Bathing in the Afterglow: Thoughts on the 2014 Boston Marathon (or Post Post-Event Event)

Overall, the experience was exhilarating (in a quiet way) for me. It was fascinating to bring my understanding of the kinesiology and the complicated demands put on the bodies of the runners to bear in the treatments I was able to do (around 7 or 8 total, I think). For all that there was overlap in the actions I was performing, the massages themselves were as starkly contrasted from one to the next as I could imagine. From runners that could not lie still and had minds positively whirring to those that were losing focus and zoning out from minute to minute; from runners that appreciated the stretch to fairly arduous processes of trying to work while dealing with ever-looming cramps, the differences were distinct and made for equally distinct challenges. Shifting the treatment constantly to meet the changing needs of each successive client was very engaging and I feel as though each the runners I worked with left much better off than when they came in. (Or at the very least much better off than they would have been had they not come in). The gratitude of the runners was a great deal of reward. I was also very appreciative of the team with which I came, feeling as though people were always available and willing to jump in, to handle the burbling chit-chat that is not my forte but is necessary to make sure your runner is still with you, to bring soup, and to smooth the transitions between runners. The closest thing to a negative I have is that at least twice I nodded and smiled at promptings from supervisors to speed up, and then doggedly kept going with what I was doing. That is to say, my school (which had a great turn-out) might do better in future years to bring more compliant therapists than myself. For all that, no runners were turned away while we were there, so maybe they brought a sufficient number of compliant students that my pace did not spoil the soup.

big bm

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Getting ready for the Boston Marathon!

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Much of my week that was not occupied with normal life + preparing house for guests/possible new roommate + Easter weekend has been focused on the 2014 Boston Marathon. As a Service Learning Leader for Bristol Community College’s Therapeutic Massage Program I helped coordinate certain preparedness efforts, as well as having all of the myriad other tasks that individuals within the program had to deal with (shopping list of items, paperwork, etc).

I am eager for the frenetic energy of the event and for the work itself. It is being treated as one of the capstone endeavors of my cohort’s training regimen and it should prove a worthy one indeed! It seems like such an incredible opportunity to be able to participate (in a supporting role) in one of the most prestigious events of its type in the world.

In hopes of showing my appreciation for the runners of this year’s marathon in light of the events surrounding 2013 (a family member ran in the race and I was one of many urgent calls that my sister’s family received that afternoon), I put together a subsequent offering to the runners with whom I come into contact. Once the office in which my wife and myself will practice is up and running (projected as Mid-July), I am hopeful to have some of the Marathon runners I worked with  in for a free follow-up massage (be it a short Swedish session, a Deep Tissue treatment addressing a particular complaint, or more Post-Event Massage for whatever training and running they’re doing at that point in time). To that end, I also made up a “pre-business” card (as I termed it), over this week. Besides the design problems that arose with the card, getting it ready also had some wonderful and exciting milestones such as getting a phone number, an EIN, beginning the registration process to be an LLC!

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After the week gets off to a running start… a running start? see what i did there?… I have an appointment scheduled with a friend that will be doing the webdesign for Via Medens Therapeutic!

Extremely excited to be taking these steps and reaching the starting line of this endeavor. 🙂

 

starting line… like in a race…

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Just Call Me a Joiner

AMTA

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Out of my doubts and beliefs

I wonder regularly about the energy bodywork modalities. Reading about some of them it seems as though there is often a dearth of good science backing it up. Methods aren’t quantifiable and results aren’t consistently reproducible. I readily acknowledge that there might be myriad variables that are keeping results from being clinically verifiable (what if age/energy/climate/moon phase/diet all need to be controlled variables to duplicate results, for example). But as it stands there are aspects of “the energies” and manipulating brain fluid and such that I am a skeptic about.

That is a way in which I’m skeptical.

To balance this out, I also think I’m somewhat credulous in that I assume that the hard to reproduce part comes from people that are themselves naturally gifted healers. These people had ways they understood their own processes but they may have been how they thought of what they were doing while their understanding of the mechanism was flawed. IE what if John Upledger (founder of cranial sacral therapy) was gifted at getting people to feel better, but one cannot in point of fact shift cranial plates even slightly? That would possibly mean that whatever mechanism he unconsciously employed in his work was different from his own conceptualization of it, and he was improving the well-being of his clients in some other way (and that improvement possibly led to positive shifts in their cranial rhythms). What if successful CST’s had a combination of gifts including intuition, healing, and water-dousing and could adjust cerebrospinal fluid pressure in therapeutic ways? The result (as I see it) would be a field where the results were mixed because of the innate gifts of the practitioners. That such fields might be arts with gifts akin to the ethereal talents of a musician- any individual might be able to learn the rote of playing while never being able to soar inside the music. And, indeed, how much more variable when the instrument of the art is living and unique?

Viewed in terms like that, lack of consistent results might make a lot more sense. (As long as you have room in your personal views natural gifts in intuition, healing and water-dousing). Also due apologies to CST’s. I wasn’t out to pick a fight with you all specifically, I was just using your practice as the grounds upon which to explore one way in which we might both understand and misunderstand what is taking place in a modality.

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Without an apt Segway

In discussing the location of our shared office space, I made the argument to my wife (and business partner) that the uphill walk from the nearest T stop or public parking would be stressful for our clients, and that meeting clients there with a spare Segway and making our way to the office together would be good business practice.

Or possibly a motorcycle with a sidecar.

I’m sad to report that I failed to convince either her or myself.

It would have been exactly this cool:

arnett-segway-md

 

Photo Credit- Arrested Development.

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About the voices in my head

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On the first day of class in my therapeutic massage program my professor thought my overall demeanor and speaking voice would prove to be assets to me as a massage professional. Being a calm and generally centered person DOES serve me well in serving people in this way, but lately one element of my mindscape that makes me chuckle are the voices. To the degree that I am a product of my upbringing, I have to say the voice of reproof in my mind is very telling of the atmosphere in which I was raised. When I mess up, a very gentle voice in my head says, “Babe, you can do better than that”, or simply “Come on, babe”. [I was a youngest child and the “baby” of my family]. I’ve even heard my mind reprove me calling me “Hon” or “Sweetheart” which instantly makes me quirk a random smile. I am, to say the least, very grateful for how that turned out- amusement at the voices and all. And if I have occasion to give you a massage treatment, I hope very much I am able to pass on some measure of the personal legacy of graceful support in which I was raised.   P.S. I got my driver’s license late in life, and those voices have little in them of gentle rebuke or loving course-corrections. Can’t win them all, I guess. Image Credit: http://www.digdang.com/image/there_there_at_least_you_tried/12120/

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Tools of the trade

body-soul

As the homes which we each invest, our bodies are sometimes in need of experienced care in order to thrive.

As a massage therapist may my hands refresh the “homes” of my patients by opening windows to the springtime air after a difficult winter.

May my hands be like those of a contractor seeking to restore the design and function of the home after periods of neglect or misuse.

May my hands renew the body homes they encounter and make them a delight to inhabit rather than abodes of familiar creaks and accustomed damages.

May my hands be instruments of renewal, may they be tools of restoration to many.  

 

 

* Photo Credit: http://spiritualquestions.org.uk/2013/10/soul/

 

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