Friday, September 30, 2011

Yep it's torn

So, I had a MRI and I do have a torn ACL MCL.  I'm in a brace seeing athletes, etc and thank goodness it's not painful anymore. I'm still unstable and have found that this is a great way to really learn about a  knee injury. Ha-ha. 

Sunday, September 25, 2011


I get it. I now know from experience how it feels to really hurt your knee. Ended up in the emergency room after falling. I work with client's knees all the time.  Many actually consider me a massage expert on knees. Football and basketball players hurt knees a lot. I also now understand plantar fascitis. Uck been dealing with that for over a year. The pain is not really my problem but the limitations the condition causes really are a pain.  I have had client's tell me that their knee feels like it will buckle- now I know what they mean.  I am much more compassionate about foot pain in others since I had foot pain.  In the beginning most of the knee pain was not in my knee  but everywhere else in my leg and it was the pain that protects. 

The brace is a big help but makes moving strange. I quickly learned that I could not get up from the floor without help.  Right now I won't even get on the floor.  I am afraid to fall. I have fell a lot in my life physically, mentally and spiritually but did not stay down however often did use a brace.  Not all braces are created equal.  The one in the picture is generic, inexpensive and given to me at the hospital emergency room.  One of the football players gave me a really really specific brace and I was able to maintain regular client schedule using it which was 12 clients in two days.  I was really tired because of the extra effort. Now the metaphor relationship.

The summit meeting in St Louis was very productive as reported by those in attendance and I believe them. However, since I  was not there the experience is like one of my client's explaining about a knee injury and actually experiencing a knee injury.  I also know that the dreams generated at the meeting will take time to become reality. A significant knee injury requires a fully year of concentrated healing and rehab.  if anything is going to come from that historic and important gathering all of us need be supportive of the people, compassionate about the intention and demanding of concrete results.   I need to see a unified position with action. To all out there reading this- the required changes are going to be an inconvenience but this profession cannot tolerate the status quo any longer. It will be messy, frustrating and hurt because the system  is injured just like my knee. Lets stop bickering in this profession. Everyone needs to support the other part so the organizations better identify ways to work together instead of compete. We need to heal and return to function and while my knee was not broken there is significant damage and in the massage profession we also have experienced damage by not clearly defining organizational roles and working together.  All massage therapists, students, schools, teachers, clients and other stake holders need to provide support yet demand results.  We all will have to bend so we don't break and a sense of humor helps.

Monday, September 5, 2011


I was working with a football player- I spend a lot of my professional time working with athletes- and he began asking questions about different types of methods. Specifically the questions involved Graston Technique, ART, MAT and NMT. The discussion expanded and as I, for the umpteenth time, explained these and other methods commonly used by athletes. I also find myself explaining the variety of soft tissue methods to massage students, practicing massage therapists, and the general public.  Naming of methods typically takes two forms- after the developer such as Rolfing and Trager and an acronyms or the use of the first letter of the words to create an abbreviation that can actually become a recognized word itself like RADAR.  Check out here how many names are out there for massage.

 As this particular athlete and I continued to discuss the various methods I found myself more and more frustrated and began to sound like I was standing on a soap box and preaching to the masses about the confusion in the massage community.  This particular individual asks a lot of questions and is quite knowledgeable about massage.  He picked up on my attitude which probably was not the best display of professional ethics on my part. Dispensing information in response to questions is fine.  Displaying an attitude- not so good.  I mentioned that my students tease me about going on the road with the “Fritzing “method. We both chuckled and then the whole conversation became ridiculous as we were making up acronyms for massage and bodywork methods. Later I looked up some of the current acronyms used in massage and bodywork on  Grief- there was over 250 meanings each for MAT and ART.  I looked up FRITZING and thank goodness it was not there although FRITS was.  One the football player and I came up with was BARF method.    – Body assisted resisted functional method. We also came up with FART  - Fritz  activated resonance technique.    Well at that point it was time for the massage to be over and by the time we stopped laughing his breathing had improved as well.  Wow a new method-laughter assisted  breathing or  LAB method. I told him I would have to blog about this.

 So just to see what would happen I put BARF and FART into a search and look what came up.

Frequently asked questions for the newcomer on the popular raw diet, BARF, an acronym for Biologically Appropriate Raw Food or Bones And Raw Food.

