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Pain relief, is it possible?

I’d like to share with you a short story.  This story will explain one of the many reasons PCCHH stands alone in the Spa/ Wellness industry and why I love being a bodyworker.

Last week a couple came in for a relaxing couples session.  Being new clients they filled out health history intakes, and had some specific issues noted.  After asking them about the issues, I reiterated that the session they had booked was more focused on relaxation and would not adequately address the stated issues. I asked, “would you like us to address your specific issues or would you prefer to continue with relaxation?”  My client widened her eyes and replied in excited disbelief “if you think there is something you can do to help you can do whatever you want!”  Minutes into the session my client was already feeling relief from her symptoms.  By the end of the session she was so happy she was teary eyed.  Without delving into her story, the medical industry wasn’t offering her any realistic solutions and they were frightening her with possible causes. In the end all she needed was a well trained therapist who loves his work with the freedom to offer customized options within their session.

It is our freedom as therapists at PCCHH to inquire about and offer options to our clientele based on our abilities and their desires that sets us apart in this industry.  Furthermore it is our clients gratitude and seeing the changes that we are able to affect in a persons' body and spirit that makes this work so rewarding.

Thank you for choosing us, we look for ward to serving you again soon.

 

-Chris Wright

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A Fourth Dimension in Body Assesment

Body reading, in relation to structural integration, has been for me the most difficult aspect of of being a bodyworker. Upon graduation from the Structural Integration Institute, I knew I needed more time and education in understanding how to read tissue imbalances. A couple of weeks ago I traveled to Boston for a three day work shop in exactly what I felt my practice needed. To my surprise it was much more than I had anticipated. It added a fourth dimension to the visual assessment by applying [functional] movement. What I learned creates a dynamic aspect to my sessions. I now have the ability to test an idea or an observation by putting the client (you) in a limited/ controlled state of motion. I can also work on (you) in a standing position off of the table. This is a key aspect for me because body reading has, up until now, equaled hands off time. Now, time off table equals functional dynamic myofascial unwinding. I started applying these techniques immediately following my return with positive feedback. I am going to need a lot of practice to hone this technique, so I look forward to seeing all of you out of your pain bodies in the near future.

Thanks to all of you that have already given me the opportunity to become the best therapist I can be. Every-body counts.

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Balanced and Effective Bodywork

Understanding the relationship between opposing muscle groups is crucial to receiving balanced and effective bodywork.  Our most common areas of tension are around the base of the neck and between the shoulders.  Even though this can be caused simply by stress, it is most commonly due to a mechanical imbalance in the muscle group.

(Medial Rotation)

There are several forces at work on the shoulder. The Pectoralis Major, Pectoralis Minor (Pecs), Subscapularis, and the Latissimus Dorsi (Lats) are known Anatomically as Medial Rotators because when flexed, they roll the shoulders forward (Medial Rotation) which pulls the Scapulae (Shoulder Blades) away from the Spine. This can create tension and pain in the opposing muscle group, specifically the Trapezius (Traps) and the Rhomboids. These are the Adductors, which are responsible for pulling the Shoulder Blades together, towards the spine.

Our typical daily activities (driving, sitting at a desk typing [this blog], carrying a bag or purse, etc.) activate the Pecs, Lats, and Subscapularis, and disengage the Traps and Rhomboids. Overtime this imbalance tends to exaggerate the negative effects of chronic Medial Rotation of the shoulder girdle.  Another common area of pain and discomfort which is negatively impacted by over-active Pecs and Lats are the upper Traps and Levator Scapula (a shrugging muscle). These muscles connect the top of the shoulder blade to the neck and skull. As with the Adductor group, this area tends to heal best when the Pecs and Lats are properly addressed.

(Solution)

When a client is set before me with upper back and neck tension, I generally recommend we start with the front of the shoulder. By reducing the tension here we are able to create slack in the Traps and Rhomboids, thereby improving comfort and functionality.  My clients are often surprised and delighted with the immediate relief felt between the shoulder blades while I'm addressing the Pectoral tissue. This is especially true during a Structural Integration session.

The sad truth is there are clients out there who don’t get balanced bodywork. Over time, it becomes visually apparent that the muscles on the back, around the shoulder blades, are the only ones that ever get worked. The tell-tale sign (to me) are clients who present exaggerated curvature in the upper back: shoulders pulled forward, neck arched back just to keep the eyes level with the horizon. (Think Mr. Burns from the Simpsons). It never fails to surprise me at how much pressure these people can take on their back muscles from all the years of isolated deep tissue work.  Typically, they have limited range of motion in the shoulder joint, and can only handle the most gentle pressure on the anterior shoulder.

A knowledgeable massage therapist or body worker, as I like to refer to myself, will address the complete body. Taking into consideration how (you) as an individual use your body on a daily basis, and work the opposing muscle groups accordingly.

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5 Reasons Why Alignment Therapy is Better Than Other Myofascial Release Techniques

Recently, I was browsing Ask.com and came across a post about myofascial release techniques—specifically ones that are less painful than the "norm" people have experienced.

The school that I attended teaches the unwinding of the fascia (as opposed to forcing through it).  This technique is not widely practiced (or taught), but is very effective for the following reasons:

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Make Your Own Food for Happier, Healthier Babies

Eight months ago, I joined those in the ranks of parenthood.  Since that day, I have been more interested in nutritional information.  Most of us know that in the US, we consume a lot of processed foods, but did you know because of this, the majority of our babies are born with 200 or more chemicals already in their bloodstreams?

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