Via Medens website is up and running!

Come check it out!

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J.M.T. in the making. (or Because Life in the swamps can get you down).

As a follow up to Harnessing Ki some very serious images of a Jedi Student Massage Therapist in training mode. 

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In case anyone doubted- I am certifiable!

In case anyone doubted- I am certifiable!

Passed the National certification test this week.

These are some of the reasons the NCTMB gives for pursuing national certification:


Our board certification program represents the highest credential in the massage profession and communicates your commitment to safe, ethical practice and excellence.

Our board certificants gain visibility and credibility within the field among both colleagues and potential employers as well as:

Recognition by a third party
Increased credibility
Enhanced professional reputation
Personal accomplishment
Supporting continued professional development through commitment to lifelong learning
Demonstrating a high level of commitment to the field of practice
Demonstrating a higher level of knowledge and skill
Validation of skills and knowledge

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Not-To-Do List

I have been touring the circuit of massage therapy establishments in the town in which I live and went for a 90 minute massage last Friday. 

To start on a positive note, the LMT did two things that are a part of most of my massages that no one had ever done in session with me before and it was interesting to see how it played out. Obviously, the particulars of pressure and leverage would have been different but I was still grateful to get a sense of how it worked in the scope of things. Additionally, she made very constructive recommendations on strengthening exercises I could be doing to support areas where she encountered problems in my tissue. 

As to the rest… Getting a massage for me has become like going to the theater- it’s all educational, whether the choices made “worked” for me or whether they did not. 

In that spirit this Friday, I learned or had affirmed a few things about how I hope to practice massage therapy:

1. There should be middle ground (such as petrissage) between light effleurage and deep tissue work. Otherwise the degree to which the client’s muscles will be defending themselves will nullify many of the positive effects of the massage. The lack of transitional pressure has left me sore for the last 3 days while only feeling marginally relieved despite a fair degree of acumen on her part as to where I had adhesions and trigger points. Most especially the lack of middle ground was true when… see #2.

2. Listen to your clients! After a brief round of introductory effleurage over my gastrocs, the LMT enthusiastically got to work on them- causing repeated cramping as my muscles guarded themselves from the onslaught. When I pointed out the continued cramping, and eventually fired the antagonist to make it ease up, the LMT’s only response was “Well, it will take more than one session”, before resuming with exactly the same degree of pressure while my muscles continued to guard and cramp. 

3. In strange contrast to the rest of the massage there was a lot of vague and unfocused time spent working on my neck in supine. After the effleurage there were pauses long enough that I wondered if she was checking a phone somehow or checked-out mentally in some other way. This was in the last 15 minutes of a massage which otherwise had been very direct and focused with a great degree of intentionality, making the difference very noticeable. Even with the upshot that my neck only continued with its prior ache rather than having added to it the trauma suffered by other problem areas, I took away a solid reminder that losing time in vagueness was fairly profitless massage.


I also got the notice that the next semester massage clinic is kicking off at my old school and already booked my first massage of the summer there. Getting more learned is not always a chore 🙂 

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Massage Therapy for Regular Health Maintenance 75 percent of individuals surveyed claim their primary reason for receiving a massage in the past 12 months was medical (43 percent) and stress (32 percent) related, according to the 17th annual consumer servey, sponsored by the American Massage Therapy Association® (AMTA®). Medical reasons include pain relief, soreness, stiffness or spasms, injury recovery, migraines, prevention, and general well-being. • 88 percent view massage as beneficial to overall health and wellness. • 88 percent believe massage can be effective in reducing pain; with 24 percent saying they have used massage therapy for pain relief.

• The overall mean (excluding none) was 4.1 massages for those receiving massage in the past 12 months. Those whose primary reason for getting massage was medical got a mean of 5.7 massages. Americans’ Reasons for Getting Massages are Changing More people are turning to massage therapy to assist with medical conditions.

• As few as 34 percent of those surveyed believe massage therapy is only a form of pampering.

• In the previous 12 months, 17 percent of respondents received a massage at a spa compared to 19 percent in 2012. This decline, and the presence of chiropractor’s offices, health clubs and physician’s offices/medical clinics on the list of locations where people receive massage, indicates consumers identify massage as an important component of overall health and wellness.

• 56 percent of people received a massage for one or more of the following reasons: soreness, stiffness or spasms, to relieve or manage stress, for prevention or to improve quality of life, injury recovery or rehabilitation, to keep fit or healthy/ maintain wellness, or to control headaches or migraines.

• 39 percent indicated that medical benefits would be their primary motivation for having a massage. Health Care Providers Recommending Massage as a Viable Form of Treatment Health care providers and doctors are more commonly viewing massage therapy as a legitimate option to address health concerns.

• 48 percent of respondents indicated that they were encouraged by their doctor to receive a massage.

• 53 percent of respondents said their physician has recommended they get a massage.



October 2013 AMTA Consumer Survey Fact Sheet

AMTA massage therapists have demonstrated a level of ability through education and/or testing, adhere to a code of ethics and must meet continuing education requirements. AMTA offers a free professional massage therapist locator service at

About Survey Findings This annual survey, conducted for AMTA by ORC International, involved 1,007 adults, 18 years of age and older living in the continental United States.


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Game on

Game on

Finals are over- moving on to nationals!

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This is me breathing.

I have been finding that actions of massage (whether Swedish, Deep Tissue, or even Post Event) are feeling increasingly native and organic to me. Connecting the feelings to similar change-overs in my life, it is the difference between having learned enough words of a language that I am able to laboriously make myself understood and knowing that when I speak I am beginning to sound fluent. It is the difference between getting all of the words and blocking in a scene correct by rote and instead getting beyond that to feeling the intentions flow back and forth between individuals on-stage that make THOSE words and THAT blocking the truth of the interstitial space between you and your fellow players. It is good to feel that fluency. When I was on stage more often, I equated it to a line from Grosse Point Blank (a long-time favorite film). In it Martin Blank, an assassin (albeit a recovering one), takes his pistol and cocks it and says “This is me breathing”. I feel that way about being an actor, and before my first client at the Therapeutic Massage Clinic at BCC a little while back, I heard that line bounce through my head and it made me smile. This process of letting my hands speak to the muscles of my clients, of addressing adhesions and releasing fascia is becoming something I can do within my native context- within my center of balance- which is important for my long-term well-being as both an introvert and massage professional.

From the grounding through the entire conversation between my hands and their muscles- this is me breathing.
So mote it be.

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