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 or wagon 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.

The DSL Edgework Method of was originally based on Physical, Mental & Relational Yoga, years before DSL got into massage & bodywork. Now, yoga is part of the therapeutic process IF the client is willing to practice a yoga process customized to their unique needs and objectives.

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 Do Not “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 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.

For MORE on Yoga and the Mind Component of DSL’s BodyMind Therapy … PLEASE CLICK HERE 👉👉👉 show

A Deeper Dive Into Excess Neuro-Musculo-Fascial Activity

CNS (Central Nervous System) & Brain can send excess nerve signals to the organs of the bodyWe 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.

3-Layers of the Brain control nerves, muscles, fascia, & organs. Reducing excess output from brain is an objective of DSL Edgework

3-Layer Brain:
Controls Nerves, Muscles, Fascia, Joints

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.

Spinal Cord level stimulus response to muscles & skin in medical massage therapy

Sensory Stimulus in skin runs through interneurons in spinal cord — often WITHOUT traveling up to the brain — triggering local Motor Actions in muscles or organs.

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 &
Postural Evaluation

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.

Myo-Structural Bodywork Analysis for Mindful Medical Massage & Structural Yoga Therapy determines which are the over-short & over-long muscles

Analyzing Postural Misalignments & Compressions for Therapeutic Strategies — The Paradox that a muscle can be over-lengthened yet more over-tightened is an important concept and reality to understand.

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.

A seat belt in a car accident can help protect you yet also cause additional trauma of certain areas of muscle

Vector forces moving thought the body in a car accident requiring mindful medical massage and myo-structural balancing.

Multiple Vector Forces (red arrows) can create multidirectional HAVOC in the body (purple circles are where forces get “caught” in the soft tissues) and mind, too!

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 …


of Specific & Overall Nerve & Musculo-Fascial Systems.

This is the Primary Objective of DSL Therapy:

Kitty in Radical Relaxation reduces Muscle resistance, improves Pain Relief and Stress Reduction

VERY Relaxed Kitty

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. ).

To LEARN MORE About 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.


Medical Massage Therapy School

If you are looking to go to Medical Massage Therapy School to get a Massage Therapy License, the two schools I know of most closely aligned with my above described approach are the:

Schools of Advanced Bodywork

NCSAB.COM — North Carolina School of Advanced Bodywork &
FLORIDASAB.COM — Florida School of Advanced Bodywork

Charlotte, North Carolina and Jacksonville, Florida.

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