Sunday, December 15, 2013

Neuro-Muscular Massage and Kenny G's World Record

In my senior year of high school, I was REALLY into band. I was the drum major of the marching band. I was a flute player in the top concert band and a bari sax player in the top jazz band. I also had a teacher aide period in the band room where I could conduct the freshman concert band class and finally, I took music theory one term. Needless to say, I became very close to my band director, the late Marvin Bates. He was a huge believer in the concept that music has to sound good, or nobody wants to hear it. There are plenty of musicians with loads of technical skill and knowledge of music theory, but that does not mean that they will sell very many records.

Kenny G, for example, can do some amazing things with a soprano saxophone, but I don't want to hear any of them. He holds the Guinness Book of World Records record for holding the longest continuous note, by using circular breathing. His record is 45 minutes and 47 seconds- truly amazing, and truly irritating to listen to.

Neuromuscular massage can be like Kenny G.

I prefer, generally speaking, to use Myofascial release techniques first and more regularly than NMT, because it's "Warm and golden like an oven that's wide open" as the band Cake describes in Commissioning a Symphony in C. Good music is inviting, warm, gentle and enveloping. Good massage should have similar qualities. If it doesn't feel good, nobody wants to feel it. Neuromuscular is technical, direct, and reliable to produce helpful results to clients, but it doesn't always feel good. I like to sandwich it in between stretching, fascia techniques, thermal therapy, and reflexology, to add a more cozy dimension.

There is this adorable commercial I keep seeing lately where a penguin has its foot "Smoooshed" in a cupcake. Myofascial is more Smooooshy than Neuro-muscular, which is pokey. I want to start at Smooooshy and work from there. Again, Neuromuscular is a valuable tool in the massage toolbox, just not the most useful by itself, to keep clients feeling good while receiving therapeutic, problem solving bodywork. A best-selling therapist will be one who knows the theory of neuromuscular therapy and can apply it in a pleasing way.

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