Find And Replace Text command line utility. New & improved version of the well- known grep command, with advanced features such as: case-adaption of the ...

I do have some pet peeves however that are valid.  It is confusing when there are so many different names for fundamentally similar soft tissue methods.  Throughout history the same stuff  keep showing up cuz the same stuff works.  Why do we need to call it something different and act like it is new or unique?.  Following are some explanations of current methods and mechanisms I often hear about.  As I researched each, the common element I found is extensive (and often expensive) expanded training concentrating on anatomy and the method application.  This is a good thing. The more we understand the body, the better massage therapists we will be. I strongly encourage all to get Gil’s 4 dissection DVDs and watch them over and over. Gil Hedley has reference materials that explore the human form through anatomy education and in the laboratory at and

I have included links so you can check things out for yourself.  In any type of education it is important to be an educated and informed consumer. 

Graston Technique® is an innovative, patented form of instrument-assisted soft tissue mobilization that enables clinicians to effectively break down scar tissue and fascial restrictions. The technique utilizes specially designed stainless steel instruments to specifically detect and effectively treat areas exhibiting soft tissue fibrosis or chronic inflammation.  Taken from  I have not taken this training but have seen it done multiple times.  I am sure there are elements of benefit and there is a historical record of tissue scraping methods. For example during the Ming Dynasty (1368 - 1644 AD) gua sha  coin scraping sometimes with a spoon or other metal object was described and is still practiced today.  The more generic term used currently is  instrument-assisted soft tissue mobilization and there are some studies on pubmed.

ART is a movement based massage system designed to accurately locate the cause of soft tissue discomforts and effectively resolving (or greatly improving) overuse and strain/sprain  I get questions about this method  a lot. Again, I have not specifically trained in ART but many of the athletes I work with discuss it and the benefits. At the same time  they tell me that I do the same thing.  As I was researching this method for the blog I found reference to an author Jane Johnson who has written a couple of books on being Soft Tissue Release.  Following is the description I read on Amazon which I thought was really good ….is a clear, concise, and practical book that guides you in understanding and applying the three types of soft tissue release (STR): passive (clients do not help), active assisted (clients and therapists work together), and active (clients do it on their own). 

Dalton's Myoskeletal Alignment Techniques  MAT combine modalities from: Myofascial Release, Rolfing®, Neuromuscular Therapy, Assisted Stretching, and Dalton's joint-capsule and receptor-recoil routines.

Greg Roskopf  has also developed a method he calls Muscle Activation  Technique  MAT so when people ask me about the MAT method I am not sure what they are talking about.

James Waslaski’s Orthopedic Massage involves therapeutic assessment, manipulation and movement of locomotor soft tissues to reduce or eliminate pain and dysfunction. A unique multidisciplinary approach is utilized to restore structural balance throughout the body. The primary modalities taught include functional assessment, myofascial release, cross fiber gliding strokes, neuromuscular therapy, scar tissue mobilization techniques, p.n.f. stretching, neuromuscular re-education, strengthening, and specific client home care protocols. James WaslaskiOrthopedic massage continuing education provider.

Whitney Lowe’s Orthopedic Massage system is a comprehensive and multidisciplinary system based on 4 principles created by Lowe. The system, while innovative, is research and outcome-based.

Lowe’s Four Primary Components of Orthopedic Massage

Orthopedic Assessment

Matching the Physiology of the Injury With the Physiological Effects of Treatment

Treatment Adaptability

Understanding the Rehabilitation Protocol

This sounds really good to me.

So what is the difference between the two mentioned orthopedic massage approaches?  My response is there should not be much of a difference. The teachers may be different but the content?

Let’s not forget my mentor  Dr. Leon Chaitow and METs (Muscle Energy Techniques) and NMT Neuromuscular Techniques

Dr. Chaitow  is the best integrator of information on soft tissue methods and research on the planet right now-( yes I am biased)

Judy Delany and Leon Chaitow worked together to create two integrated textbooks, Clinical Application of Neuromuscular Techniques, Vol. 1- The Upper Body, Vol. 2 published by Elsevier.

As a side note The Canadian Touch Research Center has named Leon Chaitow, N.D., D.O.,  its Ashley Montagu Award. The award is given every other year to a distinguished member of the massage and bodywork profession "whose devotion leads to the advancement of touch in the world."

