Massage, and the business of massage, is one of those careers (like many) where the practitioner continues to learn, absorb and expand after their initial training that brought them into the field. In the state of Oregon massage is licensed under the Oregon Board of Massage Therapists who set requirements for and administer tests to determine a person’s minimum competency before issuing a license.
So once a person is licensed in Oregon, they get to begin....
Now, some massage therapists were raised with massage (not me, I'm a late starter) and learned something of the art of touch from friends and family. So when they became licensed (LMTs) they already have had many years of experience. But in general, you can use the length of time your therapist has been licensed (since 1992 for me) as something of a guide to their experience level.
Once the LMT begins practicing out in the real world (or one of them, anyway) they often, slowly or quickly, begin to focus on an area and expand their knowledge as well. So with more experience they begin to get more skill, and a wider background, as well as more precise information in some areas.
If the therapist continues on these paths they may find themselves learning just how little they know.
Some of us think this is a good place to be.
My “job” with you as my client, is to find out how I can best be of service to you in your own path through this rather interesting thing we call life, using a range of tools grouped under the label massage. In the most general term this means using physical manipulation of the soft tissues of your body to help you relax and heal. My work pretty much falls under the labels of "deep tissue" and “general relaxation.” Typically I combine techniques to best match why you are on my table, which may also include Reiki.
Reiki is a specific form of “energy work” with far greater potential for one’s healing than massage, but is also extremely subjective. So, for instance, if you have a sore shoulder that brings you to my office I will be doing deep tissue massage for the simple reasons that you will know what I have done, and will know whether it was effective or not for you in a relatively short period of time (days, not months). But if you come into my office wondering what your place is in this rather strange world we experience, Reiki may be a big part of what we explore, even if what we “do” is obviously Swedish Massage.
And, of course (here is the philosophy part), most of what we experience is a combination of things made up of the physical, mental, emotional, spiritual; and we can probably though in things like cultural, historical and philosophical as well. Usually there is much more at work in creating that sore shoulder than we can trace back to a specific source. Some people just want to stop being in pain (deep tissue massage) and some people want to explore why they are in pain (Reiki). Both routes, and any combination of them, work for different people at different times. In some ways I see myself as a simple facilitator, a resource, for your healing.
So what does any of that mean as far as working with you goes?
I have a small office in downtown Corvallis in one of our beautiful old buildings where I work independently, by appointment. I typically offer a 90 or 60 minute massage, usually full body focusing on your specific issues at this time. During your session you will be lying on a comfortable massage table, draped with sheets, in a warm room with soothing music and fountains. Many people are comfortable being nude during the massage, with just the immediate areas we are working on being undraped, but others prefer to keep underwear, or even full clothing on. This is totally up to your comfort levels.
One of the keys to all bodywork is this time is your time! May it bring joy, relaxation, freedom in movement, and many pain free days to your life!
That brings us to techniques....
Continuing education is required for licensed massage therapists in Oregon, but this stuff we do is pretty fascinating, as well as fun, so most LMTs tend to take quite a bit more than what is required. Taking a bunch of different classes, from business to ethics to practical techniques, does make it difficult to answer the question of “what kind of massage do you do?” because everything I do is a blend.
So I thought I would just give you a list of some continuing education I have taken since being licensed in 1992. Understand that I make no claim of “doing” all these types of work; but it does all blend in. Also, some of these classes are simple hour long introductory lectures while some are week long intensive seminars and some are even longer. The settings for them range from monthly professional meetings to community colleges to national conventions. I am including the course name and the instructor; the rest you get to imagine.
And, last disclaimer, this is not everything....
Scope of Practice for Licensed Massage Therapist;
Creating Business Success; Tamara Felix
Dissection of the Leg, Angle & Foot; David Kent
Building and Maintaining a Successful Practice;
Karta Purkh Singli Khalsa
From ringworm to Eczema; What is that?; Ruth Werner
Introduction to Breast Massage; Leslie Giese
Research Literacy; Martha Brown Bernand
Insurance Billing; Tamara Felix
Breema; Asha Jenny Ulrich
Techniques for Releasing the Iliopsoas; Jeffrey Burch
Protection & Grounding; OMTA
Lymphatic Mapping; Bruno Chikly
Abdominal Massage; OMTA
Postural Pain and Foot Pronation; Robert King
Tax and Record Keeping; Margo Bowman
Dr. Pearl’s Reconnection and Reconnection Healing;
Sensory Psychotherapy for Bodyworkers (Hakomi Somatics); Bob Nelson
Reiki Master Training; Nadya King
Aquatic Therapy -- Trunk Act; Douglas Kinnaird
Advanced Muscular Therapy and the Mechanism
of Chronic Pain; David Welch
Deep Tissue Massage; Bill Musser
The Brand that Binds: T J Helm
Sound Healing; Kat Lyons
Pelvic Instability--Evaluation & Treatment;
Rosalie Movius, MD
Shamanic Training; David Lang
CranioSacral Therapy I; Sheryl McGavin
Bamboo-Fusion; Dari Haffie
Finding Your Niche Market; Mike Blackmore
& Nathan Nordstrom
Body Intensive Series--Iliopsoas Work; Rod Diehm
Adding Hydrotherapy Treatments to Massage Sessions;
Introduction to Stone Massage; Bruce Baltz
Common Injuries of the Shoulder & Elbow;
Ben Benjamin, PhD
Creating Relationships that Work, Ethics and Communication in Private Practice;
Ben Benjamin, PhD
Lymphatic Drainage Techniques; Cindy Milligan
Marketing Strategies For Cultural Offerings; Lolita Knight
Chinese Facial Massage; Lolita Knight
Indian Head Massage; Lolita Knight