I find the human body fascinating, and understanding how to work with it even more so.
I started my career in massage and bodywork in 1998, working in spas while continuing to study and hone my skills. I am still doing that today (though I haven’t worked in spas for many years).
Over the years, I have studied many different modalities and systems. The first one that I really fell in love with was St. John Neuromuscular Therapy (NMT) (now called NeurosomaticTherapy), which I was fortunate to find out about from my first massage instructor. It is a comprehensive system of structural bodywork that addresses the body in numerous different ways (I have dedicated a page on this website to describing it), and over the years I have had very good results using it. However, the better I got at using NMT, the more I noticed what it didn’t do, along with what it did do.
As indicated by the name, NMT is a system based on some fundamental neurological principles. One key observation was noting the difference between fascial adhesions and neural tone in soft tissues. Over time, I found that hypertonicity (increased neural tone) was the primary culprit and far more prevalent. Over the last 50 years, fascial adhesion and deformation of its mechanical properties has been the main focus in the field of soft tissue work.
Then I came across a system called NeuroKenetic Therapy, in which the practitioner uses manual muscle testing to assess for muscles that are inhibited (apparently weak), and then looks for, finds, and stimulates another muscle that is causing the problem, making the inhibited muscle strong. This intrigued me, as the implication of neurology being predominant in soft tissues, as opposed to fascia (connective tissue), was eye-opening. It also changed the way I viewed and addressed the body, from a biomechanical model (as in NMT) to a neurological one. Through my study of NeuroKenetic Therapy I was introduced to P-DTR (proprioceptive deep tendon reflex), which was developed by Jose Palomar, M.D. This is one of the most amazing neurologically based systems I have ever come across. P-DTR also uses manual muscle testing to assess, but in a much more sophisticated way (there is a page describing it on this website). In 2010 I started learning P-DTR and figuring out how to blend it with Neuromuscular Therapy.
During that time, I found out about a neurologically based movement system called Z-Health, developed by Eric Cobb, D.C., who, among many things, is a functional neurologist (functional neurology was developed by Frederick Carrick, D.C., Ph.D.) Z-Health was developed to use the latest in neuroscience to increase athletic performance. Using simple neurological assessments to identify areas of deficient neurological activity that can affect athletic performance, the Z-Health practitioner corrects the problem by giving the athlete simple drills and exercises that provide stimulation to a specific area of the brain and nervous system. This is one of the most amazing systems I have ever come across (and I have also dedicated a page to Z-Health).
All that being said, a session with me can be a bit odd. I look at posture, gait, eyes, balance, and coordination. I muscle test, tap, rub, do deep tissue, have you make sounds, have you stand on one leg, and maybe even tickle you (for therapeutic reasons, of course), and you will see and feel positive results.
I am continuing to study Z-Health and P-DTR and blend them with NMT.