Continuing education for sports massage

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aloha_student
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Continuing education for sports massage

Post by aloha_student » Wed Mar 23, 2016 11:04 am

Has anyone taken online courses from Whitney Lowe's program, and if so, do you recommend it? I'm 2500 miles from any possibility of face-to-face education and my initial training (I finished and take the state exam next month!!!) was pretty superficial. I'm wondering about people's opinions of learning the trade via online education and books.

I want to do sports massage - I come from a biomedical/nursing background and I'm much more scientist than nurturer so I'd excited to start moving into sports/dance work. But, there are very few people to learn from where I live and traveling to the mainland for education is cost-prohibitive right now. How much faith do you experienced people have in online education? I've been taking some amazing online courses by Mel Cash, and while I've learned heaps of valuable information, it's sometimes tricky getting the actual application down.

Also, how about straight-up kinesiology or athletic training courses? Are there any sports massage people out there who have an opinion? I don't want to be an athletic trainer per se, but I'd like to knowledgeably and legally provide my clients with information about exercises, stretching, etc. in addition to bodywork. Do you think athletic training is a good supplement?

Thank you, as always, for this great site!

Mahalo

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pueppi
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Re: Continuing education for sports massage

Post by pueppi » Wed Mar 23, 2016 4:54 pm

I don't know anything about Whitney Lowe's program. But, I think extra education can be useful.

You may also want to look into these distance learning modules. I don't know if they are good or not, but the seem to have some thought and time put into them - http://www.learnmuscles.com/homestudy.html

I also think Somatic work is a good supplement (instead of Kinesiology), and you can look through this thread to get a feel for why I say this: http://www.bodyworkonline.com/forum/vie ... 23&t=42931
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, leading to the most amazing view. May your rivers flow without end, meandering through valleys tinkling with bells...
Houston Massage Therapy - Advanced Massage Therapy - Lucas & Lucas, LLC

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Breathe
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Re: Continuing education for sports massage

Post by Breathe » Mon Mar 28, 2016 10:09 am

Hi aloha.

I took W.L.'s distance learning, one of the lower body modules. It's very comprehensive, and an excellent program.

Because you have a biomed/nursing background, I'm confident that you'd handle the science and biomechanics portion of his program with ease, however, without some serious hands on time with massage therapy or other touch-intensive medical therapies, his courses may not translate very well to something you can utilize fully. Maybe your pre-massage background gives you that experience, I don't know.

I perform what most people would refer to as "technical" massage work. What has helped me to be most effective has not been the technical classes (which have certainly given me the tools and biomechanics/anatomy of movement training I needed,) but rather the hands-on time with mostly healthy bodies. So... plain old swedish massage, and a kata-style shiatsu massage has served me well in being able to implement the more specialized training effectively. Getting your hands on many, many bodies in various stages of health, will give you a solid foundation for knowing what the range of "normal" motion is, how healthy tissue ought to respond, and just generally becoming so familiar with the state you are trying to help people reach or maintain, that it's second nature.

The longer I practice, the more I believe that a therapist who can't give a d*mn good relaxation massage on all different types of bodies with different needs, will never be able to be a d*mn good remedial therapist.

aloha_student
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Re: Continuing education for sports massage

Post by aloha_student » Thu Apr 07, 2016 2:32 pm

Breathe wrote:Getting your hands on many, many bodies in various stages of health, will give you a solid foundation for knowing what the range of "normal" motion is, how healthy tissue ought to respond, and just generally becoming so familiar with the state you are trying to help people reach or maintain, that it's second nature.

The longer I practice, the more I believe that a therapist who can't give a d*mn good relaxation massage on all different types of bodies with different needs, will never be able to be a d*mn good remedial therapist.
Thank you as always, for great advice. The bulk of our training at massage school, other than memorizing a Swedish routine, was working for the school's clinic. You are right that it was invaluable for feeling what's going in in hundreds of bodies. I got frustrated and a little bored, though, because although I could feel a lot in my clients' muscles, I felt I had no tools to work with it. I once had a guy say he thought it was amazing that I put my hands right on his sore spots and fixed them - how did I do it? I had no idea, actually! So I'm looking around for more education to help me figure out how to help clients more knowledgeably.