The Mulligan Concept is another soft tissue method that Dr. Leon Chaitow first introduced to me.

Brian Mulligan's concept of mobilizations with movement (MWMS) in the extremities and
sustained natural apophyseal glides (SNAGS) in the spine are therapist-applied passive
 physiological movements and accessory techniques in the treatment of musculoskeletal injuries.

There must be a million connective tissue methods out there now.

Current research is validating that Ida Rolf had it right but where did she learn it?  She was intrigued with and explored many forms of alternative healing including homeopathy, osteopathy, chiropractic and yoga. The notion that proper alignment, physiologic function and anatomical structure are related. Structural Integration was her term. Others called it Rolfing.    Information passed on by Ida Rolf influenced many teachers of today as well as many methods that target fascia. One of my favorites is Tom Myers, Certified Rolfer. You can learn about the role of connective tissues and the fascial network in the human body at Thomas Myers studied directly with Drs. Ida Rolf, Moshe Feldenkrais, and Buckminster Fuller. He has also studied less extensively with movement teachers Judith Aston, Emilie Conrad, and in the martial arts. His work is influenced by cranial, visceral, and intrinsic movement studies he made with European schools of osteopathy.

Others influenced by Ida Rolf are:

Jeffrey Maitland, Ph.D.  Certified Advanced Rolfer® and Advanced Instructor, is one of seven Advanced Rolfing® instructors who teaches Rolfers and other healthcare professionals in the United States, Europe and Brazil

Robert Schleip, PhD and Rolf Institute faculty, offers the latest research on fascia and its implications for Rolfing SI at and

Now this is important.  I was fortunate to be at the first conference.

The Third International Fascia Research Congress taking place in Vancouver, B.C., Canada will deliver the same high level of scientific presentations previously set in the second conference held at Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam. These series of international conferences, dedicated to the newly emerging field of "Fascia Studies", continue to build upon the objectives set out at the First International Fascia Research Congress in Boston in 2007. For a complete overview of the 2 previous Congresses please purchase our DVD and proceeding book here. The 2012 Fascia Congress will, as always, center on the latest and best research on the human fasciae. Join us in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada on March 28-30, 2012  The 2012 Fascia Congress will, as always, center on the latest and best research on the human fasciae. Join us in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada on March 28-30, 2012  The 2012 Fascia Congress will, as always, center on the latest and best research on the human fasciae. Join us in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada on March 28-30, 2012

Study the credentials of those individuals serving on the scientific committee for this conference.

The Scientific Committee of Third International Fascia Research Congress has the overall responsibility for the scientific content of the Congress.
The representatives on the committee are listed below. Click on Bios and Pubs for short biography and/or related publications.

Geoffrey Bove, DC, PhD | Chair
Associate Professor at the University of New England College of Osteopathic Medicine, in Biddeford, Maine

Michael Kuchera, DO
Director, the Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine Research and Human Performance & Biomechanics Laboratory, Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, Philadelphia, PA
Bio and Pubs

Robert Schleip, PhD
Certified Advanced Rolfer® and Feldenkrais Practitioner, Faculty member of the Rolf Institute of Structural Integration
Bio and Pubs

Leon Chaitow ND, DO
Honorary Fellow University of Westminster, London. Editor, Journal of Bodywork & Movement Therapies
Bio and Pubs

Brian Degenhardt, D.O.
Bio and Pubs

Thomas Findley, MD, PhD
VA Medical Center and University of Medicine and Dentistry New Jersey (UMDNJ), Newark, NJ

Bodhi Haraldsson, RMT

Paul Hodges, MD, PhD
Associate Professor, University of Queensland, Brisbane Australia
Bio and Pubs

Peter Huijing, PhD
Faculteit Bewegingswetenschappen, Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Dr. Peter Huijing, a physiologist and keynote presenter from the first fascia conference, is the recipient of the prestigious Muybridge Award for his work on fascial connections and force transmission within muscle tissue and between muscles.

Janet Kahn, Ph.D.
Executive Director of the Integrated Healthcare Policy Consortium; research assistant professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Vermont; and faculty preceptor in the Fellowship in Complementary and Alternative and General Medicine at Harvard Medical School.
Bio and Pubs

Helene M. Langevin MD
College of Medicine, University of Vermont
She currently is a Research Associate Professor of Neurology, Orthopaedics and Rehabilitation at the University of Vermont and is the Principal Investigator of two NIH-funded studies investigating the role of connective tissue in chronic pain, acupuncture and manual therapies.

