Massage: The Beginning
I never really wanted to do massage, I was never a person who enjoyed touching people unless it was real fast like in a boxing/karate ring, but I have to say I love Massage now. Growing up as a baby boomer I was influenced by a lot of academic/hippy/musical/creative/earthy/sporty people. I excelled at boxing and was told by good trainers that I could win major titles I reached number three in the NSW Bantamweight rankings after defeating Norman ‘Sparrow’ Britton in a main bout in Goulburn 29/7/1964 he won the NSW Bantamweight title 6/4/1966, three years earlier I had been told by a legendary teacher ‘Ted’ O’Brien that I could achieve whatever I set out to achieve academically, this was also told to my parents. I had chosen my parents badly with dad taking a heart attack while I was finishing 6th class, he was only 43 years of age so University was off the radar at that time. For awhile boxing looked good until I learned from talking to two professionals that they made no money in Australia, and there was obviously a risk of brain damage. I left high school in 1963 and tried working in Whiter’s Garage where I was paid the princely sum of four (4.00) pounds less one (1) shilling tax while my two friends Ron Doyle and Max Fulton were paid six (6) pounds ten (10) shillings and no tax at Fraser’s Garage, this was a huge difference in ’63. I lasted six weeks and left. I went to work at the Post Office, Post Master General’s Department (PMG) where I won a scholarship to study in Sydney as a Technician. I hated Sydney, I finished my degree near the top in the state but resigned when I knew I was going to spend my life working in Sydney, I had wasted 5years. I returned to Eden on the beautiful Sapphire Coast, where I tried working in sawmills, log falling, fishing before going to work at Heinz Fish Factory and from there I moved back into education, actually while I was working there. My first sojourn back was into nutrition, first a certificate and then a Diploma of Nutritional Science. Nutrition resonated with me and I needed more. I commenced a Diploma of Naturopathy for the nutrition but first I had to complete a Diploma of Swedish Massage, the only diploma in Australia at that time. This 1981 diploma took 2 years full time and covered relaxation as well as remedial massage and I couldn’t believe the results I topped out of 700 students and at that stage didn’t even like it. I even taught massage for 3 years to students from the Eden/Merimbula/Bega area and surrounds, I was paid well for this. The now Professor of Southern Cross University Stephen Myers hired me for this position.
Dr Janet Travel
For ten years I had a part time clinic at 28 Nelson St Bega where I was the resident Naturopath/Nutritionist and it was while I was here that I learned how popular massage as a therapy was but I also noticed that most of the people coming in did not have much wrong with them, it was more pampering than healing. I bought this clinic in May 2000 and first became aware of Dr Janet Travel, a medical doctor. Dr Janet Travel was making big noises in the field of musculoskeletal pain treatment in America, and was about to alter the way musculoskeletal pain was treated forever. Dr Travel was installed into the White House as President John F. Kennedy’s personal physician https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Janet_G._Travell
Janet Travell is considered to be the most important medical doctor to research and prove trigger points form in muscle and by doing so she altered the treatment of muscular – skeletal pain treatment for ever.
Stanley Lief and Boris Chaitow
Between the mid 1930’s and early 1940’s these two cousins developed a system of massage called European- Style Neuromuscular Techniques these two men had trained as doctors in America in Chiropractic and Naturopathy. They introduced their system of massage into Lief’s world famous health resort, Champneys, at Tring in Hertfordshire in England where they tested their treatment methods and theories on a multitude of disorders. Many Naturopaths, Osteopaths, Chiropractors and practitioners from other fields such as Peter Lief,Brian Youngs, Boris Chaitow (nephew of Boris), Terry Moule, John Sharkey and many others have taken part in the evolution of Neuromuscular Techniques (NMT) in Europe.
Raymond Nimmo and James Vannerson
A few years after the European-Style Neuromuscular Techniques were discovered in American, and neither party knowing the other party existed, these two published their newsletter Receptor Tonus Techniques, where they wrote about their experience with they termed ‘Noxious Nodules’. Within the next several decades a step by step system started to emerge supported by the writings of Dr Janet Travell and Dr David Simonds with their two part books on Myofacial Pain and Dysfunction, The Trigger Point Manual Volume 1 (upper body published in 1983) and The Trigger Point Manual Volume 2 (upper body published in 1992). https://nmtcenter.com/history/
Bonnie Pruden also was influenced by the writings of Janet Travell and David Simonds and developed a system she called Bonnie Pruden Myotherapy in 1976, Bonnie was 62 at the time. In Australia Universities and Colleges realised they could bypass the patent laws by calling it Myotherapy and leaving Bonnie Prudden out of the name so it gained popularity mainly in Victoria. There is a 4 year Bachelor Degree in Myotherapy in Victoria but I have never met anyone that did anything other than the 18 month Diploma. Both Myotherapy and Neuromuscular Techniques share so many similarities it is hard to separate them, even the pain scales they use in treating are the same. In fact some health funds even register NMT as Myotherapy because of similarities and the ease of spelling, the largest in Australia registered me this way.
In Europe and America NMT is huge, it had more than 40 years start on Bonnie Prudden Myotherapy so it was already established. Myotherapist and Neuromuscular therapists use the same textbooks and there is very little difference between the two schools of massage. Both work on a pain scale of 7 out of 10 and both use the same devices to release muscle and protect practitioners hands. In England there are Bachelor Degree courses in Neuromuscular Techniques and in America there are Masters. Australia drags the chain in everything.
Leon Chaitow ND,DO is a world leader in body work and heads NMT in Europe and England he has written more than 60 text books. Chaitow was the head lecturer at Westminster University and taught NMT in an undergraduate program and in the Masters Degree in Osteopathy. There is also a Masters Degree in Neuromuscular Techniques at the University of Chester.
Judith Walker-Delaney heads the NMT American Version TM and there are many undergraduate degrees and Masters Degree in NMT.
Leon Chaitow and Judith Walker Delaney formed a partnership to write two textbooks combining both the American and European versions on NMt in. The Clinical Application of Neuromuscular Techniques Volume 1: The Upper Body was published in 2ooo and Volume 2: The Lower Body was published in 2002. These two books are the definitive academic textbooks for practitioners and universities in musculoskeletal pain management and treatment.
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