Massage & Bodywork

May/June 2011

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reader forum WHAT YOU ARE SAYING Q & Art Fan Club I am a fan of Massage & Bodywork magazine and one of the sections I enjoy the most is Q & Art by Art Riggs. I fi nd it to be such a fantastic advice to both new practitioners and those who have been in the profession for a while. I fi nd in Riggs's articles a constant inspiration to continuously improve my practice. His wisdom, together with his honesty and clarity in transmitting the essence of whatever techniques he is using, makes him without a doubt my favorite author in the fi eld. I live and practice deep-tissue massage in the United Kingdom. Unfortunately, here in Europe, we don't have a magazine of the quality of Massage & Bodywork. Instead, there seems to be plenty of magazines that do not offer much serious thought on bodywork, with very few exceptions. It is always refreshing to read yours. MARTA COMAS LONDON, ENGLAND Q 12 massage & bodywork may/june 2011 I appreciate the potent messages conveyed in Art Riggs's Massage & Bodywork Q & Art column. I like the relaxed conversational tone. I respect the depth of knowledge from which Art's words are generated. His articles offer a welcome hiatus from specifi c how-to instructional information. Bodywork practices are greatly infl uenced by general issues rather than an overabundance of specifi c strategies. It is as refreshing as a breath of fresh air to read Art's literary creations. I feel inspired. In the March/April 2011 issue ("Add Substance to Your Warm-Up," page 31), I particularly appreciated the reminder that, "The most important thing is to have a clear purpose in your strokes. A stroke without intention is an empty gesture." That thought process changed the way I work. Now I approach each stroke with a heightened sense of mindfulness and purpose. I was also profoundly impressed with the concluding thoughts: "With every consideration, I ask myself, 'Does this add to or detract from what I'm trying to convey?' These are wise words for many things, and especially for a bodywork session." Simplicity, whether expressed through therapeutic techniques or through lifestyle choices, can be our saving grace in a complex world. Thank you Massage & Bodywork, and thank you, Art Riggs. ARIANA VINCENT AUSTIN, TEXAS Massage Love Abroad q & art By Art riggs ADD SUBSTANCE TO YOUR WARM-UP A Dear arT, i've been taught that i need to warm the body before starting a massage. How much time is sufficient so i can get to work? —Time urgency I became an MT after I fi nished my sports and physical education degree back in 2004. By that time, I was doing voluntary work with disabled people and I thought it would be good to give them massage. I did a basic training in Swedish massage, but I only started to work as an MT one year later. At the beginning, I was giving massage breaks to an insurance company, once a week. A year later, I was invited to work full time in a fi ve-star resort. That's where the magic began. I learned a lot of different massages like lomilomi, ayurvedic, Thai, and bamboo. Since then, I've worked around the world (aboard cruise ships) and, right now, I am studying again. I don't know how to fully explain it, but I am passionate about what I'm doing. When I start working on someone, I can feel the energy running through my hands; I believe in energy work and the miracle of massage work. I love to help people and that's the main reason I became an MT. JOANA SILVA OPORTO, PORTUGAL Dear Time urgency, Actually, your question brings up a crucial issue: a warm-up is not something to do before you begin real work. Warm- ups are, indeed, work and require a definite therapeutic focus, albeit with more emphasis on evaluation. A broad and general warm-up is certainly beneficial, as long as it doesn't entice you to cut corners in the body of your massage because you lost time with preliminaries. Time management is crucial for a smooth session. Even five minutes of superfluous preliminary work may have more downsides than benefits because of lost opportunities for concentrated focus in the core of your session. That's why I try to educate my clients on the benefits of longer sessions. Let's look at the main reasons for doing a warm-up: introducing yourself. Particularly with new clients, this can be a good way to introduce yourself to the whole body, rather than an isolated part, and to prospect for areas of hidden tension. However, some therapists aren't clear with their intention. This doesn't accomplish much in getting to know each other and can seem like superficial conversation at a cocktail party: "Nice weather we're having." "So … are you a Taurus?" calming your client. We want to release the client from the emotional stresses of life before performing deep work. This is certainly a worthwhile goal, but may not always be necessary. By starting your work with a slow and focused intention on the shoulders or other core areas of holding, you may initiate an even deeper relaxation and leave more time for detailed work. Our international readers found our digital edition at www.abmp.com. earn CE hours at your convenience: abmp's online education center, www.abmp.com 31

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