ADIOS 2016, HOLA 2017!
Year in Review Massage Therapy Article
By Geoff Dakin
Given the complexities of life we can rest assured that any given year will come with a collection of highs, lows and at least a few unexpected twists along the way. I will remember 2016 as being full of career-significant developments. I published my first book, The Body Mechanic’s Handbook, in May, taught my inaugural Practical Rehab seminar in October and began working with Canada’s first Diers 4D Formetric scanner in December. What a ride it’s been!
The book was a huge project. The writing itself I found enjoyable, the editing not so much. The unexpected twist in regards to the book was that one of my early mentors contacted me with concerns about some ideas and comments made in the book that he believed should have been credited to him. The initial angry conversation that developed has long since become a civilized exchange. During that process I realized that some of his concerns were valid. Unfortunately, the back and forth communications and related edits have taken much longer than expected, due mostly to unrelated life issues. Although the republishing date has been a moving target these past few months, I can promise you that I have reorganized my To Do List and this project finds itself residing firmly in the Number One position.
The Practical Rehab seminar was a great experience. I taught sixteen massage therapists my unique approach to postural re-education. I learned a few things about teaching and realized that I was trying to shoehorn too much information into one weekend. A few weeks later the owner of Seminars for Health and I decided that due to philosophical differences we wouldn’t collaborate to produce these seminars together in the future. I will produce them independently. I also plan on producing a week-long internship program as an advanced training that will be offered to students who have successfully completed the Practical Rehab seminar.
When I first returned to Canada five and a half years ago, I investigated what technological tools were available to help me provide the highest possible level of care to my patients. How could I maximize the precision of my assessment process? I wasn’t impressed with what I found in 2011. In early 2016 I took a fresh look at the same question. During that investigation, I came across Diers Medical Solutions. This is a medical equipment manufacturer in Germany (Diers Medical Systems is their distributor in North America). After numerous conversations with Dr. Patrick Knott, the spinal deformity researcher who heads up Diers Medical Systems, I realized that this technology now represents an enormous value to therapists such as myself. Since our therapeutic interventions are only as good as our assessments, having access to this degree of assessment precision is a huge advantage to my patients and to me as a therapist.
DIERS FORMETRIC 4D SCANNER
First in Canada
In early December I began working with the first Diers 4D Formetric scanner in Canada. This technology is amazing! It is literally changing how I work. “Making the invisible visible” (that is something I first heard Kelly Starret say, though he credits his mother-in-law), these scans enable me to eliminate many of my old assumptions and program for bony alignment problems that exist, not what I assume exists.
For example, a couple days ago I saw a teenaged boy who had been given a diagnosis of scoliosis by a local physiotherapist. However, when we did the Formetric scan it revealed very clearly that the boy had very little lateral curvature in his spine. The scan also revealed that a number of thoracic vertebrae were rotated significantly left while an adjacent number of thoracic vertebrae were rotated significantly right. As a result, I was able to design a corrective exercise routine specific to rotational dysfunction and not an imagined scoliosis. More accurate assessment equals more appropriate corrective strategies. Of course, this doesn’t guarantee immediate success, or success at all, but at least it gets us asking the body for more specific and appropriate change. So very exciting! And my patients love that they can see the postural distortions (and the improvements) for themselves!
Later this month my wife, Claudia, will be joining me at work. A massage therapist with two years of training from Mashach, Escuela de Estudios Superiores en Medicinas Alternativas y Complementarias in Puebla, Mexico, Claudia will be taking over the assessment responsibilities, operating the Formetric scanner and revealing functional deficits with the Functional Movement Screen TM. With Claudia in charge of assessments, freeing me up to focus completely upon therapeutic intervention programming, we will definitely be a force to be reckoned with in 2017!
So, what can you expect from Dakin Rehab in 2017? Bigger and better in every way! Stay tuned.
From my house to yours, have the best year ever in 2017!!!
Yours in health,
Geoff Dakin BPE RMT
Calgary Registered Massage Therapist
Registered Massage Therapist
GEOFF DAKIN BPE, RMT
Cel: (403) 399–5716
#603, 550–11 Ave SW
Tel: (403) 452–5055