After graduating from The American Institute of Massage Therapy in 2009 I spent several years working in spas, perfecting the relaxing techniques they’re famous for. I pursued Scalp Massage, Foot Massage, and Hot Stone Therapy with the same zeal that I apply to broadening my knowledge of Medical Massage. I use the best relaxation modalities to enhance the specific Orthopedic therapy I give each client to help reduce pain from injury and illness and increase ease and range of motion.
Continuing my education has been an exciting journey. I learned most of what I now practice in the years following my completion of a 720 hour program at The American Institute of Massage Therapy. Numerous colleagues have taught me much in the classroom as well as trade setting. In 2015 I earned certifications in Myofascial Release and Orthopedic Massage from The Advanced Massage Therapy Training Center of New Orleans. In the first half of 2016 I returned to that school and earned an Advanced Practitioner in Neurological and Emotional/Somatic Modalities Certification, and completed another Advanced Practitioner in Orthopedic Massage Certification in November of that year. I am currently training at the same school to teach these modalities.
Modalities I Use:
Myofascial Release– A manual therapy that focuses on the connective tissue surrounding every structure and cell in the body. The most common and well known aspect of MFR is the “unwinding” technique which consists of gentle sustained stretches over a broad surface on the body. As the tissue warms over an area of congestion, tenderness increases and specific work can be done within the individual’s window of tolerance. Much of this work is creating space between structures and freeing up myofascial adhesions to relieve pain and increase range of motion. This process takes time and so is limited to a specific area within a session.
Neuromuscular/Trigger Point Therapy– A targeted manual therapy designed to alleviate pain from postural distortions and neural entrapment. NMT encourages the therapist to address surrounding tissues that commonly contribute to pain and restricted movement in a specific place as well as find and clear myofascial trigger points that perpetuate these dysfunctional patterns. Clearing chemical sticking points (trigger points) within the muscles is best done when the person is also seeing a physical therapist, yoga teacher, or personal trainer to strengthen surrounding muscle groups which correct the postural distortions that made these sticking points necessary to the body in the first place.
Craniosacral Therapy– A gentle form of bodywork that focuses on the head and spine. While there is much debate about some of the claims made by practitioners of this modality, I have found it very effective in calming the nervous system and reducing the intensity and frequency of headaches. My practice of this modality includes specific work along the cranial sutures to target common points of adhesion in the fascia as well as the more traditional static hand placements along the skull that promote a deep meditative state which can lead to a full body release of tension.
Other modalities I draw from include Trager (rocking and jostling), Thai Massage (lazy man’s yoga), Joint Unwinding (similar to fascial unwinding), Swedish (common in spas), and a range of active assisted modalities designed to neurologically reeducate faulty movement patterns.
Peter Fuller at The Advanced Massage Therapy Training Center of New Orleans:
The yoda of massage therapy in New Orleans. Peter’s approach to teaching is unique in that he encourages me to teach myself. He is a brilliant therapist and has lots of techniques to offer but before he shows what he does, he gives his student a concept and has them try applying it to various parts of the body. This has encouraged a creativity and confidence in my practice that I relish. I have received a Myofascial Release Certification, Medical Massage Certification, and Advanced Practitioner Certification from his school and will continue studying with him until I have learned everything I can from him. It’s going to take a while.
If Peter is Yoda then Joe is Obi-Wan Kenobi. An exceptionally intelligent man and highly skilled massage therapist and acrobat, Joe is a natural teacher. I have learned quite a bit of Orthopedic massage from him, as well as some of a method for combining Thai Massage and Myofascial Release. He has also been my main instructor in Acro Yoga and shown me how that practice can have far reaching effects that touch every aspect of my life. It has been an honor to learn from him and the sweetest of privileges to also call him a friend.