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It usually does not take long before a patient will ask, "How did you get into massage?" This is my story - the longer version...
I suffer(ed) the same ills, injuries, and issues, as anyone else - possibly more so because of my career requirements. As best as I can, I drink my own kool aid. That means that before I give advice or treat someone, I have taken the same advice myself, had the same treatment myself, or treated family and friends, using exactly the same techniques. I can speak directly to a number of issues, because I have experienced them directly, or indirectly, myself.
I have training in personal fitness - Ask me how I replaced 25 lbs of fat with 25 lbs of muscle. I continue to set personal best lifting records.
I have training in nutrition - Ask me how I lost 24 lbs in 6 weeks. (It worked so well, I'm doing it again!)
I have training in psychology - Ask me how I quickly overcame Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Severe Depression, and Severe Anxiety Disorder.
I know how to observe, and when to experiment - Ask me about a modality I created to help another massage therapist to change from a severely depressed state to smiling and energetic in less than a minute.
I have dabbled with essential oils to come up with a custom recipe for pain control - Ask me how I keep the pains of heavy weight lifting and repetitive strain injury at bay.
I am Canada's first (and Alberta's only) Master Myoskeletal Therapist (MMT). Ask me how I overcame pain, posture, injury, stress, physical performance, and mobility issues, using the same Myoskeletal Alignment Therapy (Extended) - MAT(E) - techniques, principles, and advice I offer to you...
"Get It Done - Do It Well"
This is a philosophy I always try to live up to in my life and my careers.
In my dancing, I put in time and effort to learn principles and technique so that my partners will have an enjoyable experience.
When I was in the military, RCMP, and other careers, I found ways to make processes more efficient, effective, and less expensive.
When I was in the I.T. Industry, I created a spam control service that is 100% effective and still hasn't been equaled, and a development methodology that allowed rapid development and prototyping while ensuring quick/easy bug fixes and generally bulletproof applications.
"When all you have is a hammer, everything tends to look like a nail." In most things I undertake, I tend to do a lot more than required, on my own. With manual therapy, I am constantly training or reviewing - I have a lot of tools in my belt. Knowing when NOT to use one is just as important as knowing which one is the best to use for any circumstance. Does your therapist learn and do more than just the bare minimum required?
"Lead, Follow, Or Get Out Of The Way!"
This philosophy has many attributions, with the most popular (and possibly obvious) being with a military connotation. The military is where I first heard this. Nike says the same thing with their "Just Do It!" line.
I find obvious connection with my (couples) dancing, too. One person must lead, while the other follows, or it just doesn't work. And if you aren't doing either, get off the dance floor before you get trampled :-)
It also has application, for me, with life in general. I am here to build relationships and to help others. Sometimes that means I have to take the lead. Sometimes, in order for cooperation to work, I need to follow (refer to) someone else. Sometimes I just need to get out of the way because others are getting done what is necessary.
I belong to a large number of peer therapy groups. Depending on who you ask, I am either an Opinion Leader, or a $#*T Disturber! And for exactly the same reason: I buck the status quo and do what works, where others are stuck in a mindset that stifles progress.
Who Are My Ideal Patients?
The best match for me is someone who takes their health seriously and makes it a priority. After all, being in your best health will have positive influences in everything that you do. Whether your reasons are just for yourself, or because you need to be your best for others, I am here for you.
I serve many health professionals (and their families). Now, being a health professional doesn't automatically confer one with a healthy attitude, though if someone constantly sees the result of poor health, it should at least make them think. Some known health professionals I have treated include physical therapists, nurses, dental hygienists, and other massage therapists - one massage therapist even brought me her BFF to treat! By extension, I will include owners and staff (and their families) of spas and clinics I practiced at. And I'll stretch a little and suggest that school teachers, by the fact that they are concerned for the welfare of their students, are also health professionals, in this sense.
Athletes of all stripes, as well as casualties of accident and injury, are also good matches for me - if they truly desire to heal faster and perform better. Remember that Health requires a balance of effort and recovery - workouts require recovery!
A Balanced Life
I indicated above that I am here to build relationships and to help others. In order to do that, I need life balance.
Yes, I am available to help others, through my career, much of that time. But what do I do for myself?
Actually, I have many more interests than I could possibly have time for, so I have to limit what I do, or else I cannot do justice to any of them.
At the moment, besides treating people, I mostly do a variety of workouts (Stronglifts weight lifting, High Intensity Interval Training with a rowing machine, Aerobics Rowing), West Coast Swing and Zouk dance, and I read. Most of my reading is for self-improvement, and that includes a fair amount regarding my therapies and treatments. Then there is all the training I do on my own. I love it, so it's not a chore, as some people might think regarding their own careers. When the opportunities arise, I enjoy a variety of outdoor activities, and time with family and friends.
These types of things are what I wish for you, and you can count on me to help you get and stay healthy so that you can do that, or whatever else you choose!