I’m a massage connoisseur. I have had professional massages in over 5 different countries from Eastern Europe to Southeast Asia. I contacted Michelle because I wanted a massage before going on a 4 month backpacking trip through Peru. I needed a tune-up and some relaxation. Every time I get a massage, I mention that I have a bit of chronic pain in my back. I’ve always assumed this pain was from having a computer oriented job and a rather large chest. I do yoga on a weekly basis, which helps immensely, but the tightness in my hips and mid back is hard to ignore some times. I’ve always focused more on hip opening stretches, twists, and spine extensions for self-relief. With other massages, the therapist focused on the back and the neck. Strait forward attention to the problem areas, but after one session with Michelle I realized I’ve been looking at things a bit segmented.
At the beginning of the therapy session I realized this is not your normal massage. To start my session Michelle analyzed my posture, my walk, and my flexibility. She immediately noticed that my posture was a bit off keel. I was leaning to one side while standing. When I got on the table for the massage – Michelle gasped at my feet. The tops of my feet were so tight that part of my shin wasn’t lying on the table. Something no other practitioner has mentioned to me before. I told her that I can’t count the number of times I’ve sprained my ankle. “Ah ha”, she said. Michelle explained to me that the tendons surrounding my ankles were pulling along the sides of my body-Shortening my posture, straining my hips, and basically pulling everything out of wack. My ankles and calves were key ingredients in my body map, which guided her work. She spent most of the 1hr massage focusing on my legs and ankles. Her motions were very precise working the tissue with small movements, as if she was un-tying the knots rather than just kneading them into submission. She also used a technique where she applied contraction and stretch to the muscle groups releasing them like a Chinese finger trap.
After she was done I could lay my ankles flat on the table, I appeared taller when standing, my walk had improved, and the pain in my hips was almost nonexistent. It really was miraculous. She also showed me the ABC foot stretch, which I love! I used that trick a lot during my trip in Peru to release stress from long days of walking and tune my legs for carry my hiking boots.
All in all I would say it was an awesome session. Michelle’s use of Aston-Patterning hit home a concept that I thought I already understood- the body is connected.
Thank you Michelle!