Jonathan Sullivan is considered by many to be the top massage therapist in Austin. We’re delighted that he decided to pursue certification as a Master Myoskeletal Therapist (MMT). Achieving this certification, one of the highest standards for a massage professional, is no small feat. It takes a burning desire to get results for your clients and a great deal of commitment. You can find out more about him below. He can help you resolve pain problems that many other allied health professions struggle with, including back pain, injuries, and headaches. If you’re looking for massage therapy in Austin, give Jonathan a call.
Unofficially I have done massage most of my life from childhood with my parents and friends throughout high school and college. I have been an RMT/LMT for 34 years, officially began when I was in school for occupational therapy at OU. Before there was massage licensure in Oklahoma, I had been trading massage for haircuts with my neighbor for a year. One day while seated in her salon chair, the owner came in to say there had been a mistake and the half page ad space she bought for the new Tri-County newspaper had included mistakenly “massage therapist on staff.” Sheri looked at me and said,” Jon, you should do it!” I never thought twice about it, I bought a handmade plinth table that day and customized it by cutting off 4 inches of the table height. Then I built a wall, hoisted it up into the loft, added a door, and put my name on a shingle where the nail tech used to be. I began booking appointments early in the evening after the hairdressers had gone home. Several couples became my regulars, waiting on one another reading books and completing crosswords in my waiting room. I keep in contact still with some of them. I met my mentor at my day job in retail as a customer service supervisor. Ben had 15 years of experience then and offered to help me find my niche and appropriate value for my services. When we did a massage exchange, I received my first professional massage and knew this was what I wanted to do for people. After Ben received the massage I gave, he said,” That is the best massage I have ever had in my life!” 2 weeks later Ben asked if I had any interest in taking over half of the hours at the YMCA in Norman, Oklahoma. It was slow going at first spending 8 hours at a time in a small dark cinder block room with no windows and commercial carpeting on the floor. Finally, word got out and I began booking sessions eventually adding up to a 3-hour session for a couple of regulars. When I changed my academic program to graduate from OKC Community College with a Certified Occupational Therapist Assistant/Associates of Applied Science degree, I applied for positions in Austin, Texas as a COTA. After driving 3000 miles a month and seeing a dozen patients a day, I decided I wanted to have legal Texas LMT status and enrolled in The Lauterstein-Conway massage school and clinic after work and weekend program. After graduation, I became the guest speaker for special populations/ geriatrics for 17 years. Using my geriatric massage certification from Daybreak, began teaching and assisting classes and created a volunteer program in the nursing home for 13 years with students from TLC. After my dad died at age 50, and many nursing home residents passed away that season, I realized I was emotionally fried, quit my job, and returned to work for myself in 1998.
I knew of Erik Dalton while I was studying in Norman and he was developing his methodology in Oklahoma City. At the time my interest in myofascial release peaked as I was in cadaver labs studying what lies beneath the skin. After a lot of OT work, Barnes courses, Upledger courses, and advanced upper extremity rehab continuing education, my first class with Erik was in 2010 and I ran into my old friend Paul Kelly, from St John NM. Erik’s teaching style and immediate availability of new techniques hooked me right away and I knew if Paul was into it, I was on the right track.
Myoskeletal Alignment Technique and Erik’s teachings are designed to be applied easily with minimal force and maximum effect. His multimedia teaching style is very effective. I was producing a television show on public access in Austin, Texas called “The Bodyworker,” and was aware of the difficulties of teaching methods of hands-on with mics, camera angles, lighting, and studio limitations. MAT education made the best of these while capitalizing on high energy and the latest scientific findings.
Myoskeletal alignment techniques have sharpened my clinical expertise with many pretests and methods most massage therapists never learn. My style was integrated with my life’s work and MAT helps significantly with my treatment rationale and how I utilize my hands-on time. I frequently have complex patients and clients referred to me from doctors and physical therapists to say repeatedly how they never had a good outcome until they met me.
I would suggest any hands-on practitioner be they a doctor, therapist, nurse, midwife, or clinician, get educated in MAT to better understand the body and learn simply to apply techniques to promote the highest level of spinal mobility, comprehensive alignment, and body awareness of their clients. Do not wait around, attend in person, and get started right away with the online education portion, it will elevate your clinical expertise for best outcomes.