College of Medicine, University of Vermont
Diane is well known both nationally and internationally for her clinical work on thoracic, lumbar and pelvic disability and pain

Joel G. Pickar, D.C., Ph.D.
Professor, Palmer Center for Chiropractic Research, Davenport, IA
Dr. Pickar’s research laboratory is currently studying neurophysiological issues related to the vertebral column and to chiropractic manipulation. He serves on the Advisory Editorial Board for The Spine Journal and is a past member of the NIH Advisory Council for Complementary and Alternative Medicine.

Peter Ruben Ph.D.
Chair and Professor, Department of Biomedical Physiology and Kinesiology, Simon Fraser University.
Dr. Ruben's research focuses on the molecular and biophysical properties of voltage-gated sodium channels, proteins that give rise to electrical activity in nerves, muscles, and heart cells.

Dr. Moshe Solomonow PhD, MD (Hon)
Director of Bioengineering, Department of Orthopedic Surgery, University of Colorado, Denver, CO<
Under his leadership, technology was developed for several translational projects related to; Myoelectric control of upper limb prosthetics for amputees; Electronic walking orthosis for paraplegics; Smart orthosis for Anterior Cruciate Ligament deficient patients; and smart braces for individuals with low back pain.

Carla Stecco, MD
Assistant Professor of Human Anatomy and Movement Sciences at the University of Padova
Carla Stecco, MD - Orthopedist, Assistant Professor of Human Anatomy and Movement Sciences at the University of Padova. Founder Member of the Fascial Manipulation Association. Member of the Italian Society of Anatomy and Histology and of the Association Fran├žaise des Morphologistes. Scientific activity devoted to the study of the anatomy of the human fasciae from a macroscopical, histological and physiopathological point of view. She personally made over 100 cadaver dissections for research

Matthew Stewart, MOst

Andry Vleeming, PhD
Director, Spine and Joint Centre, Rotterdam, The Netherlands
Dr Vleeming is chairman of the world congress on low back pain for the office of continuing education of the medical faculty of the University of California San Diego

The conference is  March 2012 and a modified agenda follows.  I will be there.

Wednesday, March 28


Mary Francis Barbe, PhD
Temple University School of Medicine, USA
Changes in Fascia Related to Repetitive Motion Disorders


Michael Kjaer, MD, DMSc
University of Copenhagen, Denmark
Adaption of tendinous connective tissues to exercise.

Panel-Scars and Adhesion Panel
Geoffrey Bove, DC, PhD - moderator


Albert J. Banes, PhD
University of North Carolina School of Medicine, USA
Mechanical Loading & Fascial Changes – Tendon Focus

Thursday, March 29


Rolf K. Reed, PhD
University of Bergen, Norway
Fluid Dynamics

Panel-Fluid Dynamics: Clinical Implications
Michael L. Kuchera, DO, FAAO - moderator


Gerald H. Pollack, PhD
University of Washington, USA
Interfacial Fluid: The Secret Life of Water


Karen J. Sherman, PhD, MPH
Group Health Research Institute, Seattle, USA
Developing Clinical Trials for Bodywork and Massage: A Guide for the Perplexed

Friday, March 30


Carla Stecco, MD
University of Padova, Italy
Fascial Anatomy Overview

Panel- Fascial Imaging Techniques
Leon Chaitow ND DO - moderator


Jay P. Shah, MD
National Institutes of Health, Maryland, USA
Ultrasound and Microanalytical Techniques Identify Objective
Abnormalities in Hard, Painful Myofascial Trigger Points

Panel-Art and Science/Research and Practice –
Mechanisms to Improve Communication to Promote Translation
Brian F. Degenhardt, DO. - moderator

Closing Remarks

WOW – I did not see any acronyms- did you?

I have to mention Dr. David Geurvitch, a very important and special teacher of mine. A Soviet Union trained military physician he came to teach at HEC (Health Enrichment Center) under political asylum when there was tremendous turmoil in Russia in the 1990’s.   Dr. Chaitow was teaching a workshop at the school that Dr. Geurvitch attended.  Dr. Geurvitch whispered to me,” This I know. Nothing new. “