6 Signs You Should be a Massage Therapist

 

1. 9 to 5 job just isn’t for you

You like a flexible work schedule where you can choose your hours. Massage therapy is the perfect fit – you can work as little or as much as you want at the hours you choose. You won’t be sitting at a desk all day – you will be working with people, helping them to feel better.

 

2. You like working with your hands


Massage therapy is a career that lets you directly interact with people and help them. How do you do this? With your hands! And elbows. And forearms. You get the satisfaction of feeling muscles release and knowing the relief this will give your clients.

 

3. You want to be your own boss

There are so many different environments to work in as a Massage Therapist. More and more are creating their own business and becoming their own boss. You get to make all the decisions – hours, location, specialty. You get to take control of your own professional life!

 

4. You like working in a low stress environment


Massage therapy is all about relieving stress and encouraging relaxation. Working as a Massage Therapist gives you the opportunity to be in this environment for the working hours of your day. As you help clients relax, you also relax.

 

5. You are curious by nature and constantly want to learn

The human body is complicated and amazing. As a Massage Therapist you will constantly be learning new techniques, specialties, and skills. You will never be bored or lacking in new knowledge to learn.

 

6. You like helping people

11.01Practical.BodyMechanics.Tammie1
Massage Therapy is all about helping people. You help them relieve tension in their muscles. You help them feel more connected with their body. You help them relax and de-stress from their everyday life. Nothing is more rewarding than when you have a client come off your table remarking how much better they feel after the massage!

 


Start your new career as a Massage Therapist today!
CLICK HERE to check out our upcoming classes.

A SERIES OF SACRED SATURDAYS

11.01.AnatomyClass.MuscleModelingThis weekend we began a new class who will be here each Saturday all day 8:00am-5:45pm for a year. On the one hand this is a tremendous sacrifice – but we remember that means “making sacred”. So it’s, on the other hand, a “SERIES OF SACRED SATURDAYS”.

And as I was welcoming them this first morning, I recalled rather suddenly how I had spent four years of Saturdays in high school, going to the Old Town School of Folk Music in Chicago, every Saturday during high school. It was heaven. Playing music together, learning new things on our instruments, getting in touch with the deep roots of our humanity as one finds them through folk musics of the world. It was like 4 years of music camp…heaven.

So is this one year of massage school – a camp, a series of heavenly experiences, a sacrifice, a series of sacred Saturdays. Aldous Huxley inspired the early days of Esalen talking about the “non-verbal humanities.” Indeed what we learn from massage school at its best is the enormous missing piece of our education. What was left out? – emotions, body, and the relationship of these with the mind and the spirit.

So these people who all WANT to be in class get to study the very roots of their being; get to experience this in an embodied way through touch, not just academically or abstractly. They achieve a qualitatively new level of knowledge of self, knowledge of others. With eyes wide open how could one not proceed to become the hero of his or her own life? I look forward to the personal and professional triumph of each one of these fascinating people.


Miss out on the Saturday schedule? We still many options for class schedules – CLICK HERE to see our upcoming class schedules!

TLC is honored to be bringing a world famous teacher to Austin next month – Nancy Dail

Nancy Dail is the author of Kinesiology for Manual Therapies. In 1974 she began her career combining acupuncture, massage and Aikido. She founded her school, one of the foremost in the U.S., the Downeast School of Massage, in Maine in 1981.

Anytime you have the opportunity to learn from someone with 40 years of therapeutic experience and over 30 years as a teacher, it is a rare chance – one not to be missed!.

She has taught clinical massage and sports massage in Russia as well as all over the U.S.. She has worked at the Olympics, presented for 8 years at the Boston Complementary Medicine Symposium, and is a founding member of the National Sports Massage Team.

Ms. Dail is nationally recognized for her approach to manual therapy called “Dimensional Massage.” In the “Dimensional Massage” classes she shows participants how to combine deep tissue strokes specially designed to balance joints, knowledgeably addressing ALL the muscles that produce or oppose the actions of the involved joints.

Participants in these classes learn how to analyze posture and how repetitive holding patterns affect soft tissue response.

