Body Sense

WINTER | 2015

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Bonnie Crowder has had a physically demanding life in the livestock industry—bucking hay, driving farm implements, treating sick horses. "You name it, I've done it," she says. But this tough Colorado cookie crumbled when she heard she needed to get a massage. "I'm 80 years old, and I've never had a massage before," she says. "I was scared to death. I finally booked it, and I had to wait a week before my appointment. You don't know how many times I canceled it in my mind, but my body was saying, 'No, I've wanted this for a long time.'" After a one-hour session with massage therapist Christa Phipps, Crowder is a convert. "I can't believe I fought it for as long as I did, because it was so wonderful! I can't wait to go back." All Crowder's years of hard work in the livestock industry led to a left knee replacement in 2010 and a right hip replacement in 2014. She has problems walking, so her doctor prescribed therapy. "The physical therapist felt I should think about having a massage because every muscle in me is tied up tight." The synergy between physical therapy and massage is crucial, Phipps says, and Crowder's case is a perfect example. "She's been really great to work with," Phipps says. "It's so helpful when clients do their exercises and stretches at home that are prescribed by the physical therapist, alongside massage therapy. It's a whole-team approach, but she really made the difference for herself." SETTING THE STAGE It's important to communicate expectations with new clients, especially seniors, Phipps says. Discussing medical history, contraindications, and medications helps put both massage therapist and client at ease. "It's nice to have a line of communication that helps clients feel more comfortable with you," Phipps says. "It lets them know you fully understand their circumstances and you're willing to work with them as best you can." 14 Body Sense A Win-Win Massage Convert and Her MT Inspire Each Other By Leslie A. Young

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