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“Therefore if anyone is in in Christ, he is a new creation. The old is passed away. Behold, the new has come!” -2 Corinthians 5:17
My curiosity about massage therapy began in 1998 when learning about the neuromuscular junction (NMJ) in physiology class.
The NMJ is the space that transmits signals from the motor neuron to the skeletal muscle fiber. These muscle fibers in turn control contraction and voluntary movement. If the muscle fibers are tense, shorten, damaged, or in spasm, this connection is impaired and reduces the muscle function.
I became fascinated about how massage therapy supports the body’s health by encouraging the nervous system and the muscles to best work together. My study of massage began at the Acupressure Institute in Berkeley, CA and completed in March 2016 at Integrated Massage Therapy College in Oklahoma City.
Like peanut butter and jelly, massage therapy and assisted stretching go well together. Six months into my new established massage practice, clients presented complaints of tight hamstrings and low back pain. In the pursuit of learning how to best address these complaints, I had opportunity to study deeply the art and business of full-body assisted stretching. Stretching has many noticeable and complementary benefits to massage. It was a natural next step in integrate this service into my wellness practice.
In August 2018 a friend of mine asked what my thoughts were on death and dying. It was a simple answer for me, “Death and dying are a part of life”. This simple question sparked an unyielding journey to discover how massage therapy works together for healthcare at the end-of-life. In the pursuit of this understanding, I completed hospice volunteer training and completed in June 2019 a 5-day intensive course in San Francisco, CA entitled, “Massage Therapy in Hospice Care”.
In this season of professional development (Summer 2020), I am studying somatic movement and exercise. What is somatic movement you may wonder. Generally speaking, it is movement which is performed consciously with the intention of focusing on the internal experience of the movement rather than the external appearance or result of the movement. Somatic education comes back to how our nervous system learns new things. Practicing somatic movements is not about the quality of movement, not quantity. It is about reawakening and reconnecting with the sensory motor nervous system and unwinding tension and pain from the inside out. Many people find somatic movement education methods to be highly effective in relieving chronic pain, improving bodily function, and recovering from common musculoskeletal conditions.