resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
Transparency and Accountability: Q&A With the CCE
Every profession needs an organization dedicated to upholding the quality and integrity of its degree programs and educational institutions.
Jingei Diagnosis: An Effective and Powerful Diagnostic
I graduated from the Kotatama Institute under the direction of Drs. Masahilo and Katsuharu Nakazono in 1984. As a student, I was exposed to the practice of most of the various theories and modalites of Oriental Medicine.
Managing Patient Expectations About Acupuncture
Last year, I attended the Pacific Symposium in San Diego for the first time in six or seven years. It was the 25th anniversary of this event, and on one evening there was a panel discussion with the title; "What is Qi?."
Managing Today's Fertility Patient
I recently received an email from one of my fertility patients: "Got my lab results back. FSH is 11, AMH is 0.7. My doctor said these numbers aren't good. I guess I'm infertile. Just as a thought. Just set up an appointment to speak with an adoption agency."
Saying No to Medicine
An interesting article recently appeared in Men's Journal titled "When to Say No to Your Doctor." The article begins with the summary statement above and effectively arms readers with information that will help them "take more responsibility for your own health care, because you can't be sure anyone else is.
Simple Ways To Find True Happiness
Patients in our clinics are always seeking happiness. As their health advocate, we need to ensure we inform them that in order to find happiness, they have to make sure to identify what makes them happy in the first place.
Web Marketing: Content Is King
Google's sweeping updates to its search algorithms over the past few years have brought a paradigm shift in how you can optimize your chiropractic website to gain maximum marketing leverage.
The Heart Protector
On the physical level, the Pericardium is a double-layered sac of fibrous tissue that envelops the Heart. The space between the layers is filled with serous fluid that protects the Heart from external shock or trauma and lubricates to allow for normal Heart movement.
The Wonders of Light Therapy: An Interview with Wes Burwell
I first met Wes Burwell in 2011 when he was teaching a class on light. Since then, every time I hear him speak, his understanding of the benefits, function and capacity of light has evolved.
5 Ways to Occupy Occupational Health
Despite the progress that has been made to better protect workers, occupational health and safety remains a priority area for many national governmental organizations due to the widespread problem of occupationally related morbidity and mortality.
To The Finish Line With the Help of TCM
When acupuncturist Eddy De Smedt pursued a career in Traditional Chinese Medicine, he knew he wanted to make a difference.
Pulse Diagnosis: What We Know
I am still finding pearls of wisdom from the books and papers that I inherited from my pulse diagnosis mentor Jim Ramholz.
Understanding and Identifying Pediatric Growth-Plate Fractures
In general, fractures in children heal well with little intervention as long as the alignment is good. Fractures involving the growth plate, however, are a different issue. In fact, growth-plate injuries are the primary reason for the subspecialty of pediatric orthopedics.
Help Patients Achieve Optimal Vitamin D Levels
Much research has been done on vitamin D levels and their impact on health; optimal levels have been correlated with a reduced risk of developing numerous conditions.
Lime Jello on Morphine
Taste is in the eyes... actually the mouth... of the beholder. My food preferences have changed, lightening from the food of my youth. My parents loved heavy eastern European cuisine and I loved it as a child. Now I enjoy leaner, healthier whole foods.
Calcium Helps Prevent Colorectal Cancer
Over the past 25 to 30 years, studies have suggested calcium may confer protection against colorectal cancer.
Talking to Patients About Healthy Aging
I've noticed that a particular category of patients seems to make up more and more of my practice – they work out, but still experience lots of degenerative joint disease (DJD) issues.
Blaming the Gluteus Medius, Overlooking the Deltoid
The gluteus medius (Gmed) is commonly written about, strengthened and blamed for many conditions, and rightfully so. After all, the Gmed plays a role in pelvic stability, hip motor control and lower-quarter dynamic movements.
The Tao of Gender
If you think gender is as simple as having a new client check off the "male" or "female" box on your intake form, we hope this article will expand your understanding and thus the reach of your health care.
Healing With TCM at San Quentin State Prison
For the prisoners at San Quentin State Prison, life-sentences are the reality of every day life. It is not often that prisoners get the opportunity to use alternative medicine to deal with common ailments they encounter behind bars such as, depression, anxiety and pain.
The X Factor in Clinical Research: The Patient
It was the great baseball legend, former New York Yankees catcher Yogi Berra – he of countless aphorisms, each with a mind-bending twist – who once declared, "You can observe a lot by watching."
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?
We Want to Live Here
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