Searching for Answers – Don’t Stay in One Place Too Long
In past blogs I have referred to soft tissue therapy as a “dance” between doing something, assessing (assessing tissue quality, movement, mobility, etc), and then doing something else or something different.
This concept has become even more apparent as I have been working with the Anatomy Links thought process over the past few months. I find myself working on one thing much less as I am constantly moving to check other areas that are part of the “link” that I am trying to treat/affect. This is in stark contrast to what is taught in massage therapy school where if something feels “tight” or the client says that it is “tender” you just keep working on it until something happens (that elusive something). Unfortunately, that something doesn’t always happen and you typically find yourself wasting treatment time on one structure or, at worst, irritating things more and getting a negative outcome.
Following the assessment process, I try and key in on areas that I think are important to work on or at least areas that I want to have an affect on. From there, I put together a plan of attack, thinking about other things that affect those areas (bones, muscles, fascia, skin, nerves, etc). Those “key” areas serve as a standard for me to check my work against to make sure I am moving in the right direction – Is tissue quality improving? Does the client report less pain/tenderness? Can we get better range of motion?
Rather than beating an area to death. I make contact with it, work on it for a minute or two, and then start to move on to some of the “links” that interact with it. Again, I work for a little bit, go back and check the key area, work a little more, move to another link, etc. This “dance” goes on for the entire treatment period. In doing this, I find that I have much faster results and positive outcomes.
Instead of just banging away on one area for 20 minutes hoping to make something happen, try and connect the dots to other areas and see what sort of result can be achieved when they are treated. Or, as Willem says,
If you do not get the answer you are looking for in a short amount of time, rephrase your question and ask again.