I’ve often said that all massage therapists are not created equal. So what makes me stand out above the crowded space of massage therapy? The best way to explain is to share with you client success stories. The key word “success” is important to stress because during my 10 years of practice, I have met and worked with numerous clients who want me to “fix them”. They come to my office in dire pain, expressing that they are ready to commit to their healing process, but then they don’t follow through with the recommendations. I see them once or twice a year and they wonder why they’re still suffering. If this describes you, then we are not a good fit.
For those of you familiar with Strengths Finder, my top strength is Maximizer, which means I “seek to transform something strong into something superb”. I work best with the type of client who is ready to take responsibility for his/her healing process. I am here to coach, to encourage, and to bring natural healing to the body. I find that the clients with whom I work best are those who are committed to the consistent journey into a whole new level of wellness that they didn’t realize was possible. Each week, I will share with you one client’s journey toward becoming a better version of him/herself.
In 2016, “Dreyfus” scheduled an appointment with me after months of consistent neurologically-based chiropractic care that was not improving his extreme left neck into left shoulder pain. I immediately saw his tendency to stand in a hunched position, with shoulders rolled forward and head hanging way out in front. He was in the final stages of law school, was intensely studying for the bar exam, and STRESS had enveloped his life. He describes his pain as so severe that he contemplated skipping his law final exam. I’ve seen this many times where mental stress can morph into physical stress.
I set the expectation with Dreyfus that consistent, weekly orthopedic massage sessions for 3-4 weeks are crucial for the natural healing process. Each session builds upon the previous session. As one muscle group begins to loosen, another may tighten. This is change. Change is good. This shows me and the client that the body is finding a new level of balance. Dreyfus agreed … he was ready to find a natural way to heal his body and scheduled his next session for the following week.
During our initial weeks together, when Dreyfus lie face up on the massage table, his shoulders didn’t rest comfortably on the table and when stretching his left anterior neck muscles (scalenes and SCM), I noticed his entire left anterior shoulder into left pectoralis region moved as one unit. I could see how the fascia was glued to and around the muscles, restricting proper movement. Fascia is a connective tissue that wraps around all of our joints, muscles, tendons, ligaments, and bones. It’s like saran wrap. We want it to move fluidly and freely to allow for proper joint range of motion. His saran wrap was balled up. You know how tough it is to flatten out saran wrap … This would take time to unwind. When working with stress-induced muscles, we cannot work too quickly, otherwise we risk the body refusing to positively respond.
Dreyfus committed to consistent orthopedic massage sessions and continued neurologically-based chiropractic care. During the next few months, he became more aware of his posture, especially with this type of career of sitting for long periods of time buried in law books. He learned that he needed to take frequent breaks where he could stretch his body in the opposite direction. Gradually, the pain subsided, and we began to see the rebalancing in the range of motion of Dreyfus’ left neck into left shoulder. His posture also began to improve with his shoulders rolled back and his head comfortably placed over his ears.
Fast forward 2 years … even though Dreyfus works long days buried in law books, he understands the importance of proper posture and orthopedic massage therapy. He is a consistent client who continues with monthly tune-ups.
If you can relate to Dreyfus’ story, then call or text me at 412-760-1776 to set up a free phone consultation to see if we are a good fit for working together.
Denise Fahrion is a passionate orthopedic massage therapist in the McCandless suburbs of Pittsburgh. She personally works toward and shares with her clients ways to become “Focused. Grounded. Balanced.”