this every where and while it's always appreciated, it's really nice to hear it from the GE people bc they come from all over the world and they travel the world. GE pays for them to get massages in the best places, and they still look forward to seeing me when they get back. I get presents from around the world bc they're thinking of me and how they can't wait to see me. I don't care what the gift is, I just love that they think of me and appreciate what I do. I get told that I have healing hands, magic fingers.... But you have to understand, these people, although highly intelligent, you might as well be speaking a foreign language when you say, "relax". They live in their minds and don't pay attention to their bodies; until it stops them from working. They come and see me and can't turn their head in any direction. They tell me, they don't know how they even drove to see me. Give me two hours and they have 98% of their movement back.

Here is a quick funny story. One of my clients, who is an actual rocket scientist. He wears a T-shirt at the gym that says, "I Really Am a Rocket Scientist!" Anyway, he came in with low back issues and I started with his neck. I hit a trigger point, (that's defined in the glossery) and there are basic refferal patterns for each point. Now I don't like to tell them where it's suppose to go, generally, bc sometimes it goes outside of the refferral pattern and that tells me which direction to work. But he was surprised where this one went, now for some reason, maybe bc it was an unusual pattern I stopped him before he could show me where it was going and showed him where the pain went down his back, but off to the side before the hip. He was so impressed with me. I was impressed that I impressed a rocket scientist. That became my funny story of the week.

But it isn't just me that gets told I'm the best. Everyone I went to school with gets told this. That's why I give the credit to my education and my teachers. I couldn't say enough wonderful things about them.

Our teachrs told us that 2 years would give us the basics for massage and stressed continuing ed classes. Some of the classes I have taken include: Medically getting certified to work in the hospital, certified to work with cancer- focusing on breast cancer, and I've been certified to work wth geriatics, HIV/ AIDS.

I have worked with and had many massages by the people who went to these 6-9 month schools and I haven't found anyone who knew what they were doing. These therapist also are loved by their clients... until they have me. It sounds arrogant to say all of this, but it's true.

K here is my first story. Now, I'm a fire sign,- (look under eastern theory for what this means), but when I tell a story it may have a lot of tangents, but they're all relivent and tie into the end of the story. So bear with me. I also get told I have a knack for telling stories, so enjoy!

My first job was in a spa, now initially when you get out of school you have to work under another therapists' license until you take and recieve notice you passed the NYS board. I worked under a man who didn't go to school at the local 9 month school, but went to a 6 month school in Florida. He did work at the local school for a time though, and he told me, that he told the owners not to hire anyone from that school bc they didn't know what they were doing! I was floored! Our teachers were calling us to let us know about jobs in our field of continuing ed and recommended us for jobs and had some students with other massage related training to come in and lecture in our advanced topics classes. They knew we knew our stuff and would put 110% into any job we did.
Ok so, this is the way it worked in the spa I was in. Let's say you wanted to book a massage. First it goes to the "senior" therapist, if he was busy it went to me- if 2 other girls didn't need the room for facials. So there were times I got some of his regular clients bc he was booked. He loved to tell me how great his clients thought he was. As part of my interview, I worked on him and he on me. He was nothing special. I had better sessions from first year students in clinic. Anyway, soon his clients were booking with me. The clients felt guilty when they saw him in the hall on the way into my room; it was very awkward. But the thing is, even though it was a spa givin the choice people always want to get rid of pain over relaxation.

At a triatholon the therapist got pissed at me and stopped putting me into the rotation, bc I was making more money than them and on the day of the event I had a line of people just to see me. The reason is simple. I listen to what they tell me and let them know I can help. I take the time needed to get the job done. There is no time limit at these things. We go in as independant contractors. There were like 10 therapist. Why only spent 10-15 minutes on someone just to stand around for your turn again. They want to work on as many people as they can making $1.00/minute. I let them know it was going to take some time, but it could be done. That's why they came to see me before and after their events; what I did worked.

Recently, I got a referral from a client. This woman had been going to the most expensive spa for massages every month. She was telling my client how she had horrible migraines forever and was on medication and was seeing a massage therapist, but it was getting worse and giving her range issues in her neck. When she came to see me, I felt her and she was the wall. The wall is the term I use for people who are so tight you can't even distinguish their skin from muscle. It's like trying to manipulate the wall into a softer form. My first comment to her was, "Oh my God, you're a mess!" Now when she booked, she told me her range issues, but I asked many other questions she was impressed I knew so many things about her body and personality just by touching her and asking some questions. Personality stuff incorporates the eastern medicine that's always telling you what is going on with them. Then she told me how her regular therapist says she doesn't have knots. I gasped, "But you're riddled with them!" Long story short, she cancelled out the rest of the year with this other person and sees me.

K so I want to just say, I hope that you don't see this as cocky or arrogent or whatever. I don't want to bad mouth other therapist, but I see people everyday at work, in the store all over who complain of pain. Many won't think of massage as a way to break the pain cycle or to get off medications. The ones who do try are most likely going to get someone who doesn't have the education to help then say, "I've tried it and it doesn't work."

My goal is to educate you. I'll answer questions or concerns, I'll post self care things, suggest great oitments and oils to buy that REALLY work, I'll explain why people have chronic pain in popular places, go over eastern philosophy, my own funny stories and thoughts. What I hope you get out of this, is a better knowledge of your body and that there is hope to at least manage the pain.

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