resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
It might have been a miserable start to the day in the heart of downtown San Diego. A heavy rain had soaked the large homeless population congregating near the intersection of Third Avenue and Ash Street as they waited for a free breakfast to be served at the First Lutheran Church on the corner.
News in Brief
An Encouraging Sign at Palmer; NBCE Announces Retirement of Longtime Director of Testing.
The CDC came out with a report in March 2013 that suggests 1 in 50 children will be diagnosed somewhere on the autism spectrum – significantly higher than the 1 in 86 figure that came out in 2007. What does this mean moving forward, particularly for children?
Are You Really a Healthy Eater?
I always giggle a little bit (to myself) when someone comes into my office and informs me that they are a healthy eater. What exactly does that mean? Does that mean they eat sugar in moderation? And what's that, exactly?
Acupuncture and Homeopathy: Bioenergetic Brothers
Acupuncture and homeopathy share an important healing principle: bioenergetics. "Bio" means "life," so bioenergetics is literally "life energy."
Unlevel Pelvis in the High-School Athlete: Exploring Causes and Effects
The unlevel pelvis is all too common in the high-school athlete and if not detected, will likely cause a lifetime of musculoskeletal issues. Any provider who doesn't look for this common finding is missing critical information.
Finding Balance in the Clinic
This past December, I celebrated 11 years in practice. I seriously don't know where the time went. I feel beyond blessed and grateful to be practicing our profound and beautiful medicine and to be helping guide my patients restore a state of optimal health.
Put the Social Back Into Social Media
Social media is more than a passing fad, it is definitely here to stay. Social media apps and channels of distribution may evolve, but the concept of social media is now big business and a part of all our lives.
Case Histories from Bali: Treating Balinese Chidren with TCB and Shonishin
When I moved to the island of Bali in 2005, I offered my services in Bumi Sehat, which means Healthy Mother Earth, a free birthing center for poor and disadvantaged local women located in Ubud.
Cell Health (Part 2)
Dr. Barsten, your book is about restoring "cell vitality." Can you briefly define the term? Cell vitality is more than the mere absence of symptoms or pathology, but optimum structural, physiological and energetic health.
The Conscious Evolution of Healing, Part 2
The idea of transmission is very important in the Chinese medical classics. According to author Claude Larre, the ancient Chinese were highly interested in the connection between things. Nothing was looked at as an isolated entity.
Let's Speak With One Voice in 2015
For the longest time, the chiropractic profession has attempted to achieve some form of unity. On a political level, this was characterized by an ultimately unsuccessful two-year merger effort between ACA and ICA leadership from 1986-1988.
Mind-Body in Motion
A central goal of low back pain treatment involves the correction of dysfunctional movement patterns believed to be responsible for spinal overload.
Old TCM Sayings: Treat the Front to Treat the Back
Chinese medicine college was, and always will be, a memorable time. It was a time of massive personal and professional growth.
Connecting the Dots
In 2002, I published a book on patient examination procedures that included information on the procedural coding of the recommended examinations. The book should have been published in 2000, but I had trouble finding a publisher. Why?
Help Your Parents Stay Engaged
As much as parents may wish it were so, children do not come with an instruction manual. There's no "how to" that can be followed and no two children are alike, so what works with one generally won't work with the next.
Reflections: The Art of Teaching Asian Medicine
Over the past three decades, my global workshops have been translated into German, Swiss German, French, Romansch, Spanish, Lithuanian and Xhosa. Time to offer you new teachers a few tips!
Leaving Footprints on Capitol Hill: Tribute to Dr. Kenneth Luedtke (1930-2014)
It was with great sadness that I heard of the passing of Dr. Ken Luedtke.
The Top Seven Website Mistakes Clinics Make
The majority of acupuncture clinics finally have a website for their business. Having a website is crucial for being found online through Google, Facebook and review sites like Yelp.
Neuroscience: Where Western Medicine and Chinese Medicine Can Come Together
The recent advances in neuroscience are truly incredible. With this expansion of scientific knowledge, I would like to see even more research into the neuroscientific basic of acupuncture and Chinese Medicine.
April, 2004, Vol. 04, Issue 04
Discovering Mastery in the Art of Connective Tissue Massage, Part II
By John Latz
Editor's note: Part I of this article appeared in the March 2004 issue of Massage Today at www.massagetoday.com/archives/2004/03/02.html.
