The Muscle Medics

The Muscle Medics offers professional mobile massage. We will come to you fully equipped, at your home and or workplace from $80.00

Our ultimate objective is to be trusted to deliver systematic, efficient, safe, ​informed massage therapy to the communities we serve.

Many clients over the years have come into clinic with 'frozen shoulder' or adhesive capsulitis. This is a painful condition that can severely limit range of motion. But what causes it? There are many theories, but I'd like to propose one. If the brain feels an area around a joint is unstable due to muscle dysfunction, it will compress that joint to create stability. Compression of a joint over time causes irritation to its tissues. Inflammation of the shoulder capsule can come from this. At the Muscle Medics we use special orthopedic tests for joint compression/decompression, and commonly find with frozen shoulder a compressed shoulder joint. We focus on muscles that cross the shoulder joint, like the pecs, lats, and deltoids to be dysfunctional.

If knowledge is power and your mind is the container of this knowledge, then the more you improve your mind’s memory capacity, the more knowledge your mind will retain and the more power you will have at your disposal. At least that’s what I keep telling myself. 😉

Anyway, over the years I have been practicing a particular bedtime memory building exercise every night before I fall asleep. And it’s really been working wonders for me. In this short time, I’ve noticed that I’m now able to remember smaller moments in my days, and instantly recollect details from these moments that I used to completely forget.

In a nutshell, here’s how it works:

Every night, as you’re lying in bed ready to fall asleep, review what you did during the day from start to finish in as much detail as you can possibly remember. Start with the exact moment you woke up and got out of bed and finish with the moment that just passed as you laid back down in your bed. Visualize every single detail in your mind, each and every step you took in sequential order from beginning to end as if you were watching a video recap of your day.

The first few times you do this, you may be surprised with how few details you can remember. You’ll likely jump quickly through your recollection of the day from one major event or block of time to the next without recalling any of the meticulous details from the smaller moments contained within those larger time blocks.

But after just a few short weeks of practicing this exercise, you’ll notice an obvious improvement in your memory and you’ll gradually get better and better recalling even the minutest details from your day. Your goal should be to grow your memory to the point where you can visualize the particulars present in every scene of every waking moment over the course of the day – the conversations you had, the people who were present at the time, the song that was playing on the radio, the landmarks and people you saw when you were walking or driving home, etc.

Give this bedtime memory building exercise a try. It’s simple, relaxing, mentally stimulating, and seriously thought-provoking.

Lumbar Extension

I was asked today why a client gets a sore neck from doing exercises for strengthening the lower back? Well sometimes when we do back extension exercises we must remember that the back is one small part of the whole - not just one part which exists in isolation. Say for example someone who has weak lower back muscles and needs to strengthen them (like in the video clip). Later or during the exercise they begin to feel neck pain. That's because the lower back muscles aren't neurologically prepared for that kind of effort and the neck extensors have to jump in to help out. We see that kind of compensation pattern alot at The Muscle Medics. Before starting a new exercise routine, get evaluated.

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New client, active runner and former group exercise instructor. She hasn't been able to do either very much after suffering from whiplash from being rear ended in a car accident almost two years ago. She points to a part of her lower back on both sides, next to her spine. Most people associate whiplash with the neck - which is the most common symptom, but it also impacts the entire spine. Muscle testing found her very strong looking abs to be weak. Her lumbar and cervical extensor muscles were overworking for those weak abs - or as Tom Myers (the authority on myofascial chains) would say... the posterior chain was overwhelming the anterior. After releasing the lumbar (back) and cervical areas (relating to her neck pain), and working the abs she was amazed at how much better they responded. Homecare prescribed was to roll out the neck and lower back, then do wall bug exercises for core stability. Image is courtesy of Anatomy Trains.

