Massage for Everyone! by Kiambu Dickerson

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My interest in writing about massage comes from the desire to increase awareness of the power of hands on therapy. Many of my clients lived with pain for years, exhausting every recommended solution before finally finding a type of bodywork they previously never heard of. In order to illuminate the options for and benefits of massage to someone living with discomfort or pain, the topic must be brought to light and the information made accessible. Massage is a form of hands on Bodywork akin to the soft tissue compliment to the western medical practices of Chiropractic or Osteopathy. Among the list of practices, bodywork used to reverse the poor postural habits that contribute to most chronic back and neck pain is comparably inexpensive to surgery and monthly prescriptions that mask the symptoms without resolving the issue. Bodywork encompasses many 100% renewable and “green” ancient as well as modern sciences usually overlooked by a prescribed pharmaceutical led medical model. The so-called secrets of fine tuning an athlete’s body for better performance are well-known by experienced structural bodyworkers but unfortunately only those athletes in the know; from the weekend warrior to the top seeded elite reap the benefits. Creating a more integrated self through education and awareness is an issue at the forefront of alternative medicine and wellness practices with Acupuncture, Pilates and Yoga leading the way in the media. In my ten years of experience i have found that bodywork can often fill the gaps left by our current medical model as well as compliment alternative practices.
Massage gets the spots that you feel are “stuck” in yoga and relieves over worked gym muscles. Good structural bodywork helps us achieve physical balance and symmetry in a world that lends itself to entropy via gravity’s constant pull. Rehabilitation can be sped up through specialized scar tissue mobilization techniques and some surgeries have been completely averted through proper assessment and treatment.
Bodywork can be used to help almost anyone reverse their postural “bad” habits formed by repetitive motion and Long periods of immobility eg; sitting at a desk typing and using a mouse five days a week.
Though not everything can be resolved by musculoskeletal manipulation, the most common pains and aches as well as many idiopathic ones that doctors (although we need and trust them) simply don’t have the time or training to cure lie in the soft tissues.
Physical therapists and even most occupational therapists, Osteopaths and Chiropractors are more holistic western medicine practitioners often referred to pre and post surgery patient in pain. Any good therapist utilizes a wide referral base of health care professionals to assist with providing their clients the most appropriate therapy available. I receive referred patients of Orthopedic surgeons and Osteopaths, Chiropractors and even other bodyworkers. I likewise refer out to the appropriate specialist when I am unable to help. Bodywork must be considered in the time of the unaffordable health care crisis that is often a topic of debate throughout America.
With health and wellness on everyone’s mind nowadays, massage is an under utilized tool due not to lack of success rather lack of knowledge. Massage is written about in smatterings here and there but not in an in-depth way that highlights all the uses of hands on therapies and makes them accessible to the reader. I would like to help enlighten the masses and do my part to usher in a more holistic and all encompassing medical future in a world looking for better more appropriate answers to the same old questions underserved by outdated “modern” medicine.

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