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🎙️In this episode Whitney talks with Christian Green about working with athletes and performing artists. They cover some of the unique facets of working with these special populations. There is much more than specialized techniques necessary to work in these environments and Christian shares some unique and interesting perspectives. 🔍🗣️👥🔊

Scroll down for the full video and transcript! 

Key Points in the Podcast

  • Introduction to the podcast (0:00)
  • Introduction of Christian Green and his background (1:00)
  • Working with performing artists (4:00)
  • Performing Arts Medicine Association (PAMA) (6:00)
  • Challenges in finding performing artists as clients (9:00)
  • Stigma around seeking help in the performing arts community (11:00)
  • Reasons for the stigma (13:00)
  • Collaboration with other healthcare professionals (17:00)
  • Preventive care for athletes and performing artists (19:00)
  • Biomechanical challenges in performing arts (23:00)
  • Importance of education and research in massage therapy (27:00)
  • Advice for new massage therapists interested in working with athletes and performing artists (29:00)
  • Trend lines in acceptance of massage therapy in the athletic and performing arts communities (32:00)
  • Closing thoughts on the essence of bodywork (35:00)
  • Contact information for Christian Green (37:00)
  • Conclusion and call to support the podcast (38:00)

Resources:

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About Whitney Lowe  |  About Til Luchau  |  Email Us: info@thethinkingpractitioner.com
(The Thinking Practitioner Podcast is intended for professional practitioners of manual and movement therapies: bodywork, massage therapy, structural integration, chiropractic, myofascial and myotherapy, orthopedic, sports massage, physical therapy, osteopathy, yoga, strength and conditioning, and similar professions. It is not medical or treatment advice.)

Your Hosts:

Til Luchau Advanced-Trainings        whitney lowe

        Til Luchau                          Whitney Lowe

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Your Hosts:

Til Luchau Advanced-Trainings Til Luchau

whitney lowe Whitney Lowe

Thanks for listening and subscribing to the podcast! Make sure to connect with us on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook to stay updated on all of the latest! Show your support for the show by leaving a rating and review on Apple Podcasts!

Full Transcript (click me!)

The Thinking Practitioner Podcast:


Episode 122: Performing Arts Massage (with Christian Green)

Key Points in the Podcast

  • Introduction to the podcast (0:00)
  • Introduction of Christian Green and his background (1:00)
  • Working with performing artists (4:00)
  • Performing Arts Medicine Association (PAMA) (6:00) 
  • Challenges in finding performing artists as clients (9:00)
  • Stigma around seeking help in the performing arts community (11:00)
  • Reasons for the stigma (13:00) 
  • Collaboration with other healthcare professionals (17:00)
  • Preventive care for athletes and performing artists (19:00)
  • Biomechanical challenges in performing arts (23:00) 
  • Importance of education and research in massage therapy (27:00)
  • Advice for new massage therapists interested in working with athletes and performing artists (29:00)
  • Trend lines in acceptance of massage therapy in the athletic and performing arts communities (32:00)
  • Closing thoughts on the essence of bodywork (35:00) 
  • Contact information for Christian Green (37:00) 
  • Conclusion and call to support the podcast (38:00)

 

Whitney Lowe:

Welcome to The Thinking Practitioner. And welcome to The Thinking Practitioner Podcast, where Books of Discovery has been a part of massage therapy and bodywork world for over 25 years. Nearly 3000 schools around the globe teach with their textbooks, e-textbooks and digital resources. Books of Discovery likes to say that learning adventures start here, and they find that same spirit here on The Thinking Practitioner Podcast and are proud to support our work knowing that we share their mission to bring the massage and bodywork community thought-provoking and enlivening content that advances our profession.

And note that instructors of manual therapy education programs can request complimentary copies of Books of Discovery's textbooks to review for use in their programs. So please reach out at booksofdiscovery.com and listeners can explore their collection of learning resources for anatomy, pathology, kinesiology, physiology, ethics, and business mastery at booksofdiscovery.com, where Thinking Practitioner listeners save 15% by entering thinking at checkout. Welcome back to The Thinking Practitioner podcast, and I'm delighted to be joined today by Christian Green. Christian, thanks for joining us here on The Thinking Practitioner, and just want to say welcome and tell us a little bit about yourself, and then we'll jump into talking about some of the interesting things you've been doing.

Christian Green:

Well, first of all, thank you for having me. It's an honor, and I guess to sort of summarize what led me to sports massage and a little bit about my background, I was an employment misfit for years.

Whitney Lowe:

Employment Misfit. I love that term.

Christian Green:

Yeah, it's probably the friendliest way to put it.

Whitney Lowe:

Yeah.

