The way our health care system is structured today, no. We hope that over time, this changes so that people who pay so much for their monthly, mandatory insurance payments who prefer alternative treatments can have them paid for. We know that our treatments, regardless of not being paid for, are still cost effective as well from listening to our clients tell horror stories of the tens of thousands of dollars in medical treatments they have before coming to us.
How did my muscles get “tight”?
Our standard answer is “I don’t know, I just met you.” The body is always reacting to and interacting with what happens to it. It is an amazing, intricate, sensing mechanism. Here are a few of the most common ways the muscles in the body get contracted.
Falls, slips, accidents, and bumps.
When you fall, slip, trip, or bump, the body senses that something bad just happened. When you stand up to gravity, you check for broken bones, bruises, and to make sure everything is still attached, then you brush it off and go about your life. But sometimes days or months after a “fender bender,” you notice you can’t turn your head. This in turn leads to sensations in the hand. The original problem was “tight muscles,” so that is what needs therapy.
The body is not Play-Doh. When muscles are stretched past the point the nervous system tells them is appropriate, it will send a signal to contract. We all have our own unique flexibility. Some people are bendier than others. Bendier is not healthier - we don’t need to compare ourselves to others in yoga class, we just need to accept our genetic make-up. Flexibility cannot be changed very much by pushing, pummeling, rolling and pressing. We have to respect our bodies' natural ability so we do not we injure ourselves. Dynamic stretching and using gentle movement is much more effective and doesn’t cause injury.
Before & after surgeries: limping, leaning, gimping.
This is a common cause for the body to get tight. For example, when you are waiting on getting a knee replaced, you put all of your weight on the other leg. This causes muscle tightness. After surgery and physical therapy are successfully completed, massage sessions have proven to be very helpful for many clients.
Holding one position for too long: sleeping, watching TV, driving, sitting, looking at the TV or computer.
This is a common way for muscles to get tight. Waking up with a stiff neck that won’t turn or a headache could be an indication that the head was in a weird position during the night. We call this “bed neck.” There is also “tech neck” after hours and hours gazing into the computer, “car butt,” “airplane ass,” “and bucket seat back”…you get the idea.
Exercising when your body doesn’t want to, or not letting the body enough time to heal between activities.
Exercising is great. Our muscles prefer movement any day over sitting still, but if the body is really tired and we make it do more than it wants to, it often rebels by tightening up to protect itself. Also, if it doesn’t have enough healing time in between sessions, it is not happy. Athletes know this, because increasing the body’s ability to heal is the basis for athleticism. Some of the most suffering people I know are the ones who have methodically tormented their bodies with running five miles every day until they have a hard time walking around their houses without debilitating pain.
How is a Hunter Massage Method treatment different than more traditional massage? What are some things that I can expect?
The client is dressed in comfortable clothing so that they can move easily during session. Yoga, workout, or just leisure clothing is best; narrow skirts, thick jeans or dresses are not good.
The client and therapist work together with interactive movement to create change to the muscle memory. It is not a relaxing massage.
Pressure feels deep, sometimes even painful, but it is actually light. The touch is very specific and connects to muscle fibers and fasciae so at times feels intense. However, the touch is always adapted to the preference, conditions, tolerance, and age of the individual.
Treatment is based on the entire body and doesn’t just target where the person hurts. We base our work over a visual and kinesthetic evaluation of posture, and movement videos. We often say we are not trying to dig out a “chicklet” in your muscle tissue or remove a “bayonette” from the body. It is about getting the entire body in a relaxed, neutral posture which sometimes means working on an area the you don’t hurt to get something else balanced.
Treatment is about 30 minutes.
Breath work, and mind-body principles are used to get the nervous system out of "fight and flight" and into "rest and digest" because in this state in which you heal. If you are being chased by a bear in the woods your body is not interested in healing your hamstrings.
Self-treatment massage is taught to proactive clients to address more stubborn muscles.
Photo, video and written testimonials are done throughout sessions to keep track of progress. Our goal is to get people better quickly so that we can help more people. We methodically track information so that we have visual and written materials for each client’s success story. This documentation creates a library to show future clients the effectiveness of the method.
Do you have to be a massage therapist to get become certified in Hunter Massage Method? Are there classes for continuing education ? (CEU’s) What do I have to do if I’m interested in becoming a Hunter Massage Method Practitioner?
