Body Sense

Winter 2012

Issue link: https://www.bodysensemagazinedigital.com/i/99568

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"How, Exactly, Does Massage Therapy Work?" The Anatomy of Happiness By Douglas Nelson A s I greeted Craig in the waiting room, the radiant smile on his face told me we were making good progress on his shoulder pain. "My shoulder is so much better," he remarked as he entered my treatment room. "I hardly think about it anymore—not when I am exercising, not during sleep, not at work, nothing. I am thrilled." As a massage therapist who specializes in dealing with specific muscular issues, this is exactly what I hope to hear from the people I serve. "The muscle in the back of my shoulder you treated last session seemed to completely eliminate the remnants of my shoulder pain. Each of our previous sessions has focused on slightly different aspects of my shoulder discomfort, with different muscles playing a role each time. I must say that the educational process has been just as valuable as the hands-on work. It has given me a greater understanding of my own body, what to do, and maybe more importantly, what not to do. I discovered that there were motions at work— and also at the gym—that were irritating my shoulder, and I have a better sense of what was happening to my shoulder and why. This whole process is so interesting and educational." As someone who prides himself in both precise hands-on treatment and client education, I found that Craig's statement was music to my ears. "So, I'm a little perplexed," he announced. "About what?" I asked. "About how massage works," he said with a smile. As a massage therapist who was feeling pretty good about himself, I was thrown for a bit of a loop. "I came to see you for help with my shoulder," he continued, "but one of the most striking benefits of my massage treatment is the effect on my mood. When I leave your office and go back to work, I seem to function much more efficiently; I get way more stuff done than usual. Mostly, I am in a much better mood, much happier, and more positive about the world. I have really enjoyed understanding Body Sense 5

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