Christian Green:

Nothing else works. So I ended up in massage and my path was really interesting. I started out wanting to be a comic book artist and just enthralled with anatomy. And then that became trying to get the abstract of things across. So I got into abstract art, started doing art shows, was living on my own. And then from there, got into bodybuilding interestingly. So then I'm trying to embody the thing that I love. And then after that, if you fast-forward about 20 years later, the whole employment misfit thing led to, I mean, double-digit jobs, just nothing was sticking. I get married, my wife is pregnant, and we need to find a way to make money, support the family. So she said, "Well, you're really good at massage. Why don't you go to massage school?" End up going to massage school. And then it was true love from the beginning.

Whitney Lowe:

I love hearing the origin stories because there's so many different ways that people sort of bounce around and find themselves sort of moving into this profession and moving into it in unusual ways that they oftentimes didn't expect doing. So thank you for sharing that. The reason I wanted to have you come join us today, you've been doing some really interesting work. You and I have had a chance to talk about this a little bit prior, but you've been doing some work, especially with performing artists and a good bit with athletes as well. And so I want to kind of zero our attention in on that today. So tell me, how did you get involved with performing arts, people doing performing arts stuff? And maybe let's start off by defining a little bit about what that is. What is performing arts? Who are the performing artists that you would tend to be working with? Athletes is a pretty common mindset or a category for people, but who are the performing artists that you work with?

Christian Green:

So it's interesting because in performing arts medicine since the seventies, they've been trying to understand the special challenges that performing artists face. And in that process, over time, they've come to view performing artists also as a type of athlete. And so performing artists that I will treat or run into, would be recreational performing artists. Many, I would say pre-professional to semi-professional, and then some that are legitimately professional. I would say the highest level of performing artist that I have worked on would be in the music realm, lead singer for a metal core band named Jackson [inaudible 00:04:52]. He lives in California now. And I would say the most entry level would be a ballet artist who is actually part of an administrative team for a ballet school. And then there's also some that are in bands that I work with. They kind of run the gambit, and interestingly, there's not a whole lot of difference. There's some little differences, but it's not a whole lot of difference in what they need as well as what many of the athletes that I work with, as well as the elite athletes.

Whitney Lowe:

Yeah. You mentioned that you'd also become involved with an organization doing this, the Performing Arts Medicine Association. Tell us a little bit about what that organization is and what it's for.

Christian Green:

So the Performing Arts Medicine Association you can find online by going to artsmed.org. So, A-R-T-S-M-E-D, .org.

Whitney Lowe:

Yeah, we'll make sure we include that in the show notes as well. Yeah.

Christian Green:

They do a much better job of describing what they do, but I'll give you my best shot. They conduct research, they advocate for the performing artists. They work with a lot of partnerships with other organizations like organizations that are focused on developing trainers. They work with physical therapists, they work with voice experts, they work with surgeons. They work with a wide array of people who are doing the research and making clinical application of performing arts medicine in the clinic and in the real world. They're sort of like the intersection of advocacy for the performing artists, the clinician, the teacher, instructor, the trainer, and others.

Whitney Lowe:

And so how did these people find you, the performing artists themselves? I mean, certainly in sports massage, there seems like there's... Sports massage became kind of like a really big thing when I was starting into massage back in the mid-eighties, and it was one of the things that catapulted the massage profession's growth through that period too, was being out at events and working with athletes and being in environments where we were in close contact with a lot of them. It was sort of easy to connect with that community. It seems like maybe not quite as easy to connect with who and where the performing artists might be hanging out. So how do you find them or how do they find you?

Christian Green:

Yeah, so that's a really good question. With athletes, they tend to find you because they're always on the lookout. I volunteer with the Tacoma Stars. They're an indoor soccer team, professional soccer team, and those guys, they're always looking for the edge to get that 1% or 0.5%. So athletes are very highly motivated to find someone when they need help with their recovery or with their training. But performing artists live in a different type of community. There is a really strong stigma against admitting you need any kind of physiological or psychological help.

Whitney Lowe:

Oh, interesting.

Christian Green:

Yeah, it's a good way in the mind of the performing artists to lose a gig or just be viewed as weak and unreliable.

Whitney Lowe:

Do you think that's because of the sense of competition among them about, I got this spot on the ballet roster, or I got this particular job with this band because I could do this kind of thing. You think the competition thing is driving that, or what is it that's driving that, do you think?

Christian Green:

I think the safest thing to say is that it has to do with misinformation. And so a performing artist will get a lot of their information about how to deal with their pain or dysfunction from another performing artist. And so because of the misinformation, they may make decisions that they feel will protect themselves from either losing an opportunity or being viewed as someone as a risk. Because when it comes to that show happening, that performance happening, their commitment is, I would say unrivaled. Most performing arts, especially when it comes to dance and challenging forms of dance like ballet or acro or breaking, injuries are an accepted and almost expect, well, they're definitely expected, but they're almost bragged about it in a way. There's almost like a sense of pride that you're willing to push yourself this far, that you've got this injury.

