What Led DSL to Develop Muscle Therapy Systems?
SO … HOW DID A Structural Steel Ironworker — (Heavy Construction) from the South Suburbs of Chicago, with NO Medical Training, Invent & Develop Muscle Therapy Systems, VERY Effective Methods of Structural Bodywork &
If You Want a More Through Answer, You Can Go Here to My Website’s ABOUT Page:
HELLO! … I guess I should tell You who I am at this point and why I’m qualified to help you learn some new things about helping muscles, pain and other related conditions. …
This is David Scott Lynn ( also known as DSL ). And Thank You Very Much for Reading this far …
The First Thing I should say is, ever since my first day of kindergarten, I’ve had a strong tendency to work toward FREEDOM of ALL kinds. Here, I will limit that to Freedom of the Body & Mind, of the Mental, Emotional & Physical Expressions & Actions of the (hopefully and preferably) Integrated BodyMInd.
Most everything in my life seems to have spontaneously sprung from that Quest for LIberty. … But here is an abreviated story about how my therapy system was developed … There is a LOT more to the Story than I can get into here, but briefly …
Martial Arts & Zen-Meditation at 13 Years Old
I got into Martial Arts & ZEN-style Meditation when I was 13 years old (1967). After several months of practicing in martial arts (Judo, Ju Jitsu, Karate), I was getting better at it and one night while sparring, I had an unexpected “meditation experience.” But I did not even know what meditation was, and I had no ideas about it. It just happened spontaneoulsy one night in practice fighting. But learning the difference between “thinking about” something and “directly experiencing” something without much thought happening is where all the mindfulness stuff started. …
This was the Foundation of my Life Long Work with BodyMind Integration and all that came with that work.
“Normal” Stuff Like Motorcycles and Construction Work
In my early teens I started racing motocross (dirt bikes), then became a heavy construction worker in my later teens (Structural Steel Ironworker, I was a foreman by age 18) and early twenties.
(In case you are wondering, STEELworkers make the steel in the steel mills. Ironworkers put the steel up to make a building out of it. We’re the ones walking up on the narrow beams or climbing around, wondering if we’re going to fall off that day or not!)
In both motocross and ironworking, I always attempted to apply my martial arts training and meditation experiences to whatever I was doing, especially if it was a rigorous and dangerous activity. And both motocross and ironworking were rigorous AND dangerous,.
Anyway, both motocross and ironworking did a LOT of long-term damage to my neuro-musculo-fascial system! I don’t remember being much damaged by martial arts, though I was too young to worry about it much. Regardless, the injuries gave me a lot of First Body Experience to work with later in life.
More importantly, mostly by myself (I had very few teachers on this stuff), I figured out, by a lot of experimentation and trial & error, in how to apply the various principles of meditation and martial arts (which are closely related), to Real World Life. I never had any interest in monastic or renunciate life. So I never felt compelled to “become a monk.” I just applied the principles to wherever my life took me.
Getting Into Yoga
I started into yoga by way of a lecture in 1973 in Downtown Chicago on Physical, Mental & Relational Yoga by Joel Kramer, who many yogis in America considered to be the First American Yoga Master. Meaning he developed a unique, distinctly American, yet NO LESS Conscious, approach to Yoga, rather than teaching what was being imported to America by the gurus in India.
Based on that introduction, I started doing Physical Yoga (Hatha Yoga if you like Sanskrit) when I was 19. I did so more for philosophical reasons, but I soon saw and felt how much the physical stretches could relieve pain, make me more flexible, and straighten my posture out. Yoga stretches* (or “postures” **) also made my body far more resilient and less prone to self-destruction! …
* I don’t like the word “stretch” too much because it implies “elasticity,” like a rubber band. But one of the Myth-Conceptions about yoga, massage & bodywork is they “restore elasticity” to the muscles. But Muscles Are NOT Rubber Bands! In fact, there is VERY LITTLE in the way of elastic components in muscles, even less in tendons. The ability of a muscle to lengthen out is due to bio-mechanical mechanisms within the muscle cell rather than elasticity.
** The word “Posture” isn’t too great either. It implies a “static” positioning of the body. The “postures” of yoga are actually VERY internally dynamic. It might not be very visible to the casual observer. But there is a LOT of relatively subtle movement going on “inside of” the “posture.”
