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TELL ME … By Tara Doyle ABMP Social Media and Marketing Coordinator | The writer Beau Taplin compares the body to a forest with "thick canopies of maple trees and sweet scented wildfl owers," a forest able to grow back again and again after devastation. It is interesting to apply this concept to massage therapy and body mechanics: taking care of oneself and practicing good body mechanics is of the utmost importance for MTs, but it's also possible to correct bad habits before, and even after, poor mechanics become detrimental. With such physical demands from the movements and schedule associated with providing bodywork, massage therapists must take care of themselves in order to cultivate a sustainable career. This realization strikes in various moments—perhaps in school, maybe through making mistakes, or it could be an ongoing awareness you embody through your practice. 18 m a s s a g e & b o d y w o r k n o v e m b e r / d e c e m b e r 2 0 1 5 ONGOING AWARENESS Amber Risner-Moots of Ohio crossed paths with an instructor during her schooling who was extremely focused on proper body mechanics, and those lessons never left her. "I concentrated for many years on making sure when I worked I kept my shoulders pulled back, my back aligned with my hips, and my knees bent properly," she says. "I can say now that I very rarely have the back pain that I used to have on a constant basis. The only time I have any issue is if I let my mechanics slack, and I am sure to get my act together immediately." Ida Williams, a massage therapist in Connecticut, learned an alternative method to maintain awareness of her movements and fl uidity. "One of my instructors would have us exercise with t'ai chi, and I could defi nitely feel the difference when I did it regularly," Williams recalls. "It really helped with balance, strength, and my stance as well." Other massage therapists agree, also citing yoga and qigong as helpful. ❱❱❱ ❱❱❱ The Moment You Realized the Importance of Proper Body Mechanics

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