An Advanced, Whole Health Approach
to Mindful Medical Massage Therapy,
Myo-Structural Bodywork & Balancing,
and Myo-Structural Yoga Therapy …
— DSL Edgework —
Advanced, Whole Health Solutions for
Complex, Chronic Soft Tissue Issues
HOW TO REDUCE C.E.M.&.N.T.*
* Chronic, Excess MusculoFascial
Nerve Tension & Stress
and Negative Habit Patterns
C.E.M.&.N.T. is the Cause of MANY “Soft Tissue Issues”
of Aches & Pains, Various Dysfunctions,
Lost Range of Motion / Basic Functions,
Poor Posture, Premature Aging …
and many Other Problems
Knowing How It Works,
Tells You How to Work It!
Knowing & Understanding HOW Chronic, Excess MusculoFascial & Nerve Tension & Stress (and Negative Habit Patterns) causes so many issues of Pain, Dysfunction & Limitations on Life… helps you unravel & resolve your Clients’ (or your own) Soft Tissue Issues.
Knowing How the PRECISE Anatomy, Kinesiology, Physiology & Neurology of Neuro-Musculo-Fascial & Skeletal / Joint structures really work tells you HOW to most Effecticiently* work with those various tissues.
* Effecticient = Effective plus Efficient, because they should come together when possible.
What Is Medical Massage Therapy?
What Makes it “Yoga-based”?
And A Definition Of Medical Massage
Mindful Medical Massage Therapy combines a more overtly meditative state for both Client & Therapist in the therapeutic process.
The “yoga” comes in where the word yoga, meaning to connect, to merge or to “yoke*” brings mind & body together as one whole, integrated system.
* Yoke refers to, for example, the wooden brace draped over the necks of two oxen or horses so they could be “yoked” together to pull a plow more efficiently. So too, the mind & body are “yoked” together as a wholistic unity. … The increase in pulling power of two yoked animals is far more than doubled. The same when the human mind and body are working together. The increase is multiplied, not linear.
Working With the Central Nerve & Brain System
Rather than “treating the muscle” to “fix” the muscle, or the fascia, or the nervous system as if they were separate “things,” we are using manual pressure on skin & musculo-fascial units to “talk to” or communicate with the CNS* & Brain — and the MIND. The mind is where thoughts & emotions are consciously generated & experienced,
* The CNS is the Central Nervous System, which includes the brain, yet is structurally and anatomically different. The CNS bridges, or “yokes,” the brain, emotions & mind, by way of the peripheral nerve system, to the physical body to form an optimally integrated, whole system.
We Don’t “Chase The Pain,”
We “TALK To” The CNS,
Mind & Brain
Our approach is to not try to “chase the pain” or just “treat the muscle.” It is not a “Poke & Hope” approach where you just “do the routines,” pressing on muscles here and there, and hoping “something works.”
We see many or most conditions in the bodymind to be the result of excess nerve charge ( nerve tonus ) to the muscles, organs & glands. Much, if not most, of the nerve charge emanates from the upper reaches of the CNS & Brain. This excess nerve charge ( hypertonicity ) keeps muscles & organs too over-active, and they become dysfunctional and eventually “burnt out.”
In therapy, we touch the skin & muscles — with varying degrees of pressure* — in a way to send sensory signals from the skin, muscles & fascia to the CNS & Brain via those nerve pathways.
* And the manual pressure should be with a NO Pain, MORE Gain Mindset.
It should always be WELL WITHIN the Client’s tolerance levels. They should like or be neutral about the sensations they are experiencing. The Client should be BE INVITING, NOT Fighting, the sensations. …
In fact, they should never be “tolerating” the sensations at all. …
Participatory Medicine versus spectator medicine
The “Job” of the Client is to communicate as often and clearly as necessary and possible what they are feeling, so the Therapist knows what’s REALLY going on. … It is not always obvious to the Therapist.
The more the Client Consciously PARTICIPATES in the process, the better their results will be. … And the longer the results will last.