This week we had a client with a rotator cuff injury. The four muscles of the rotator cuff stabilise the humerus in the glenoid fossa. They are also synergists for other actions. The subscapularis assists with internal rotation of the humerus, the supraspinatus with abduction, and the infraspinatus and teres minor with external rotation. Understanding how to test each of these muscles for injury is critical in rotator cuff rehabilitation.

massagenewzealand.org.nz

MNZ Magazine

The latest Massage NZ Magazine is out now. As the Iwi Liaison Officer for MNZ I am fortunate to be able to scribe my whakaaro (thoughts, ideas, opinion) in a regular Whakatauāki (Māori Proverbs) column. This quarters theme for the magazine is 'Research'. My column can be found on page 57. Here is the link: https://www.massagenewzealand.org.nz/Site/members/resources/magazine/MNZMAG_Q3_2018/MNZMAG_Q3_2018.html#page=1

massagenewzealand.org.nz

With seeing alot of runners lately I am getting to see various compensation patterns. The relationship between the quads and hamstrings can never be overlooked in runners. Mostly I see hamstring strains due to weak quads. How? This is where testing is so invaluable. Working on a hamstring or quad without knowing the cause is just another symptomatic approach to therapy. At the Muscle Medics we use special orthopedic tests to produce better treatment outcomes for our clients.

If you have under active lower lumbar (back) muscles, a great way to strengthen/activate them is to do the "bird dog" exercise. The hips need to remain neutral and NOT rotated at all. I usually suggest for my clients to incorporate a 10 second hold on one side, followed by the same on the other, repeated 10 times. Of course, before doing this make sure that you understand the muscles associated with this movement pattern. We can help you to determine this.

Body Worlds 'Vital' exhibition was absolutely amazing this weekend... if you are fascinated with the anatomy of the human body like we are, then this is a must see for you and your family. (In Auckland untill 13 July)

Stress comes in many forms, so make sure you are aware of any personal stress factors that are sitting in the back of your mind. Don’t put off a task that is stressing you out. Instead, address the problem head on and resolve it ASAP.

The latest Massage NZ Magazine is out now. As the Iwi Liaison Officer for MNZ I am fortunate to be able to scribe on paper some of my whakaaro (thoughts, ideas, opinion) in a regular Whakatauāki (Māori Proverbs) column. Here is the link: https://www.massagenewzealand.org.nz/Site/members/resources/magazine/MNZMAG_Q2_2018/MNZMAG_Q2_2018_FINAL.html#page=1

Here's a good, research-informed graphic for footwear considerations.

Looking forward to learning the latest in small business law this morning... compliance is EVERYTHING, and we like to make sure we have all of our i's dotted and t's crossed!

Before I go to bed, I just want to reflect on a client I had seen today who has suffered for years with chronic pain. For most cases of chronic pain, it's not a matter of breaking something up or putting something back in place. We are alive. That "bad back" is living tissue—bone, ligament, tendon, cartilage and all. Living tissue needs TIME to heal. Our fibroclasts and fibroblasts need time and stimulus in order to remodel scar tissue in a functional way. Our nervous system needs time to dial down the sensitivity that follows trauma or years of abuse/overuse. The brain needs time to start forming new habits and to extinguish all of that old conditioning.

This is why I tell my clients, "you might get some relief from this session, but chronic pain takes time to develop, and therefore it takes time to resolve. Remedial Massage is like exercise—it's not about one session, but may be a regular regimen over the course of months."

Most of us know what is and is not nutritious for our bodies. We also know that what tastes good is not always what we should be stuffing our faces with. The old adage “you are what you eat” could not be any closer to the truth. If you ignore this step, the rest of the steps on your healthy habits 'to do' list will be a waste of your time...

Watching an Instagram clip this morning of the Invercargill Tramp Club reminded me of a study from a few years ago that looked at foot strength. Participants went through an 8-week practice of training their intrinsic foot strength, and the researchers found significant improvements in their arches, their jumping, and their running.

Your feet are your foundation.

Repeat after me: I will train my feet and ankles. I will train my feet and ankles. I will train my feet and ankles.

