Although client after client may arrive at the offices of manual therapists complaining of neck and shoulder pain, the chances that the professional bodyworker will be able to provide effective, lasting relief from that pain may be all too low. However, those practitioners who have received advanced training in orthopedic massage modalities, such as Erik Dalton’s Myoskeletal Alignment Techniques (MAT), have a solid base of knowledge – including Dalton’s Motion is Lotion course – to pull from when it comes to pinpointing the source of the pain and employing the best possible techniques for alleviation. It’s not difficult to see how possessing such advanced skills and training translates to increased success for manual therapists of all kinds. After all, clients will be more likely to return to and spread the word about the practitioner who knows how to address chronic neck and shoulder pain in an effective manner.
As an example, massage therapists and bodyworkers can enhance their skills, boost referrals, and better serve clients suffering from rib, arm, neck, shoulder and back pain when they have been trained to address thoracic outlet syndrome from a first rib fixation, using deep tissue massage and joint stretching techniques straight from the MAT repertoire. Dalton teaches these techniques in his highly popular continuing education programs, which tend to appeal to practitioners who wish to work more toward the pain-management end of the manual therapy spectrum, rather than focusing mostly on relaxation. For the massage therapist, bodyworker, athletic trainer or other manual therapist who sees or wants to see clients in a clinical setting, such as a sports center or medical office, or who simply wants to develop a practice that focuses more on pain management, learning such techniques is a vital step in the right direction.
Orthopedic Massage Continuing Education
To gain foundational skills in orthopedic massage or to advance your existing skills in hands-on pain management, you can take any one of Dalton’s MAT continuing education classes. The pioneering educator and practitioner offers a small number of live seminars each year, and he also has a well-rounded catalog of home-study CE programs, as well as online massage training programs. Therefore, if you can’t make it to one of Dalton’s in-person workshops, there are plenty of options for learning the powerful MAT method of pain management right away, from the comfort of your own home or office. For example, Dalton and his team at the Freedom From Pain Institute have developed a three-DVD set called “Motion is Lotion,” and these top-notch teaching videos show practitioners exactly how to assess and address a wide array of common pain conditions, including head and neck pain, jammed ribs and facet joints, thoracic outlet syndrome, rib and arm pain, and much more.
A clip taken from “Motion is Lotion” and posted on YouTube allows prospective MAT students to get a preview of the kind of quality instruction they will get from Dalton in all his continuing education courses. In less than two minutes, this clip demonstrates a fantastic MAT move for addressing a first rib fixation. The clip is called “Seated Massage Technique for Scalenes and First Rib Pain,” and it shows Dalton and special guest Paul Kelly treating a client with first rib issues. Dalton explains that many manual therapists may not even know what a first rib should look like and feel like when it’s elevated, and to better illuminate this area, anatomical images and models of the first rib are shown in the clip. According to Dalton, the issue clients often face is that the anterior scalenes, which are used for inspiration, will get stuck — the first rib will come up but not come back down, which can cause a tremendous amount of pain and discomfort.