She will present in-depth illustrated lectures on anatomy and kinesiology clearly showing the involvement of chronic structural issues and dysfunctional movement patterns, trigger points, and referred pain patterns for the focus areas. Then Nancy will show and guide workshop participants through lots of advanced techniques and hands-on practice of DMT on specific muscles especially in the neck and upper extremities, taking into account the unique structure of the individual client.ce.nancydail-214x300


Learn from Nancy Dail at the Dimensional Massage for Neck and Upper Extremity Pain workshop on April 17-19. CLICK HERE to register today!

Touch and the Real Meaning of Life

The hard rain and wind are ways the cloud has to take care of us.
– Rumi

11.01.Kayciaback1Learning massage is never a matter of just acquiring technical skills. Massage school is also a place where people have a chance to respond with gentleness, with touch, and with knowledge to painful things in their lives. People come with hope regarding finding more meaningful work, often after deeply frustrating work lives. They also come with conscious and unconscious hopes regarding how to achieve more lasting happiness and health. This learning is an extremely poignant process.

The following letter dramatizes through its particular story the incredible impact that studying hands-on healing has on the life of the student and the people he or she in turn touches.

This letter was written to David Lauterstein, John Conway and our staff at The Lauterstein-Conway Massage School from our graduate, Lori Dupree. We and Lori want to share it to amplify your inspiration and to speak to what massage training, at its best, offers us.

 

On August 23, 1995 I underwent a difficult operation that was a last resort to save what was left of my leg. It was about that same time a voice somewhere in my mind urged me to go to massage therapy school. It would be a very long and trying 4 months after the surgery before I would walk again. I did walk but it was limited and not always comfortable. When I moved to Austin in June of 1996 I had a little money saved and I had some sense that something positive was here for me. I went for an evaluation for a flex foot. For 10 years I had know about the flex foot. For 10 years I desperately wanted and needed the flex foot. What little money I had would not even begin to pay for this prosthesis so I followed my gut and visited the local massage schools. I knew when I entered The Lauterstein-Conway Massage School that first time that I had found a place I needed to be.

So TLC is where I spent the little money I had. My leg was already showing signs of breakdown and infection. The prosthesis was uncomfortable and needing to be replaced. I had hoped I could make enough money doing massage to replace it with a flex foot. As you know, taking my leg off and getting on the table became one of the most challenging things I have ever done. With the support, gentleness and skill of the instructors and my fellow classmates I saw my leg and my spirit begin to heal. Then came the wrenching part of the class, the Business Plan. I owe much to your business instructor, Irene Watson, for the challenge she gave each of us. The challenge was to consider what we wanted out of massage; our own business, to work for someone else, sports massage, etc. Her instruction was simple: develop a written plan for what we wanted, and then implement that plan. Somewhere during one of those painful business classes came the idea of trading massage for a flex foot. I proposed to the people at Rehab Designs of America (RDA), that I trade massage on their amputee clients in return for the flex foot. To my delight they were as excited as I by the prospect and agreed to the trade.

On August 23, 1997 I graduated from TLC. It had been exactly 3 years since I lay in a hospital, unsure if I would ever walk again. Not only was I walking, I was wearing a flex foot and my leg was doing better than ever. I was doing everything I had given up, walking, running, a physically demanding job, playing sports, any sport I wanted, the list is endless.

Today was my last day at RDA. The flex foot is paid for. I cannot find the words to express my gratitude to everyone at The Lauterstein-Conway. I learned how to heal myself. I learned to skillfully touch others. Many patients at RDA experienced massage for the first time. The benefits of the massage were immediate for many of those patients. It has truly been an enriching experience for me. The flex foot became in many ways a secondary gain.

Thank you so much for everything you do here at your school. I will always look back at my time at TLC as a turning point in my life. There was a point in my life where literally every step was agonizing. Now I take hundreds of steps each day and I realize I have not consciously thought about my leg. When I think about my leg now I am in awe at the power of the flex foot, I am in awe of the power of touch. I thank the universe for everyone at The Lauterstein-Conway School and Rehab Designs of America for I know I have been touched at a level that runs much deeper than the surface of our skin. Please know that with every massage I give, I try to honor the sweet spirit I experience at TLC and RDA.