Going DEEPER Into Yoga
When I was 22, I attended a one-month Intensive on Physical, Mental & Relational Yoga Joel Kramer presented in 1976 up in Canada at a place called Cold Mountain Institue on Cortes Island off the Western Coast of British Columbia. There, I learned many of Joel’s physical and mental (meditative) innovations of how yoga works and how to work with the body & mind in an integrated way in a yoga practice (and life in general!).
Immediately after that Yoga Intensive, I QUIT Ironworking and began TEACHING Yoga. I started doing my own personal physical yoga posture practice 4-hours per day, 5 or 6 days a week. THAT is where I learned the most about the mind-body connection and what REALLY makes a muscle “let-go” of tension and DE-compress.
My Manual Therapy practice in part attempts to create the “yogic experience” of feeling & lengthening muscles. But the Client can go completely passive if they want, allowing them to achieve deeper levels of relaxation than if they are doing yoga postures.
The manual work does NOT (necessarily) replace doing a personal yoga practice. Although it MIGHT if your only objective is to get out of pain or dysfunction and you don’t care about the mind/body connection aspect.
Getting Into Massage & Bodywork
Along the way, I started meeting other healthcare practitioners, including chiropractors and massage / bodywork therapists, who expanded my perspectives. I became the Yogi-In-Residence at the Inner Garden Wholistic Healing Arts Center, the first one in Aspen, Colorado.There, my very first bodywork course was in Jin Shin Do, an Oriental form of bodywork similar to Shiatsu.
I also met Eugene Donaldson, co-founder of Educating Hands Massage School in Miami, and who gave me a extensive introduction to highly therapeutic, very deep bodywork. Eugene and I would often do bodywork trades with each other, each session lasting 2 to 4 hours. So it would sometimes take an entire DAY to do ONE trade!
But THERE is where I initially learned, and felt under my hands, the many nuances of helping a person dissolve their muscle tension.
On January 1st of 1978, I moved from Aspen (too cold) to Miami, Florida (just right). I did a dozen or so massage trades with Bruce Simer, the original founder of the Forida School of Massage. That’s where I got my training Swedish-style massage therapy “training.” I also took several workshops on varous healing arts, especially bodywork. I worked on a lot of people, just for fun and interest.
I also, for some unknown reason, bought a massage table, then moved back up to Chicago in Spring of 1979. I spent a year ironworking, then a couple of years in the financial industry.
Opening My First Massage Practice
With NO formal training, and several weekend workshops in various massage / bodywork modalities, I set up a Private Practice of Massage Therapy in Downtown Chicago at 1100 North LaSalle in Spring of 1981. I quickly became known as “more effective” than other therapists. I attribute that mostly to my application of yoga principles to massage therapy.
Combining those various bodywork experiences with the yoga education led me to spontaneously start developing my own approach to everything, to develop muscle therapy systems. It was not intentional at first. It just started showing up. I then took a Structural Bodywork Training from Daniel Blake, a former Rolfer. Here, everything started coming together, and my extensive experience as a structural ironworker foreman, and making buildings stand up straight, came into play helping human bodies stand up straight.
Although I falied my very first anatomy course, I went on to intensivly self-study anatomy, kinesiology, physiology and neurology. I became known as a Top Anatomist in the Massage / Bodywork field. And some of my Clients & Students were three presidents and several executive board members of the American Massage Theapy Association (AMTA) as well as owners of several massage therapy schools.
THEN … My Old Injuries Were RE-Triggered, Putting Me In Severe Pain for over 3 and a Half Years!!!
The Pain was so bad, I could not even do yoga, even with my significant positive experiences with it. Every time I did yoga, it almost paralyzed me with pain.
It’s too long a story to go into here, and you can read my article or see my video on that whole developmental experience and process on my website. But I eventually, using what I had learned all those years, figured out what was going on, and what to do about it.
Once I figured out what I needed to do, it took about four months to repair the problems. And that included three hours of yoga a day, 5 or 6 days a week.
Yet THAT 3.5 years or led up to The DSL Method Of Bodywork & Yoga Therapy arriving at “Official Status.”
Thanks for reading about how I was led to develop muscle therapy systems.