Recently, I’ve had the pleasure to meet this amazing guy in my running community. His name is Joshua Young and he is an amazing trail runner (um not a single injury in 20 years? Certified amazing) and he just so happens to be a RMT and offered to check me out. And if you’ve been reading my blog for a while then you know how my body mechanics is a bit out of whack from my inactive glutes to my foot turning funny which some led to a hundred problems in my leg and causing inflammation. It’s gotten to the point where I don’t even remember half my problems!
So my treatment with Joshua was slightly different from my previous experience with an RMT. Instead of working on what I complained about (ie my tight hip flexors), he tried to find the root cause. He started off by testing my muscle strength to see where the problem areas are. After seeing where my weaknesses were, he found that my talus (which is the only bone in the body with no muscles attached) between the ankle bones fell out of place! The talus shift caused several muscles to become weak due to mechanical compensation. Weird huh? So Joshua popped it back in place and taped me up!
Another problem area I had were my thumbs/wrist. As you all know, I LIVE on my phone and on my laptop. When I’m not shelving books (hard on the wrist), I’m working on my laptop and phone (hard on my thumbs, wrists, and hands). Over time, I’ve noticed some pretty intense pain that will crop up on thumb area when I’m on my phone or typing for too long at my desk. Turns out my scaphoid bone also had come out of place and was causing me pain. Struggles of a blogger right?
Image from Wikipedia
Anyways, below is a little interview I had with Joshua to get to know him better and why everyone should see an RMT at least once!
What is your history as a RMT, what brought you into the industry, a little about your running self
Joshua: I’ve been a therapist (acupuncture, reflexologist, exercise trainer since 1997) and an RMT since 2006. I’ve always loved the body and how it works, rehabilitation and performance have always been a great interest to me as well. And, I’ve always wanted to do something that allowed me to help others achieve their health and wellness goals… It’s a very rewarding career and I love what I do, it’s so great to meet and help folks that are interested in learning how to improve their health. I’ve been a long distance runner for almost 20 years and although I’m not a fan of racing, I’ve done a few from 10km to 50miles. My greatest running accomplishment is that I’ve never been injured. My running foundation (feet) has allowed me to stay stable and strong.
Why should people get massages? Do you have to be an athletes?
Joshua: Everyone should get some kind of therapy occasionally, even if they don’t have an injury. Life, sports, hobbies, work, neglect, repetitive stress all add up and can lead to biomechanical stress and imbalance which can eventually create compensatory changes in the body leading to inflammation, and breakdown of the tissues which support and move the joints. The difference between the athlete and average person is that the athlete has a higher likelihood of acute traumatic injury or muscular imbalances and needs to recover quickly so they can train hard. The average person develops their muscular imbalances over time and their compensatory changes are different, they usually involve “locking up” the body (rib cage, spine, hips) and lead to a major reduction of range of motion and thickening of the tendons due to lack of movement.
What are the types of massage therapy available? What do you recommend? (ie sports, deep tissue, trigger point)
Joshua: There are many types of massage (swedish, lymphatic, sports, thai, tui na, shiatsu, rolfing, etc) and they all have benefits. The elements of each can also be incorporated into a very well rounded treatment methodology. However, I’m a big proponent of assessment, because if you’re not assessing your work you have no idea which makes a “functional change” in the body.
What problems do you see most often as an RMT? How do you treat it?
Joshua: The injuries I see most commonly are foot (plantar fascititis, achillies), knee, back and shoulder problems, but their origin can be from a wide variety of causes. This is why I assess everything I do to try to get to the root cause of the biomechanical and muscular weakness. This is to ensure that the work I do has long lasting effects, especially when followed up by the client by doing their homework.
You can find out more about Joshua here on his Facebook page.