#Invercargilltramp

www.musclemedics.co.nz

Raise the standard

If you hadn't noticed, introspection is pretty much my staple hobby. If there’s anything I’m grateful for, it’s the ability to think freely. Being able to think and reflect on our lives is a gift. Whenever you reflect on your own thoughts and actions, you

www.musclemedics.co.nz Sending these notes every week takes work. Many days I question what I write, I wonder if it’s good enough, I doubt if it’s worth reading. And yet I hit send. I do it because it’s moving toward...

Heres another client with shoulder issues... "My shoulder feels very weak." What have you been doing? Among other things she mentioned "throwing a ball to my dog."

Throwing a ball involves all kinds of shoulder muscles, but the first thing I like to check is the supraspinatus. This is the rotator cuff muscle most prone to dysfunction and injury. I used the "empty can" orthopedic test, and she failed. This can indicate a tear, so I proceeded cautiously. Using additional testing protocols I found her upper trapezius, all the way into her neck, was overworking, and her supraspinatus was weak/under active. This makes sense because in order to abduct the humerus in the throwing motion with the aid of the supraspinatus, the upper trap would elevate the scapula to make up for the difference. By releasing the upper trap and stimulating the underactive supraspinatus she now passed the empty can test. She'll have to do her homecare strengthening program very slowly, no picking up of heavy objects, and walk the dog!

Be fierce with self-care.

When you treat yourself better, the world starts to take notice. When you put a premium on the habits that make you a better you, life starts to open up. When you take care of yourself, you’re able to take care of others.

But it starts with you.

There’s no glory in burning yourself out. Nothing to gain in the long run.

Find what makes you feel good, and dig in.

At this point for me it’s morning , stillness, coffee and writing. It’s time outside each day. It’s getting enough sleep in a cool, dark room. It’s weekly massage sessions (receiving) and classes. It’s making sure I don’t put myself in a position to say: “I’m so busy.”

Be stubborn. Make it non-negotiable.

Choose the things that make you what you know you could be.

www.musclemedics.co.nz

Massage New Zealand Magazine

New website, new blog and new massage therapists joining the roster soon! Stay tuned...

www.musclemedics.co.nz Hot off the press! A part of my role as the Iwi Liaison Officer for Massage New Zealand (MNZ) involves penning my thoughts for a regular column on the subject of a whakatauki (Māori proverb) for the...

At The Muscle Medics, we always keep up-to-date with new science. We bring together the best scientific research on each individual mechanism, pathway and element supporting massage therapy, integrating them into a 360 degree panoramic view of health and wellness. Talk to us today about our health maintenance packages.

We have seen alot of issues in the muscles that affect the hip joint recently. The internal rotators include the ADductors, the ABductors and iliacus. The external rotators are the glutes, the deep six (Gemelli's, obturator's, quadratus femoris, piriformis), and psoas. Many dysfunctional relationships are possible, including functional opposites, where the adductors oppose the deep six, or the iliacus opposes the psoas.

Using massage therapy in conjunction with strengthening and stretching exercises to balance the muscles of the hip joint goes a long way to improving lower back pain, hip pain, leg pain, etc.

When I was 14 years old I had only one prized possession, my skateboard. My neighborhood buddies and I used to tear up the streets of Gisborne on our skateboards every day after school and all weekend long. We would practice jumps and tricks for hours until we had conquered them. On a weekly basis we would skate over to our local skate shop and gawk at all the high end skate decks, trucks (axels), and wheels. We would debate over the pros and cons to each brand, the best equipment, etc… And it always ended with a short discussion about the perfect “dream board”. We always used to say that someday, when we were rich, we were going to buy the “dream board”. Well, I’m in my late thirties now, and while I would hardly consider myself to be rich, I could purchase ten “dream boards” tomorrow. Of course, that’s not really a very compelling dream anymore.