Interestingly, this is very often THE MOST difficult thing for some Clients to do. So many of us are sociologically conditioned into the stoic concept of No Pain, NO Gain that many people cannot comply with the request to NOT let it hurt.
The Stoic Principle in operation here is “To bear discomfort without complaint.” So the mental pain of admitting it hurts is greater than the physical pain!
That works for SOME things like football and boxing. But it does NOT work so well in therapy. It is too emotionally painful for some people to admit to the discomfort or pain. So most of the time, they say nothing. So the therapist must look for clues to figure out when and if their Client IS in pain, then coax the information out of them.
While the Therapist often DOES know what’s up, there is an important part of the Mind—Body “hook up” that the Client greatly benefits from if they invest their attention into the process, and Complete the Circle of Therapy with full perception & communication of what’s going on, in-the-moment.
Yet they often cannot, or will not, do so. … That is the Challenge for Therapist who wants to provide a Fully Integrative Experience for their Client.
Ironically, the Client will sometimes later complain about how much the therapy hurt! Even though THEY were, as far as the Therapist was concerned, in FULL CONTROL of how much pressure the therapist was applying! … IF they were willing to fully participate.
This is often THE MOST difficult aspect for the Therapist using this method to deal with. They do NOT always know if their Client is in pain or not. Yet this self-awareness component is often THE most critical aspect of the therapy.
We consider this to Be The Essence of Relational Yoga as applied to therapy.
And, the sensation and pain levels are often changing, sometimes VERY frequently & rapidly. The Therapist does NOT always know what the Client is feeling. So the Client can not reasonably expect the Therapist will know from one moment to the next what is happening for the Client.
Allowing The Nerves To Do The Job
YET … if the proper neural messages are sent to the CNS & Brain, with NO triggering of “emergency” or “danger” signals or warnings (such as pain), there are built in nerve circuits that will spontaneously “RESET” and NORMALIZE the nervous system and brain. This “reset” will reduce the amount of excess nerve output to the muscles, organs & glands, allowing them to return to a more normal state of activity.
How much TIME this takes is dependent in great part on the Client’s Health Care History, including physical, mental & emotional aspects, as well as their willingness to cooperate with the recommended processes.
Investing Mind Into Body
At Risk of being a bit redundant …
The more MINDFUL* the Client can be of what they are experiencing in the therapy session, and communicating such to their Therapist, the more effective the therapy will be. Because the Therapist will have more Real Time Information from the Client to work off of.
This is an element of Participatory Medicine, where the Client’s engagement and input is JUST AS IMPORTANT as that of the Therapist. It is an important element of the Client learning to Fully Feel, Interpret, Evauate, & Respond to the Language of their BodyMind.
This is in contrast with spectator medicine, where the Client is just a passive recipient of what the Therapist decides to do and “dishes out.”
And NO, although it would be nice, the therapist does NOT always know what the Client is feeling, nor where they are feeling it. They often do, or usually do, but not always. And very often, those times where they do NOT know are THE MOST Important times for the Client to be communicating.
* Mindfulness is a subset of Meditation. They are closely related, but somewhat different. Meditation is classically defined as a “Quiet Mind,” a state of “No Thinking,” or significantly reduced thinking (reduced words and images traveling through the mind).
In meditation, ideally, the mind has only in-the-moment perception without inner commentary or engagement from the memory banks. The mind is not “directed” anywhere by any act of willpower. Ideally, Meditation is full awareness or attention to the moment with little or no interference from memories from the past or projections into the future.
Meditation / Mindfulness vs. Concentration / Willpower
If you are attempting to force, push, pull, coerce, or coax your mind to go anywhere or do anything, or NOT go somewhere, or to “Stop Thinking,” then those are acts of willpower that automatically move you AWAY from a meditative state. …
In such cases of attempting to “make” the mind stop or be silent …
Then Thought is attempting to tell Thought to Not Think! …
That is like a cat chasing its tail. … Yet as Joel Kramer, my Primary Yoga Teacher said, the Mind is so tricky it can produce the image, feeling or thought that there are No Thoughts happening! Some people can literally “fake out” their own minds!
