I am a massage therapist.

Categories: Stories Feb 16, 2015

I am a massage therapist and I love what I do. I love being of service helping people both move and feel better. My desire to be better at what I do has led me to search out and study a variety of movement systems. And in my pursuit I've found a movement system that has caused profound, positive, and lasting changes in my clients. It has changed how I approach my work as a massage therapist. It has left me feeling and moving better and stronger. And this movement system has also been the simplest. It is Original Strength.

And it’s really kind of funny. Because when I first heard about Original Strength through a good friend, Gabe, and began to research it, I thought he was a bit crazy. I mean all Original Strength was about was a bunch of rocking and rolling and crawling around like a baby. I had done most of these movements before. And while the movements helped a bit, I didn’t experience anything all that earth shattering. But I know Gabe to be smart. I know him from a form of massage I practice. And he's a very talented bodyworker. So I figured if Gabe was convinced, I'd just sign up for an OS workshop. And I am so glad I did. I may have thought I did Original Strength style movements prior to the workshop, but boy was I ever wrong!

I mean I thought I knew how to do movements like crawl, and rock, and roll. After all, I had attended workshops that utilized these movements. But doing these movements or 'resets' as they're called in OS, at an OS workshop, made all the difference. We were offered regressions and progressions and all kinds of different ways to 'press reset'. I was blown away at the positive changes I witnessed in everyone who attended, including myself.  And the beauty of OS is that the Original Strength System is built to afford an entry point for every person. There are ways to 'press reset' for everybody. And that's what Original Strength is about, movement for all.

And at my first OS workshop my 'mental wheels' started spinning. I saw so many applications of OS for my clients, and for myself. I watched as really strong men and women became even stronger after just a couple of 'resets'. Ridiculously simple movements  that seemed so unrelated, for instance, to achieving a deeper and heavier goblet squat or a pistol squat. But those simple 'resets' got the job done. By 'pressing reset' restrictions that had been holding people back seemed to disappear. The brakes came off. People's bodies became more functionally integrated. People started moving according to their design. And 'pressing reset' also made a difference for me. Me with a beat up 50+ year old body that's been bent overmassage tables for years. I began to feel my body release and start moving with more fluidity, strength, and grace.

After that first OS workshop I was geeked and couldn't wait to share what I learned with my clients. And luckily I have clients who are game to try new things. I found it amazing that I was often able to get muscles to release and start doing what they were designed to do by just utilizing OS resets. In many instances my clients and I were able to accomplish in several minutes what would have taken at least twice as long without OS. Some of my clients are now wanting sessions that are solely OS.

Now has Original Strength totally replaced massage in my practice? Not. At. All. Very little in this world beats how wonderful a good massage feels and what it can accomplish. What OS has done is it has greatly enhanced the efficacy of the bodywork I do. Properly utilizing OS resets with my clients builds a strong foundation for me to be better able to use the tools in mymassage therapy toolbox. Showing my clients how to ‘press reset’ with say, a few OS breathing and head nod resets, prepares my clients for the work to be done. Other times, for example, I may teach some OS rocking resets to help a client with a sore back restore their hip hinge movement. And at the end of a session I have my clients walk a bit to integrate the work we've done. And yes, in the OS System, walking is a 'reset'.

Tim Anderson and Sarah YoungA very wise person once said, "If you give a man a fish you feed him for a day. If you teach a man to fish you feed him for a lifetime.” I believe this adage applies to blending Original Strength into my massage practice. So much of what I do in massage requires my clients to come to me. Original Strength provides me with very simple and sound tools, 'resets', that I can teach my clients so they can help themselves to feel and move better. And they don't need any fancy devices. All they need is their own bodies to start restoring their foundation of movement with OS.

I also think Original Strength has helped me become a better massage therapist because of the difference OS continues to make in my own body. When I practice my OS resets my body and mind are quieted and I am more relaxed. I become more tuned into movement, my own, and that of others. It's the darnedest thing. In that state I can be more present for my clients. And that is a very good thing!!

It's also wonderful to hear a client in her seventies exclaim, after an OS centered session, "Wow!! I feel 20 years younger!!" Or to hear how a client who had leaked when she laughed or coughed tell me she is no longer leaking. Or to hear how my clients are using OS to help them run or golf or swim or ski or rock climb or do yoga or to cope with having a desk job.

I believe OS is a gift. And it is a gift that keeps on giving. Because the more I play with OS in my own practice the more depth I uncover. I find more ways to implement 'resets'. I find more ways to serve my clients with OS, from my 90 year olds to my 9 year olds. And yes, OS is not always the answer for every issue my clients experience. I believe in referring out when need be. But I also know that OS has totally shifted my practice and I'm better able to serve my clients. And that's something else I believe being a massage therapist and an Original Strength Coach have in common, the idea of being of service.

I am so grateful that I listened to Gabe (thanks again Gabe!) and attended my first OS workshop. I learned so much there and I keep learning at each OS workshop I attend. I also learn by listening to my body in own OS practice. There is truly hope, and wisdom, in movement. Through OS I've learned how to reclaim both. Why not let Original Strength do the same for you?


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