So they're not actually going out looking as much as you might think. And what I have found out here in the Pacific Northwest is someone is in the community already as a physical therapist. And so everyone knows to go to this person and this person understands the culture, which affects the way that they guide their therapeutic relationship, and they can be trusted and things will be kept on the down low, and no one has to worry about work getting out. So what I did was the only thing I thought I could do was introduce myself to these communities, but as someone who just wanted to come and help, which is the truth, and really any way they would let me help, I would help. If it's tearing tickets at the door, I'll do that. But this is what I specialize in. I specialize in restoring pain-free biomechanical function of tissues and joints, but I'll help you in any way possible.

So one of the first things I did was I started work with SMASH, Seattle Musicians Access to Sustainable Healthcare, and that's where I was able to help one of their events that they were having providing massage for musicians for free. And the whole idea was we're not going to fix anything, but we want to educate you about what you might be feeling. We're going to assess you, and then we're going to say, give you some suggestions on self-care or who might you see next. And so again, the agenda of actually working on musicians is in the background and just helping the culture is in the foreground. And that's the general gist of how I got connected with many of my musicians. And then it was word of mouth.

Whitney Lowe:

So as you were talking about that, one of the things that kind of struck me is interesting, I was recalling, I did a training session for I think a couple week long training thing for the Riverdance troop back in the late nineties or early 2000s I think. And they were coming through and it was while they were here in Oregon that I came up and did some work with the staff. They had some massage therapists that were on staff, but they were saying a similar thing. They were surprised at the number of people who didn't come in on a regular basis and avail themselves of the work that could be really helpful for them. Because I mean, they're performing every night and they were having a lot of things that it's easy to see how cumulative injury can become problematic over the long haul, but now that makes a little bit more sense about if there's that kind of mindset going on as a reason, maybe they didn't necessarily avail themselves of all that was offered to them.

Christian Green:

And I learned that from PAMA. So organizations like PAMA and what's another one? Athletes as performers or performing athletes. There's a bunch of organizations out there. There's the IADMS, International Association for Dance Medicine and Science. Any one of us as body workers can go to the website, find out what their mission is, and work through them to learn about the cultures that surround this special subset of athlete that may not see themselves that way. And then just work with that and then make yourself available. I would cold call. I think that's showing your willingness right then and there, and they get a feel for you right away. The best word of mouth comes from your mouth, I would say.

Whitney Lowe:

And I would imagine that some of these, especially some of the performing artists may not necessarily view themselves as athletes. I mean, I certainly recall running into this a couple of times, especially working with musicians. It's easy to see how something like drumming might be considered a lot more of an athletic event, maybe not quite as easy to see how it's an athletic activity to a keyboard player or a violinist or something like that. But the loads that those tissues are under for hours and hours on end of practicing and things like that, we see some pretty serious kinds of things developing. I know I've worked with a number of musicians who were grappling with dystonia and neurological problems that had come into their neuromuscular system as a result of this just absolutely constant overload kind of thing.

Christian Green:

Part of the reason they don't see themselves as athletes is they don't get the same support that an athlete gets. So it's a different environment. You'll get injuries from performing artists because it was a dark stage and they tripped over some of the rigging. A lot of people don't know this, but there's sprung stages and stages that are not sprung. So a sprung stage is one that actually is constructed to accommodate the health of a dancer. It's kind of springy, so your joints can absorb that force a bit better, but there's a lot of stages that are not like that. And worst of all, there are stages that are raked. So in order for the audience-

Whitney Lowe:

Can you say that again?

Christian Green:

They are raked.

Whitney Lowe:

What does that mean?

Christian Green:

That means instead of being level like this, the stage is actually kind of like that.

Whitney Lowe:

Tell our audio listeners what you're doing with your hands so they can know.

Christian Green:

Well, I'm tilting my hands forward to show that there's a slight slant in the stage as if the stage was a huge ramp, but it's not that steep. But still, they're raked, they're tilted.

Whitney Lowe:

Angling down toward the audience.

Christian Green:

Or toward the audience. The audience-

Whitney Lowe:

Is this just for viewing purposes or benefits or what?

Christian Green:

Yes, exactly. And herein lies one of the reasons why there are so many musculoskeletal issues and special, I would say problems that are special to the performing arts is the focus on the aesthetic over the accomplishment of the task. So in other words, when a football player or football team runs a play or wins a game or scores a goal, you did your job when you scored the goal.

Whitney Lowe:

Yeah, it doesn't have to be pretty.

Christian Green:

It doesn't have to.

Whitney Lowe:

You got it done,

Christian Green:

Right. But performing artists, you could do the choreography, but if you didn't look good doing it, you failed and you feel that failure and you'll be told about that failure.

