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You Don't Have to Touch the Tissue to Affect It!

Massage therapists use techniques like stretching, stripping, friction, compression and traction. Their focus is often on the local, structural areas addressing their client’s symptoms. But what if the actual issues ares not in the local muscular areas where the symptoms are experienced?


"The patterns of tension, restriction and pain are actually initiated and held in the Central Nervous System (CNS)."

While working with a class full of massage therapists one day, I became frustrated with

myself at not being able to explain succinctly that which I was demonstrating. It had to

do with the differences between a movement based strategy to hands-on therapy and

a typical massage approach. I paused and it came to me, “You don’t have to touch the

tissue to affect it!” They all just blankly stared at me. Finally someone said, “What do

mean you don’t have to touch the tissue?”


“The problem is not the symptoms, it’s about your client’s repetitive movement patterns."

Massage therapists often speak about their facilitating a release of tension and

restriction in their client’s tissues. They use techniques like stretching, stripping,

friction, compression and traction. Their focus is on the local, structural areas

addressing their client’s symptoms. But what if the actual issues ares not in the local

muscular areas where the symptoms are experienced?


The tension and restriction is not in your client’s muscles per se. It’s in the

neuromuscular system. The patterns of tension, restriction and pain are actually

initiated and held in the Central Nervous System (CNS). Muscles are dumb. They only

do what the CNS tells them do. The innate wisdom and intelligence of your CNS

brilliantly applies adaptive compensation within the neuromuscular web to keep you

from an inappropriate approach to movement activities. Your CNS is constantly

adjusting those tension levels as a governor. Governors are installed on school buses,

etcetera, to keep them from going too fast. This is how your non-conscious selves

speaks to your conscious being. All CNS compensation is brilliantly applied to

maintain optimal survival conditions, or homeostasis. These restrictions are saving your

life as it were. The problem is not the symptoms, it’s about your client’s repetitive

movement patterns. That’s what your CNS is responding to. We change defensive

movement patterns by introducing more optimal movement strategies. We have to

convince our CNS that we are going to do it differently before they release the

governor.


When we initiate movement from our center, also known as our Hara, or dan tien, we

are most efficient. It is how we are designed to move optimally. Any time we’re not

moving from our center we are segmenting. Segmenting is a defensive strategy and

our most inefficient approach to functional movement. Long term use of segmenting

produces neuromuscular restriction and congestion as well as symptoms of

dysfunction and pain. The main areas we segment are in the hips, lower back,

shoulders and neck regions. What percentage of your client’s symptoms are in those

areas? Most answers to that question range from 90-100%. Segmenting is the origin

of neuromuscular dysfunction.


Throughout our history we have developed movement practices like yoga, tai chi,

dance and sports that reinforce moving from our center and counter the effects of

segmenting. I have developed the WholeBody View approach to hands-on therapy,

addressing these circumstances by applying whole body movement strategies and and

hands on techniques. The results are that therapists are able to be much more efficient

by working both locally and globally at all times. Also by changing the way you

approach your own movement, you will eliminate work related stresses and injuries

allowing you lengthen your professional career.

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4714 SW 24th Avenue

Cape Coral, FL. 33914

Tel: 239-634-6656​​​

dan@wholebodyview.com

Florida Board of Massage Therapy CE Provider #50-10611

Daniel McGovern is approved by the National Certification Board of Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork, (NCBTMB) as a continuing education Approved Provider.

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