Thank you,
Lori Dupree, Licensed Massage Therapist

Structural Perspectives of the Head and Neck

ce.nancydailby Nancy Dail 

Picture a bowling ball balancing on a stick. This is similar to how the head, which weighs approximately 10-12 pounds, precariously perches on seven cervical vertebrae and disks and is supported only by a network of muscles, tendons, and ligaments. The cervical vertebrae connect to the thoracic and lumbar spines, and the trunk lends its bulk to supply a base for the neck. The muscles work constantly to support the head in its many positions. The posture of the shoulders, neck, and head influences the condition and tonicity of the muscles. When the shoulders are rounded forward from slumping in a chair, the head tries to compensate for the posture by assuming a forward position not unlike that of a turtle sticking its neck out of its shell. This does, however; present a problem.

When located in front of the body, the head is perceived to weigh more than it does when balanced on top of the spine. Gravity assists the head-forward posture to cause more pressure on the cervical vertebrae and stress on the posterior cervical muscles. The results over time could be increased tension, headaches, muscular hypertonicity, trigger points, and postural acceptance of the head-forward posture.

Regardless of the head’s actual position, all the muscles connected to the head and/or skeletal structure participate in its actions. The head can flex forward, side bend or laterally flex, rotate, extend and hyperextend. Generally, muscles located anteriorly flex the head, and muscles located posteriorly extend the head. Muscles do not work alone; they work in collective groups. They are strategically placed to oppose each other perfectly to create balance, offset primary action, and support a strong structure.

Flexion is complicated by the weight of the head, gravity, and the position of the head as it flexes. For example, when a person flexes the head forward just a few degrees, such as when reading a book, and then extends the head back slowly, the posterior cervical muscles are hard at work. While the head is in flexion, the posterior cervical muscles are lengthened or stretched, acting as brakes to prevent the head from falling forward. Over time, while the head is in this slightly flexed forward position, the posterior cervical muscles play a continual tug-of-war with the head, building up tension in the muscles that work the hardest. In constant flexion, the flexors eventually get shortened in their contracted state. It takes more force or muscle power to extend the head and counteract the action of flexion and gravity in this sustained position. It is no wonder, then, that the posterior cervical muscles have so much tension constantly combating flexion.

The same principles hold true for lateral flexion. When the head laterally flexes, the opposite side prevents the head from staying in that lateral position. The muscles on the opposite side brake in their lengthened, or eccentric, state, already anticipating contraction, or concentric action, to return the head to extension or to laterally flex to the other side.

For these reasons, it is important to use massage techniques on all the head and neck muscles because they balance each other and are really part of the total joint action. Dimensional Massage Therapy methods look at the actions of the client and then examine the opposing muscles: Which muscles are being stretched or lengthened (eccentric contraction) by the action? Which muscles are synergists (concentric contraction)? What are the primary actors or agonists, assistants or synergists, and opposing actors or antagonists, and which muscles are constantly stabilizing the joint? Remember, there may not be a lot of action. The position of the head when it is resting on a pillow or when the person is reading or working at a desk may stress the muscles that need to provide brakes, stability, or action for the head and neck. This particular aspect makes the joints and soft-tissue structures of the head and neck more complicated than others in the body.

From Kinesiology for Manual Therapies by N. Dail, T. Agnew and RT Floyd, McGraw-Hill 2011. Chapter 14.


Learn more at the Dimensional Massage for Neck and Upper Extremity Pain workshop with Nancy Dail on April 17-19. CLICK HERE to register today!

The Four Top Reasons To Learn Zero Balancing

11.01.ZB“If you love the body you must know the bone….” ~ R. Tillinghast

 

  1. Add something really effective and new to your tool bag.

    To help people more and to retain clients better, you need to be enhancing your skills and supporting your inspiration. Learning new effective work refreshes, excites you more in your work and makes you a better, more valued therapist. With Zero Balancing you learn a powerful and concise protocol to address the entire mind and body. Zero Balancing can be done in as little as a half hour – therefore it can easily integrate with and amplify the healthy effects of the work you do.

  2.  Address the whole person.

    We are basically skin, muscles, and bones. In order to have the most complete effect on health a therapist needs to know how to work all these layers. Zero Balancing gives you new and more complete access to all three layers, especially the skeletal system. Problems that don’t respond to myofascial work often need focus on the deeper connective tissues and bones. With ZB you learn ways to address the deepest layers of fascia – ligaments, joint capsules, periosteum. Zero Balancing balances out your understanding by addressing both sides of the musculo-skeletal equation.

