What conditions can your therapy be helpful in treating?
I am a soft-tissue specialist and can treat just about any soft-tissue injury, as long as there is not a broken bone, torn ligament, or underlying disease. I always recommend that a person with an injury first see a primary care physician to rule out a serious condition or disease. That said, I have worked extensively with sprains, pulled and torn muscles, stiff neck, tendinitis, repetitive stress syndrome, as well as spinal cord and other central nervous system injuries.
Why does your approach include considering lifestyle, work, and physical activities?
I look at person's lifestyle and activities to access how they might trigger pain and inflammation in their bodies. This is especially important in treating chronic conditions. I think of it as a type of search and rescue mission, tracing the source of pain back to certain activities or behaviors. Often I can retrain muscles and suggest changes in certain activities in order to fix the problem.
How does your work differ from traditional massage therapy?
My approach is to correct something within the soft tissues that is out of balance. Where there is too much stress around different joints in the body, the stress will restrict the muscles cells and create pain around the joint. I focus on fixing a specific problem and treat it accordingly. This usually involves getting soft tissues to release from their contractive, reactive pattern. I am not a general massage therapist that offers a sixty or ninety minute session. My treatments range from twenty minutes to over an hour, depending on the problem.
How many treatments are necessary before I will notice an improvement in my condition?
Usually a client will notice a substantial difference in the way they feel after one to three sessions. Some of my "high-performance" clients who are involved in very demanding physical activities come for treatment once or twice a week. Although many issues that I see people for are corrected after several treatments.
What is about your therapy that allows you to so effectively treat people in the performing arts?
Performers need to have their bodies working in a very refined, specific way almost all the time. From my many years of working with dancers, musicians and actors, I have seen many recurring injuries and am confident that I can fix them in a timely fashion. My treatments allow performers to get back to work when they have to. This is why I tour with The Mark Morris Dance Group as a resident therapist. The same is true about my work with Michael Tilson Thomas and members of the San Francisco Symphony. By understanding the specific body mechanics that musicians or dancers use, I am able to help keep their muscles and joints working optimally.
How does your treatment of Tendonitis differ from more traditional therapy?
Let’s take Achilles tendonitis, for example. Achilles tendonitis is a result of overuse of the lower leg’s prominent muscles (the gastrocnemius and soleus muscles) which terminate in the Achilles tendon. Symptoms include inflammation and pain, and result in a contraction of soft tissues from the body’s protective response. As the body tries to compensate for the injury, other muscles in the affected area are adversely stressed and irritated.
Unlike treatments that focus solely on the inflamed portion of the tendon, and often cause more irritation, my method uses Hilot principles to treat surrounding muscles and tendons and to restore normal blood/chi flow to the inflamed areas. The treatment lengthens soft tissues to their normal condition, eliminating irritation from movement and making the muscle/tendon less vulnerable to further strains or tears.