By the way, way back in my first couple weeks of massage school you told me that if I wanted to work with injured athletes, the best thing I could do at the moment was learn to give an amazing medium pressure massage. I did, and you are absolutely right! It really helped me develop a sensitivity to how I was touching my clients, and allowed me to get a good feeling for what was going on in their muscles. AND, it actually made me a lot better at delivering firm pressure massage, without my intending it. Your advice is great! Thank you for taking time to help out a beginner :)

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Breathe
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Re: Continuing education for sports massage

Post by Breathe » Mon Apr 11, 2016 11:38 am

I'm glad it helps!

The most practical training I've taken (technical courses,) have come from Waslaski and Dalton. There's a long list of methods that could be very useful, for me it was a matter of determining which educators were teaching things that made sense to me.

In practice, when doing treatment work, I try to focus on making sure joints have space, and are unimpeded by connective tissue restriction or hypotonic conditions. Everything I employ to achieve my end goals of helping the client become pain free, is informed by that starting position: free the joint. So I'm not particularly married* to any single treatment method, and will use evaluative techniques from Egoscue, Tom Myers and Kelly Starrett; joint adjacent mobilization from Dalton (now Paul Kelly), Waslaski, Luchau; referrals to chiropractic, personal trainers or podiatrists, etc.

I also believe (to the point that it's become a motto of sorts,) that your body will always be more efficient at keeping me OUT, than any technique I can employ to get IN. So all work performed must be collaborative. What that means for me personally, is that I try very hard not to cross the pain threshold. By the time I can feel the client actively resisting because it hurts, their body has already been resisting me at the cellular level for some time. I've been most helped by Waslaski's "pain free" methods, which are still deep and focused on local restrictions, but acknowledge the idea of doing the work the client is ready for, not necessarily the work we decide should be applied.

I know there are a bunch of other educators out there who are working with "pain free" methods, some are on my long list for CEUs. :)

However, there are also therapists who are successfully using methods that are extremely intense and painful, such as some of the structural integrationists. I've taken a few classes along those lines, and walked away realizing that I can't do that sort of work, because it's incompatible with my personal philosophy, probably based in large part on my inability to receive very aggressive manual therapies.

Over the years, the most helpful thing for me has been familiarity with anatomy, and visualizing patterns of movements. Far more than any classes taken, I've spent the bulk of my study time watching YouTube videos, using anatomy and muscle animation software, learning nerve pathways, asking my clients to demonstrate some of their sports activities, and standing around watching people play sports and observing how they move their bodies. In the first few years of my career, I would sit on a bench at Pioneer Courthouse Square in Portland, and watch people walk by. I got to observe everything from gait restrictions, to how they bent to accommodate briefcases, to how people in high heels flex at the knee and increase their lordotic curves to stay balanced.

When I get really stumped, I put my own body into the presenting posture, and hold it for a bit to see what starts hurting. It gives me new ideas.

I think I've said this before, but the most important thing is to stay curious. It's all learning, and you'll still have to decide what information you keep and integrate, and what you set aside. There's always value in the inquiry. You could do a lot worse than taking a Whitney Online course. He's brilliant. Howie Weingarten, his long-time teaching assistant, is equally brilliant, and very approachable, as I recall.

*Erik Dalton has always said: "Don't get married to a concept."

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pueppi
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Re: Continuing education for sports massage

Post by pueppi » Tue Jul 05, 2016 6:26 pm

*love this* ^^

Wonderful post, Breathe.
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, leading to the most amazing view. May your rivers flow without end, meandering through valleys tinkling with bells...
Houston Massage Therapy - Advanced Massage Therapy - Lucas & Lucas, LLC

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