The magic of this work lies in the specific needs of each client and the ability as well as the training of the practitioner to see what is possible. I find that many clients, who have already been seeing a massage therapist or physical therapist, are un-sure what to expect from out session. I decided to describe how a session might go. I hope this gives you insight into my techniques and philosophy for helping the body heal.
1. We sit down and talk about your medical history, especially regarding any issues of interest (better posture, a bad knee, sore elbow, lower back problems etc). We discuss things that work as well as things that have not worked.
2. I look at your alignment. This is crucial in Aston-Patterning. I will assess your alignment in various positions and movements. From basic sitting, standing or walking to specialized movements like your running gate or tennis swing. I analyze your movement and will create optimal movement sequences to improve any sport.
3. You get a full body palpation. Using light touch, I assess your body’s tightness. Observing each tension I find how it is related to the rest of your body- paying close attention to tight muscles that might be affecting your current physical issue.
4. We choose a track that works best for you. Based on my assessment I choose a therapy “track” to improve relationships within your body. For example, a person comes in with spine pain. It could be that the calves are too tight and this may pull the knees into hyperextension- displacing the pelvis forward so that it pulls the spine out of place. For this condition I would choose a placement track. If we can loosen the calves sufficiently in relation to the pelvis, the strain on the spine would neutralize. The spine would stay “in place” becoming less painful.
5. The bodywork begins.
• I create a body map
A body map indicates areas of tightness and current body position, which determines the sequence of the session.
• I begin the massage, working deep and integrating with the surface
Using a variety of Aston Techniques, I work from most to least tight areas. The benefits of Aston Massage techniques are that each session is developed for each person for that day. I match the tightest tissue using accurate Massage techniques, which results in specific changes in alignment. Arthrokinetics addresses the joint surfaces and deepest held areas along the bone. Myokinetics is the release of very specific areas of tension such as a muscle spasm or areas that have a specific tension pattern. Aston Massage is used last to integrate tissue from superficial to deep.
• Pain doesn’t always mean gain
All these types of massage feel very comfortable even though the work is very deep at times.
• I help the body communicate
If someone were to come in with tennis elbow, I would work specifically at the elbow and then integrate the whole arm, shoulder, and ribs. Integrating the surrounding areas into the massage gets the body cooperating, creating functional changes at the elbow.
6. We wrap things up with new movement. At the end of the session, we would return to movement. Utilizing the changes made during the session we would find a new path of movement to keep the changes available and comfortable. The client would leave with a “Movement cue” to apply frequently during their day to utilize and continue to integrate changes.