In order to train in the method you need to have a license to touch, such as massage therapy, physical therapy, or nursing licenses. This is not an exercise, stretching or training protocol where anyone can train in it. This is not or never intends to be a CEU class. When someone commits to learning the Hunter Massage Method it is not just another technique to put in your bag of “massage moves.” The training is intense and covers not just how to do the actual massage but also how to track results online, communicate with clients, foster relationships with other health providers, and build library of “success stories” to share with one’s community. It’s done in small groups with most time spent on how the body is moved and touched, and studying the interrelated posture and fascia patterns along multiple nerve pathways. The Certification happens after all training, practice treatments, and final four day off-site intensive certification seminar is completed. Certified therapists also train to become trainers, and periodic training weekends are done to keep skills up, learn new elements, and connect with other practitioners.
What is a typical client? Are there any similarities between clients?
We see clients of all different ages: from ages 4-104, male and female (about 50% each), and all kinds of body types. The amount of time that the client has had their condition varies from days to over fifty years, but most of our clients are:
Overall healthy, but have some tight muscles
Active - they enjoy moving and are unhappy if their muscles don’t allow them to do what they want to do.
Impatient and want results quickly. They have no time to sit on the couch.
Involved in health and wellness and want to age better than their parents.
Apt to try alternative health and wellness over traditional methods.
Against drugs, and like to avoid surgeries if at all possible.
Intelligent and like to learn about their bodies/health.
Role models of living well and loving life.
How many treatments will I need to have before I have “significant relief”?
Everyone is different, but most of our clients state that they felt significant relief was in between one and eight sessions. These are the numbers we hear most often when clients tell us when they felt relief in their “success stories." It doesn’t matter how long someone has had a condition. Most clients get 5-10 treatments in a 2-3 week period with some maintenance monthly, bi-monthly or weekly. About 50 percent of our clients get help, then only call us if they have a new issue.
What are some examples of "significant relief"?
We work with the clients to determine what “significant relief” looks likes to them. We do help athletes achieve big goals of winning tournaments or finishing strong at Ironman races, but most "relief" is doing everyday things that have meaning to each particular person.
Here are some client examples:
Being able to sleep through the night
Take the dog for a walk
Shoot a shotgun
Dance the waltz
Get down on the floor and play with my grandchild
Go on a road trip
Run in a 10K
Turn my head to check lanes while driving
Sit and watch a movie with my husband
Walk the mall with my granddaughter
Play golf well
Work at my desk
Hike Machu Pichuu
Laugh and smile (without jaw hurting)
Sleep without having to wear a Merrell shoe on one foot because the sheet hurts
Wear high heels
Do yoga again
Play senior softball
Win at senior softball
Do girls weekend in New York
Do tai chi
Fly on plane and walk off without feeling like a “cripple”
Not having to do “exercises” every day to keep my body able to move!
Are there any other locations of Hunter Massage Clinic?
We get this one asked a lot. Currently our only location is in Jupiter, Florida. We are working on our training program and systems so hopefully in the future more people will have access. Many people come in from other areas and stay in Jupiter to receive treatment. If you are interested in traveling to see us, please contact us. It’s a beautiful healing place.
I’ve been to everyone, and no one has helped me. I’m afraid and beyond discouraged. Why is this different? Will it make me worse? What are the side effects?
We’ve heard these questions many times after a client’s first session. Typically they say things like: “I heard about this two years ago from a friend and I told them I already tried massage, acupuncture, chiropractic etc. That it wouldn’t work for me. I’m so sorry I didn’t come here sooner. I was afraid that something would make me worse.”
These kind of comments always make us sad. The bottom line is that if we feel like we can help you, we will outline how and show you. If we feel we can’t help you, we will enjoy meeting you, refer you to other resources, and not charge you for the evaluation. There are no real side effects from our method except for maybe increased tiredness, soreness (like a healing workout soreness), and maybe a bruise (but it is rare). We move the body within your range so we never overstretch, we go light not deep, and we don’t use tools like the “scraper” that bruises you. It is just hands-on therapy. Most disciplines just look at your hardware like bones, joints, and discs using MRIs, x-rays, and CAT scans. They don’t actually touch your muscles. This is the most safe and effective alternative treatment for your pain, movement and balance problems.
“Never, never, never give up.” – Winston Churchill
“Although the world is full of suffering, it is full also of the overcoming of it.” – Helen Keller
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