Principles of CTM Body Mechanics
Fascia is finicky about how it changes.Connective tissue needs a significant amount of energy to facilitate the biochemical process of fascial hydration. The optimal way to add this energy is to let your own relaxed body weight lean into your hands or forearm as you work; pushing or exerting effort with extrinsic musculature will not work. This slower, more deliberate and intentional power comes through you only when your core is connected to your movement. It is a sensation of openness and expansion - an effortless flow of energy from practitioner to client.
The practitioner's core energy evokes deep intrinsic openness from the core of the client, without using invasive intention. Fascia must be approached and touched at an oblique angle (less than 45 degrees). This angle minimizes downward compression. Pressing straight down into the connective tissue compresses and closes the core space of the receiver's body. It feels invasive and evokes a natural response to engage the sleeve and self-protect.
Connective tissue massage also uses balanced extrinsic/intrinsic movement while working on a client. Balanced movement is best achieved when the practitioner is maintaining a body alignment that naturally allows slow, intrinsic lengthening to happen, while at the same time minimizing use of the faster, grosser extrinsic muscles of the body. The slower rate of intrinsically powered movements matches the rate of change acceptable to the connective tissue, and it responds by softening, stretching and lengthening. This balanced core/sleeve body movement is the ideal method of working, according to Ida Rolf.
When working with this core, intrinsically powered intention and focus, one could argue that CTM practitioners become the "Fred Astaires" of bodywork. This evokes images of massage therapists working effortlessly and dancing around their tables. We see great form in professional athletes and performers; we admire their movements because they make it look easy. Why wouldn't form be just as important when performing bodywork? Often, we become achievement-oriented, rather than form-oriented, only to misguide our bodies away from balanced movement patterns.
Dr. Rolf spoke about this: "As a child or young person, if you want to learn a skill, you study form. You study with a teacher who insists you must use your fingers this way or hold your elbow this way, to learn the skill. You may not realize that the teacher is trying to instill into you a reverence for form. In any art, if you can once get to a high degree of form and work with it, being conscious while you're working at what you are trying to do, you've got it made. This then becomes the method of choice to you, because it's easy. It's easy because, in this position, the body can work with an expenditure of less energy. This is what form is about."4 As bodywork practitioners, we need to assess our forms while we work, if for no other reason than career longevity.
Using a Line Of Intention
When I work on clients, my body feels like a "line of intention." I can elongate by intention along that energetic line; I have a sense of my self as elastic. I grow bigger, three-dimensionally, and tap into a greater power that exists within my core whenever I need to transfer additional power into my client. Ida Rolf spoke of a vertical line, which is evoked during the 10 sessions of structural integration. The line is continuous, passing from the top of the head through the bottoms of the feet; it represents a relationship of physical structure with the gravity field of the earth.
My CTM students learn how to utilize this axis of intention so they can access more power. The movement that occurs is initiated intrinsically, giving us a sense of vertical lift as we simultaneously lean forward. This integrated movement realigns our structure while we are working, giving us a greater sense of well-being. In other words, we don't have to be tired, drained of energy, or worn out when we work. It's like practicing yoga while we are doing bodywork.
Yoga elongates the connective tissue and transforms human structure through precise balancing postures. These postures create intrinsic/extrinsic balance in the body and allow the practitioner's core-space to emerge. The result is physical and emotional growth, and spiritual evolution. From practicing yoga, I realized I could accomplish a similar lengthening while practicing CTM. I took elements of yoga and applied them to body mechanics.
We borrow a term from physics to further explain "line of intention." "Vector" is a term used to describe a line of force having direction and magnitude. CTM body mechanics rely on a concept of changing vectors to maximize our physical and energetic contact with the client's body. Our alignment is like a relational posture to our client. That posture becomes a vector that can be shifted readily to improve the power transfer. Herein lies the artistry of the CTM body mechanics. Mastery of the CTM system demands an inner awareness of one's own body and core.
Unlike yoga, which can take many years of practice to achieve a core connection, the CTM approach allows us to grow into that core connection at an accelerated rate. Every time I elongate along that line of intention, and every time I point my line, I get that tangible sensory feedback from the client's tissue of deep and significant fascial response.
By learning to point my line of intention, my old ideas have become restructured, and I now have a new line of intention for my life. That's an idea that Ida Rolf strove to convey to her students: "Some people will tell you a man is a something built around a stomach. Some people will tell you a man is a something built around a skeleton. Well, I'm here to tell you a man is a something built around a line."5
This is the paradigm I've now integrated into my life and work. That is the spiritual truth that will lead you to your core connection. Where are you pointing your line?
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