The funny thing is that this shift in paradigms will continue to occur throughout the duration of our lives. What seems like the ultimate goal or dream of today, may not even tickle our fancy one year down the line. Maybe we will achieve the goal sooner then we originally thought, or maybe we will outgrow it all together. I outgrew my skateboard dream… and now twenty years later I am again faced with the same dilemma.

When my previous employer offered me an opportunity to return, I was undeniably excited. They basically offered me everything I had yearned for when I was employed there… a damn good salary, a management position, less travel, etc. I only quit because I had pleaded, begged, and waited for some kind of forward movement, but got absolutely no indication that they were even considering it. So, I split and went on to find something that pushed me in a positive direction. Now I’m sitting here a few years later and they’re offering me everything that I used to dream about. But I’ve already switched gears, and I’m no longer cruising down the same path. I’ve recently reestablished a new set of goals to grow the Muscle Medics across the country, and so I find myself walking away from yet another dream… only because I’ve reset the bar higher and now dream of something greater. Here’s to the next step…

Stan 🤓

Muscle pain matters: it’s an important problem and trigger points seem to be a factor in many of our recent clients. Just as almost everyone gets a pimple at some point in their life, sooner or later almost everyone gets these muscle 'knots'. Interestingly, there is evidence that both tension headaches and migraines are associated with referred pain from trigger points. Massage therapists have a lot of hands-on experience of muscle tissue, and Trigger point therapy is not a miracle cure for chronic pain — but it helps.

At the Muscle Medics we are fortunate to have many massage styles and techniques to draw from. We use the most effective massage techniques in an intuitive process when blending our treatment approach. Whether its trigger point therapy, deep tissue or neuromuscular therapy, our tool box is full of options. We customize every massage session to fit your needs.

Remain vigilant for bullsh*t contaminating your information diet. At the Muscle Medics we feel that the world has become over-saturated with bullsh*t.

WE WILL measure success by quality of care, rather than profit made. Making a profit is important in any business, but at The Muscle Medics we have chosen to look at our investment as a long term return. You will never be rushed, booked back-to-back, or be pressured into more care. Our standards are to get you on a schedule that works for your needs for preventive care or maintenance, and off the table as soon as possible... for injury recovery clients.

WE WILL NOT market to you, we figure that you know what you want at this point in your life. The only emails you will get from us are reminders or if it is something really important.

WE WILL uphold the values of a medical practice by using massage in a way that is plausible for science. We will not use faith, energy, misinformation, imaginary lines, or dubious science to treat. We will not perpetuate misinformation or myth within the industry and will do our best to correct false information when we see it. We will not pretend to be able to provide impossible results.

WE WILL foster an environment of learning for both clients and for employees. ​Educating our clients empowers you to take control of your heath.

WE WILL deliver one-of-a-kind, unique personalised care in the highly specialised mobile massage environment.

WE WILL practice evidenced-based massage therapy. What does that mean? Our treatments will be based on the latest scientific evidence for results and we will uphold the standards of a medical practice. We will be invested in your health, which means we will refer you to other professionals, and provide home care solutions as needed. We put your health needs first.

​WE HAVE decided the best way to change our industry is to lead by example.

#NoBullsh*t
#NoBullsh*t
#NoBullsh*t

My story

Over the years, I have developed a deep curiosity about the body, movement, and pain relief. I am continually challenged and inspired by the clients I treat. Each person that ends up on the table shows me something new, which forces me to continue to learn and grow. So if you ask me today why I became a massage therapist, I will tell you these are a few of things I love most:


  • Freedom: Creating a business that serves the fundamental purpose to facilitate healing is awesome.

  • Curiosity: The body is complex and so are the reasons people heal and why they don’t.

  • Neurological Component: The brain-body is completely mind-blowing and vital to treating pain.

  • You: The interaction with clients is fascinating, challenging, and offers a fresh perspective each and every day.
  • I am certain my motivating reasons to continue practicing will evolve as my practice continues to grow. I am comfortable with that. I am sure we can all point to decisions we have made in our lives and say, “Wow, I had no idea that one decision would lead to all this.”

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