Paying REAL Attention to the Fact that You ARE Thinking is More “Meditative” Than Pretending You ARE NOT Thinking
Some of the Great Sages say Mediation is Paying Attention to “What Is”
Yet if “What IS” is that you are THINKING, then WHAT IS is that thinking is WHAT IS happening in that moment. In that case, paying attention to the fact that you are in the Act of Thinking, experiencing the existing Flow of Thought, will be more “meditative” than attempting to “stop thinking”!
In Direct Contrast to Meditation & Mindfulness
is Concentration & Willpower
Mindfulness is Similar to Meditation, yet the mind is intentionally and relatively focused on some object, image, sound, or process. It involves directing of conscious awareness toward something, or the mind is very drawn toward something that is “interesting” or “engaging.” Such as a musician or athlete who is fully focused on their performance or activity. It generally involves small, “gentle” doses of willpower to pay attention.
But then, the “energy of the moment” might spontaneously draw your attention, eliminating the need to “force” or “coerce” the mind into “cooperating.”
The Meditative Mind not something you “control.” It is something you occasionally experience when you have moments of not forcing it to be.
Mindfulness is the willfully directing of attention fully on to an object, image, sound, or process. Yet many so-called “meditations” — such as focusing on a mantra or an image or a sound or other “object” — of the “focused mind” are really concentration, not meditation. That assumes one is using the classical definition of meditation. And the Spectrum of …
Meditation — Mindfulness — Willpower — Concentration
… is indeed an ever-changing, gradient spectrum.
It is seldom all one or the all other.
Mindful Bodywork & Physical Yoga give one an opportunity to explore the workings of the mind / body continuum with the body fully engaged in the process. Classical forms of meditation — such as “just sitting” — are missing most of the physical component. Yet the inputs from the body are a major component of mental & emotional processes.
A Deeper Dive Into Excess Neuro-Musculo-Fascial Activity
We recognize that much of the trouble in the various systems of the human body are too much chronic* nerve activity or “excitement” — medically speaking: neural irritation or hypertonicity — sending excessive nerve signals to the muscles & fascia, the organs & glands, of the body in general.
In turn, these excess, irritating signals keep these various nerve, musculo-fascial, and organ tissues in an irritated, excessively stressed, hyper-tense state.
* Chronic: in the case of nerves, the nerves never “turn off” or down sufficiently to “give them a rest.” The nerves are “stuck in the ON position,” keeping everything running relentlessly faster, more intensely, or longer than is normal or healthy.
Meaning, the systems are working too hard, too often, too long, building up too much tension & stress, eventually breaking down.
This state of heightened nerve activity is a major cause of many Soft Tissue Issues — the conditions, symptoms, aches & pains, and many other dysfunctions — many of us face.
The DSL Therapy System operates on the principle that many, maybe most, musculo-fascial tensions are held in place by excess activity in the higher levels of the Central Nerve System (CNS), or in various layers or levels of the Brain itself.
Now, there ARE musculo-fascial tensions that operate only at the “cord level.” Meaning they are unconsciously activated and maintained by nerve circuits in the spinal cord and other peripheral nerves, but are not necessarily communicating with the upper levels of the nervous system.
Yet these cord level activities can be influenced by the upper levels of the nerve system and brain by consciously “reaching down” with the mind through the nervous system to the areas in question.
In Our View, Medical Massage is a process of determining which muscles and/or organs are most responsible for a Client’s pain, symptoms, or conditions, be they at or distant from the pain or dysfunctional area, then direct treatment to those tissues.
Then, the Next Level Up, is Mindful Medical Massage*, the treatment that embraces and engages ALL ASPECTS of the Client’s BodyMind to create systemic, whole body responses to the therapy.