  3. Learn how to work with structure and energy simultaneously.

    Some modalities emphasize just the structural (physical) aspects of massage, others primarily the energetic. Since people are both energetic (alive) and structural, the most complete modality will give you the ability to simultaneously work with both structure and energy. Zero Balancing (and Deep Massage, as we teach it here) specializes in giving you that ability. Awaken your sensitivity to the subtle energy body. The deepest “meridians” in the body flow through the bones and joints that connect them.

  4. Zero Balancing integrates both Eastern and Western perspectives on the mindbody connection.

    ZB’s founder, Dr. Fritz Smith’s background is as an osteopath, MD, Rolfer, Master of Acupuncture, and long-time meditation student with Western and Asian teachers. Zero Balancing has been developed to give you heightened touch skills that will affect all your work and the whole of the person. It gives you the awareness of how to affect the mind, altering body awareness and the autonomic nervous system. Since most research is showing that the mind and brain are truly the origin of most pain and tension in the body – every therapist needs to expand their knowledge and hands-on ability to effect the psychological as well as physical dimensions of the person.


Learn more at the Zero Balancing 1 workshop with David Lauterstein on March 26-29, 2015. CLICK HERE to register today!

Zero Balancing brings you back to center

by Tasha Snedaker

11.01.ZBThe modality is like a tree that just got out of a wind storm and is now… still.

It balances you like a pendulum, that, once it’s experienced the very edges of balance, and being unbalanced, it comes to center and… rests. This “center” enables the person to feel “lighter” and taller in their body. The person feels younger in their body with the weight of time appearing to have been lifted. It lends itself to allowing the body to be at ease on the earth rather than being weighed down by it.

I had the privilege of taking the Zero Balancing I class recently at The Lauterstein-Conway Massage School and my world, as a bodyworker, has gotten a lot bigger, or deeper, as some would say. My world has gotten deeper in that the body isn’t just as deep as its muscles, stressors, and skin texture; but it is also its structure. That structure is what gives ‘ground’ to the muscles and the stressors. And when that ground can be aligned to its highest potential, then the muscles will naturally follow suit. A certain negative holding pattern may shift. A certain hindering physical tendency may go away.

I used the word ‘privilege’ earlier in reference to the way that the class was taught. The course proceeded in a very methodical manner, teaching each of the steps of the protocol in a variety of learning styles: a brief lecture and diagram, use of a skeleton to demonstrate the points. The instructor demonstrated the technique on a student. Students practiced on their partners and then a touch comparison was given from the instructor or assistant. This all culminated in a full ZB I practice session between 2 students. With one instructor and three assistants there was always a chance to get your question answered. The 3-1/2 days of the teaching were interlaced with full sessions by a trained “Zber” working on participants, many of whom had never received a ZB session before. These sessions brought life to the modality and clarified through experience why it’s so effective .

It was wonderful to learn Zero Balancing I at The Lauterstein-Conway Massage School because of its diverse, thorough, and integrated teaching style. From the simple and in-depth look at its history to the practical approach of working with a variety of clients I highly recommend taking Zero Balancing 1 at The Lauterstein-Conway Massage School.


Learn more at the Zero Balancing 1 workshop with David Lauterstein on March 26-29. CLICK HERE to register today!

Grad Chronicle – James Uhl

PastedGraphic-1 copyby James Uhl

After graduating TLC in 2011 I immediately began gaining experience by working on my own practice as well as doing chair and sports massage for different events around the city. In July, 2012 I received my NASM Personal Training certification in attempt to bridge two aspects of care to help my clients. Still trying to round out my practice I received an advanced certification with Precision Nutrition as a Fitness Nutritionist, an Upper Body certification with ART (I will be certified for Full Body by the end of the year), and my certification of Applied Functional Sciences.

After working beginning positions as a therapist I have now settled into a wonderful dual practice of massage as well as personal training. I currently work at the Austin Massage Company specializing in sports rehabilitation as well as the newly open Max Training facility as a personal trainer. I hope to bridge my skills as a therapist and trainer to provide my clients with unique rehabilitative strategies to recover from their injuries and achieve their goals.

In my spare time I have created a service project called One Touch Forward as a way to give back to the community with free massages to the inspiring individuals in and around the city. I am so thankful for my time at TLC as it provided me with a wonderful foundation to explore education in the healing arts as well as a form of expression to learn more about myself.

One year at Massage School can change everything!

