Massage & Bodywork

January/February 2012

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BEST PRACTICES Q & ART Make Room for Progress By Art Riggs Q DEAR STUCK, Many therapists have this problem, especially if they have regular clients and are hesitant to alter a routine that seems to be working. I experienced this myself as I added craniosacral, joint mobilization, and other skills to my Rolfing practice. If only accumulating knowledge just involved a simple, incremental accumulation of new skills added to present ones! Sometimes, early training rules and a rigid perception of proper ways of working butt heads with more advanced knowledge and growth. The solution doesn't lie in heaping new techniques on top of old if they conflict with your paradigm of bodywork; look back and carefully examine what techniques or general philosophies of massage are limiting you and need to be let go of to make room for progress. Strict rules in early training are sometimes necessary A DEAR ART, I enjoy taking workshops and learning new techniques, but I always seem to return to the basic massage routine I learned in my first training. I feel stagnant—any thoughts on how to move to a new level? —STUCK to provide a secure environment in which students aren't confused by too many options. However, some teachers present an inflexible image of massage. Early training is only a stepping-stone on which therapists may later expand, freeing themselves from their training wheels by relying on intuition and the joy of self-expression and discovery. As a child, I was warned not to talk to strangers and to always slowly look both ways three times before crossing a street—sage advice for an enthusiastic young lad with the discrimination powers and attention span of a Labrador retriever puppy, but not for a man attempting to make friends in a new area or trying to capitalize on short intervals between cars to cross a busy street. Celebrate ABMP's 25th anniversary and you may win a refund on your membership. ABMP.com. 29

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