Etymologically (historically), the word Medicine means to measure, to moderate, to meditate, to cure. We therefore support & encourage a Client to meditatively use an “inner measure” (self-awareness) to moderate the neural & biochemical processes leading to an eventual cure of the Client’s symptoms. And that cure is achieved, in our view, primarily by reducing the C.E.M.&.N.T. (Chronic, Excess Muscle & Nerve Tension & Stress) that is compressing, irritating or otherwise interfering with the proper function of the Client’s Bodymind.
AGAIN … NO Pain Means MORE Gain
If the bodymind — the CNS & Brain and nerve inputs — is experiencing pain, instability, intrusiveness, or danger, it will NOT fully relax, nor will it integrate, if at all, any therapeutic changes in the musculofascial units to any great degree.
Very often, it will RESIST the relaxation process. OR, while the local muscles & fascia MIGHT relax and decompress to some degree, it will only last for a short time. Then, sometime after the treatment is over — be it hours or days — your historical habit patterns take back over and return the tension & stress levels and habit patterns of the muscles and organs back to where they were before the treatment. … Sometimes worse.
It is only when the CNS, the Brain, and the Mind are experiencing a Positive, NON-Intrusive level of sensation that it can more fully relax & integrate the changes happening in the neuro-musculo-fascial system.
If the signals to the CNS & Brain are “appropriately administered” with the “right amount” of intensity of sensations and steady, focused pressure (and all that changes from moment-to-moment, from Client to Client, from session to session), we can “reset” the activity levels in the CNS & Brain, causing those nerve pathways to reduce the level of nerve signals (irritation) they’re sending to the muscles, fascia, joints and organs & glands.
And it is up to the Client to be constantly monitoring their sensation levels and report when they become too intense. They also report where they are feeling things, which often move, and are often not where you expect them to be.
Proper Stimulation of various soft tissues “automatically” or “spontaneously” trigger a reduction of motor nerve signals and resulting reduction in tension, stress and in some cases trauma.
As motor nerve signals (irritation) to the muscles and organs decrease, tension & stress levels spontaneously reduce their activity, frequency, and intensity of action. Very often, pain patterns will reduce or stop all together. Dysfunction can reduce or stop all together as well.
BIO-Structural Analysis &
Knowing Principles of Structural Anatomy, Functional Kinesiology & Postural Balancing — including how to interpret a wide range of Postural Distortions — allows You to develop better Myo-Structural Balancing Strategies for treating Soft Tissue Issues other therapists & physicians have not been able to successfully treat or fully resolve.
Understanding Physical Forces such as Vector Lines of Impact & Energy and Repetitive Actions & Stresses experienced by your Clients during day-to-day activities as well as stress, injury & trauma give you Greater, more Relevant Insights into better Treatment Strategies.
Low Intensity, Homeopathic Doses of Sensation
During Manual Treatment & Stretching
— NO Pain is Preferred & FAR More Effecticient —
Understanding DSL’s NO Pain, More Gain Philosophy & how to activate Parasympathetic Nerve Functions helps you enhance Your Client’s (or your own) built-in, internal, self-healing, regenerative & restorative health processes.
(Activating Parasympathetic Nerve Function might well be THE most important aspect of most Whole Health Therapeutic Processes.)
Mindfulness In Therapy
Taking Clients Mindfully Deeper into their Internal, Meditative & Psycho-Logical Reality more fully engages their Mind & Brain, especially the deeper layers of the brain, where the REAL, most profound and long-lasting changes in their neuro-muscular & myo-fascial systems really happen at the deepest level.
That is, in part, because many of the tensions and stresses we carry within us originated in the sub- or un-conscious aspects of the brain & mind. If so, those parts of the BodyMind must participate in, be engaged in, the healing process to get a full resolution of symptoms and conditions.
The Great Reset we are looking for of our nervous system and brain requires, in great part, a …
DEEP, RADICAL RELAXATION …
of Specific & Overall Nerve & Musculo-Fascial Systems.
