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General Testimonials 4

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Time and Money Well Spent
by James C. Dahler, LMT

When I first graduated from massage school in 1997, I felt that the only thing I truly understood was how very little I actually knew about massage. I guess that while I felt in command of the techniques that I had learned in school, there still remained a lion's share of techniques about which I hadn't a clue.

To combat my feelings of inadequacy, I made a resolution to continue my education by attending as many seminars as my schedule and my budget would allow.

My first couple of experiences with massage-related seminars were fairly disappointing. After each, I drove home not exactly sure what I would tell my wife it was that I had gotten for the money I had spent.

At each seminar, students who expressed concerns that they weren't "getting it" were assured that the skills being taught depended in large part upon the innate ability of the practitioner to sense subtle nuances in his or her client. Results and confidence would come with practice.

That very well could be an accurate statement about any new technique learned, but for someone struggling to put some faith in their abilities, that kind of statement could be taken as an implication that if a student isn't "getting it" it may be because he or she hasn't "got it" to begin with. That sort of puts pressure on the student to start seeing results, whether they be real or imagined.

These experiences left me feeling as though I might just have purchased new brand of snake oil. Nice package, little content.

For a while after those first couple of seminars, I convinced myself I was always too busy or too broke to even bother looking at the seminar announcements that I was getting in the mail. It finally took hitting the limits of my abilities to help a couple of my chronic pain clients to make me realize that people needed me to honor that resolution I had made to continue my education.

My job was to find the things that would help the people that needed it, and if it took buying a few gallons of snake oil to find the things that were truly helpful, that would just have to a part of the price paid.

I truly feel as though I struck gold when I attended Howard Rontal's Myofascial Release series on the upper and lower body. His instructional methods are focused and clear. The techniques are simple and easy to learn.

Students have the opportunity to witness the instructor performing the techniques upon a volunteer, while he explains in great detail the actual mechanics of that particular technique. Before and after observations of the subjects, along with a description of how the technique made them feel, gives immediate, tangible and often astonishing proof that the techniques are effective.

Students are then required to pair off with different partners for each phase of instruction, which gives the students needed practice in dealing with people of differing physical and emotional make-ups. Students then get to trade giving and receiving the techniques with each other as the instructor circulates through the room. He will advise, correct, answer questions and demonstrate again, if need be.

Backing all of this up is a manual that completely describes each of the techniques taught in such a well-written manner that a "refresher course" is never more that a brief read-through away. I drove home each evening of these weekend seminars excited about what I had learned and eager to return for more.

Taking these newly-learned techniques back to my practice allowed me to accomplish more with some people in a single session than I had been able to previously during months of weekly sessions before I took these seminars. Even casual, infrequent clients commented on the positive changes they noticed in my techniques.

These days, I seldom perform a massage without incorporating things I learned at these seminars. I often encourage other therapists, particularly those with limited time and money (who really need to make their seminar hours and dollars count) to attend Howard Rontal's Myofascial Release Seminars.

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Howard Rontal demonstrates MRM Massage