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In Class Improvement - Testimonials
As a massage therapist, I knew how effective myofascial manipulation can be. I knew a few techniques for fascia release based on the Medical Massage Course I took at the Academy of Natural Health Sciences in NJ. But the course "The Myofascial Release Massage Upper Body Protocols" taught by Howard Rontal gives more in depth manipulation techniques that can really make a difference in functionality. This is my story and what Myofascial Release by Howard Rontal has done for me personally.
I had an open heart surgery in 1978 to correct Ventricular Septum Defect. I was 5 at the time. What this means is that the medical staff working on me had to cut my sternum in half to open my chest cavity to repair a hole in the septum, the cardiovascular wall dividing the left and right ventricle of my heart. I The surgery corrected one problem but created another - a constriction that would affect my breathing problems for the next 38 years. Before I was operated on I never had breathing problems. Shortly after, i developed asthma, was prone to lung infections and was winded easily. As a child it didn't bother me that much because I wasn't athletic. In my teens I started running and playing sports. i always got winded faster than everyone else. I thought I was just not as good or just not in as good shape as everyone else. But no matter how hard I trained, there was always a point where I had to stop because I couldn't breathe well or I would over heat from lack of oxygen. I also would get occasional pains on either side of my rib cage when inhaling deeply. even at rest. it was only this year that my yoga instructor discovered that my chest did not inflate when i breathed deeply, only my belly did. After that I was more mindful of what happens when i run and I noticed that I belly breathe which is ok for a certain speed but as I run faster into a sprint I need to take deeper breaths and it's just not possible for me so I begin to hyperventilate. When I learned that we would be working on myofascial release to ease breathing, I asked Howard is this could make a difference for me.
He asked me to stand in front of the class so that they can observe my breathing pattern. And as my yoga instructor discovered, they all agreed that my rib cage does not expand and only my belly does when breathing. My chest did not move at all. Howard began to apply the myofascial release on my chest, upper arm and shoulders. it was pretty uncomfortable, I must admit, but my muscle were so constricted after not expanding for 38 years that I knew there would be discomfort. With each technique my chest cavity began moving slowly and after the session was finished I took my first real deep inhalation for the first time in 38 years. It was a miracle and I can not thank Howard enough. I am so excited with my own results and can't wait to share these techniques with my own clients.
First letter from Carol Buckingham:
I can't believe that for the second time in a week I am contacting you about a self treatment success. Though I normally have no back pain, I started feeling a lumbar ache followed by sudden sharp pains in the same area. I got down to the floor with unbelievable difficulty and then raised both legs up to compare length. There appeared to be more shortness on the left than usual. I pressed deeply into my abdomen to feel and hold my left psoas as I raised my left leg about 4 inches off the floor while pushing my heel outward. On the second try my psoas released and my lumbar spine spontaneously adjusted. I easily stood up, the pain was gone and I could move normally.
Thank you for teaching that technique.
Second letter from Carol Buckingham: Thanks for a great part 3 class in VA Beach, fun, informative and relaxed. What could be better? I have been doing a lot of MRM lately, with good results and have an interesting variation on the iliacus. I have the client positiioned with both knees raised, feet flat on the table. I press into the iliacus and then have the client slowly wave both legs side to side (but not too far over) with the feet still in contact with the table. It is as I like to say, "special". What do you think?
The knee decompression you taught is a great help to my clients and now to me! I was just out crawling around with my vegetables (I was crawling, but they weren't) and when I got up my right knee was wonky, so I gimped into the house and did one knee decompression on myself and ta da!! Knee pain gone.
I want to thank you again for the abdominal work you did on me in The Advanced Myofascial Release class this past weekend. You asked if anyone experienced lower back pain while doing a backbend. I raised my hand and told you about my 3 abdominal surgeries in the last 20 years. Before we began the work, you had me do a backbend. Then you and the other students felt my stomach. . . the descriptions were quite accurate — "hard and mushy at the same time." One person said "it feels like a water bed." You started with compression work — slow and deep — which created an emotional release in me, but you keep the pressure steady. After I got thru that, I could feel my stomach softening under your hands and the pressure going deeper. Then you used the "business end of your fist" to strip and smooth out the fascia. When I got off the table, I felt 10 lbs lighter and taller. I repeated the backbend and found I had no pain and was able to extend back so much farther. Really enjoyed the class and learned so much this weekend from you. . . great class.
As a side note, I went to my yoga class today and was able to go deeper into all my poses, including the backbend, with ease and zero pain in my lower back.
Thank you, thank you, thank you.
Katherine Voss CMT
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