This is the Primary Objective of DSL Therapy:
To Achieve such Radical Relaxation, DSL Trained Therapists switch from “treating muscles” to using skin, muscles & fascia to “talk to” or communicate with deeper levels of the Nervous System & Brain.
The REAL, more profound, more permanent changes in neuro-muculo-fascial systems occur when deeper levels of the nervous system and brain alter their patterns of activity, especially in reduction of such excess activity.
The Way we contact tissues in the periphery of the body (skin, nerves, muscles, fascia & joints) though Manual Contact and Conscious Stretching of tissues is what effecticiently communicates with the deeper levels of the nervous system & brain.
When the Client is Mindfully moving their sensory perceptions, their Feeling States, down into the areas where the Therapist is applying various forms of pressure, the musculo-fascial unit becomes the NEXUS between the intentions of the Therapist and the Client.
As the Client experiments with conscious relaxation, they learn to more deeply relax their muscles, releasing or letting-go of chronic, excess muscle & nerve tension & stress ( C.E.M.&.N.T. ).
Properly applied, this two-way Communication allows Nerves & Brain to “RESET” their levels of activity to a more relaxed, less hyper-active, more normal state. This allows the parasympathetic nerve system — the primary source of rest, relaxation, restoration, rebuilding of tissues, immune function, and such — to become more fully active.
Welcome to the Home of The
DSL Method of Soft Tissue Therapeutics:
BodyMInd Breakdowns: How Musculo- Fascial Issues Cause Pain & Dysfunction
Mindful Medical Massage Therapy
Myo-Structural Bodywork & Balancing
BIO-Structural Analysis & Strategy
Postural Alignment & Functional Capacity
Posture-based, Myo-Structural Yoga Therapy
Whole Health Principles & Practices
In-Depth Medical & Physical Sciences
Self-Care for Therapists & Clients
A Wholistic Philosophy, Psychology & Science of Being Human
Developed & Presented by
David Scott Lynn
Mindful Medical Massage as applied to Soft Tissue Therapeutics is a vastly under-appreciated & under-utilized modality for evaluating and treating many conditions and symptoms arising from often unrecognized Soft Tissue Issues.
Myo-Structural Bodywork & Balancing is an often Missing Element for determining a Proper and “Effecticient” Strategy of treatment.
Effecticient = Effective + Efficient,
because they should come at the same time
Medical Massage Therapy School
If you are looking to go to Massage School to get a Massage Therapy License, the two schools I know of most closely aligned with my above described approach are the:
These schools were Founded by Kyle C. Wright and are Directed by Kimberly Williams and Sean Ivan. They each have almost 30 years experience training more than 12 Thousand new therapists to become successful practitioners of advanced neuro-musculo-fascial & joint therapy.
They also teach Spa-style, Swedish Massage Therapy, as well.
In 1993, Kyle Wright took my DSL Edgework training program and immediately integrated my approach into his Foundational Massage School Curriculum in Jacksonville, Florida.
Kyle went on to expand to five schools in the Southeastern United States, named the Southeastern Schools of Neuromuscular & Masssage Therapy. …
A few years after selling those schools to Keiser Education, Kyle started two new schools, the Schools of Advanced Bodywork, in Charlotte NC and Jacksonville FL, which are currently operating.
Even if you have to temporarily relocate to get trained in such advanced therapy, it might be well worth your time to do so. Their 500 Hour Program qualifies you to sit for the National MBLEX Test, which many states recognize.
And Kyle has kept the cost of his schools at an UN-reasonably Low Price, as well, if you ask me. … Personally, I think he should be at Premium Pricing. But he wants everyone to be able to afford his school. … SO, There You Go!
Thank You for Reading,
David Scott Lynn (DSL*)
DSL: Your High-Touch Uplink to Your Inner-Net …
Inner-Net: Your Psycho-Neuro-Musculo-Fascial & Joint System