11.01.AnatomyClass.MuscleModelingby Shannon Young

I have been working in school admissions for years. In that time one thing I have found to be true is that there is never a perfect time to go back to school. There is never the perfect amount of money, time, or energy to make the decision super easy. Thing about it – you will be adding a new responsibility to your plate… and that means change.

So, how do you make school work? First and foremost: choose a schedule that sets you up for success!

The Saturday Only class allows you to dedicate one day a week to your future success. This gives you a week between classes to be prepared for the following week of homework and study responsibilities that come with this outstanding education.

You get to focus your energy in a way that you can still give what you need to keep your outside life running smoothly. Yes, it is a commitment to dedicate your Saturdays to your education for  year, but you will wake up each Saturday excited and ready for your work ahead to achieve your goal of a new rewarding career.

If you have always wanted to go to massage school, it will be worth it to have one day in your week dedicated to reaching that goal instead of dreaming of it.

So, I ask you – what is loving what you do worth?

We want to answer your questions and offer guidance into the best schedule to not only help you start your training but to GRADUATE and begin your new career as a Massage Therapist.

One year can change everything!

CLICK HERE to learn more about the Saturday Only class!

ALL LAYERS OF MIND AND BODY ~ HOW DOES ZERO BALANCING HELP?

11.01.ZB.David.groupYour body is composed of layers. Each one has a relatively soft, connective tissue associated with it. Generally called “fascia”, these connective tissue layers act somewhat like a series of living saran wrappings around all the tissues in the body.

The layers overall are:

  • The skin with its associated superficial fascia
  • The organs and muscles with deeper fascia around and within them
  • The joints, connected by the fascial ligaments
  • The bones with a fascial skin on them called the periosteum

Healthy movement requires that all these layers move in a coordinated fashion with each other. If the superficial muscles move, but the deeper don’t, that sows the seeds for too much tension becoming chronic in the deeper muscles. If the muscles are freely moving, but the bones and joints aren’t, that may sow the seeds for ligament damage, resulting muscle spasm, and ultimately osteoarthritis.

Therefore, a massage therapist, to fully help clients, needs to facilitate freedom within and between all of these layers. If even one layer is under-addressed, then the body’s health, balance and movement will be compromised. Ultimately this imbalance can begin to affect organ function and can lead to disease.

The superficial layers of the muscles and fascia just under the skin are well addressed by Swedish massage, hydrotherapy and various spa therapies that concentrate on the body’s surface.

The middle layers respond well to deep massage and other therapies that systematically free and organize the muscles and the fascia that lie nearer our body’s core.

The deepest structural layer is the bone and joints. This is best freed through Zero Balancing or other therapies that systematically facilitate balance and healthy function at that level.

Since the soft tissues associated with the bones and joints lie in the deepest structural layer, when imbalanced or holding chronic tension, they affect us profoundly.

A good case can be made for systematic balance in the body needing to be created from inside out.

11.01.ZBFinally there yet another “layer” that we are communicating with as we help balance these various structures. That is the nervous system, particularly the brain and the more widely distributed intelligence including the whole body that can be considered as the “mind” within the body. This nervous system is conjoined by the endocrine as well – giving us both an electrical and chemical source for deep organization of function and structure.

In Zero Balancing we recognize that this neuro-endocrine mind, the intelligence embodied in each part and layer of us, is most accessible through a systematic touch that honors in turn each of the body’s layers. This awareness – that every touch to some extent affects many layers of mind as well as body – makes this a very special and exciting modality to practice.

When we have a good idea how to touch mind as well as body, then we can usefully integrate concepts from Asian medicine that have long recognized the unity of these two – often using “energy” as a synonym for mind.

With Zero Balancing we want to balance the fascial layers and facilitate coordinated movement through enhanced proprioception and awareness, through overall a balance between and within our structure and energy. This is in some sense the Holy Grail of bodywork – because when we release only one part or aspect of the self, we have in effect created only a new kind of imbalance. The word and fact of health derives from “whole-ness” and the experience of mind and body’s unity and harmonious function.

Therefore, the study of Zero Balancing is ultimately at the very core of what we need to know to fully help our clients integrate their structure and energy.

It is a great joy of mine to teach this modality which I’ve studied and practiced now for over 25 years. I invite you to explore this fascinating understanding and technique on March 26-29. CLICK HERE to register today!

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