Whitney Lowe:

So are there instances that you can think of maybe some examples our listeners too, of instances where something might be, let's say biomechanically sort of not the best, but aesthetically very pleasing, like something that they'd be aiming for that would be aesthetically desirable, but biomechanically or anatomically challenging for somebody?

Christian Green:

When someone who dances ballet goes from demi-point, which is on the balls of your feet, the pointe is on your toes.

Whitney Lowe:

First thing comes to mind, yeah.

Christian Green:

That's a big one.

Whitney Lowe:

I still cannot conceive of doing that.

Christian Green:

It's important for them to create lines that are aesthetically pleasing with their body, so they don't have as much a concern with joint mechanics as they do with this aesthetics. So turnout is a major concern when it comes to ballet, and that is when your hips are externally rotated. When you're in an upright position and throughout many of the movements, you need a lot of turnout and long lines, and that lengthening of the body is really important. In breaking, it would be groundwork when you are constantly in a flexed position with your lumbar so that you could facilitate quick changes of direction and all your weight being on your hands and wrists while you're doing that.

So the wrists take a hit because all the weight's on it and you're twisting back and forth. This is not really what our hands are made to do. So they take a hit. Also breaking is another good example would be the head spin. Okay? Even though kids seem to be able to do it a lot easier than adults. We went to a show not long ago with the Massive Monkeys, it's a popular crew, I should say, the crew in Seattle, and they had their 25th anniversary, and we saw kids nine, 10 years old doing head spins, no joke, 30 seconds to a minute straight.

Whitney Lowe:

Wow.

Christian Green:

Back at them. It didn't phase them at all. Adults, it phases them a little bit more, but and those things, they're just, that's standard. That's standard.

Whitney Lowe:

Yeah. In working with these groups, both athletes and performing artists, do you have any kind of things that you would consider unique approaches that are unique to those particular populations? Or do you tend to do the same type of work? Just maybe tweaked a little bit for each individual?

Christian Green:

I would say the work I do with recreational athletes and elite differ, but the work I do with recreational performing artists and higher level performing artists are the same. But generally speaking, you're looking for whatever their values are. What is it that they're trying to do? Are they trying to avoid paying to get a new skill? What is the skill, can they demonstrate it? What I mean by skill is could be a move. Are they finding that they're lacking balance? Maybe there's pain that they're feeling that's not going away, that's cutting them off from access to a movement or feeling comfortable in their own body. I mean, these are all the same things I would ask any other client, but with them, I am expecting that it's going to be a position that's not biomechanically of the norm. And so I have a lot more demonstrating from them, what they need. And to that end, I actually built a little makeshift sprung platform out of pool noodles and a four by eight sheet of plywood and some framing so that they can actually demonstrate it on a safe stage.

Whitney Lowe:

Nice.

Christian Green:

And they could absorb those forces and actually show me what they mean. [inaudible 00:21:26], yeah.

Whitney Lowe:

Yeah. One of the things that I certainly ran into a lot in working with athletes many years ago, and this is a common thing I hear from a lot of practitioners who are doing that on a regular basis, is when an athlete or performing artist has that mindset and dedicated commitment to a performance, be it an upcoming sporting event or the nightly show that you got to be ready for. There's a lot of times that they will say, "I can't stop. I can't not do this." So how do you work with that in terms of that mindset, which is, I mean, I get it. For many people that's their livelihood. They have to keep going on that. But we know from a sort of a tissue healing standpoint, if there is an injury present or in terms of getting back to optimum function, rest would be a really important factor in there and some time off from those activities. But when they can't do that, how do you work with those people?

Christian Green:

In my practice, I use what I call a story form health history or biomechanical event history where I use a whiteboard and as I am going over what led up to the inciting event. I'm also going into their past. Has this happened before? Where did it happen? What other the injuries do you have? And then I asked them questions about what was going on during that time, what was your sleep like before then? I try to layer in what was going on before and after the injury, and then from that story form approach, I can then reason with them because I can show them what they just told me. You said you had an extra performance that week because your troop did really well and to celebrate the night before the next performance, you went out drinking.

Well, alcohol we know is a poison. It's not going to help you recover because it's going to disturb your sleep. I don't have to give them any kind of official, okay, now you can't do this. It's not my place. We have to work with their values. And that's one of the challenges of that culture of any performing arts culture is there are things that people in the culture do that may not be good for them, but it brings them camaraderie, it brings them all these other things that they're looking for in this practice, this art form they're a part of. But just education, education and painting those lines between the injury, what happened before, what happened after, what did it cost them so they can make more value judgments based off of more empirical... Even though it's anecdotal, it's right there on the board. It's sort of empirical information. They're the ones telling me, and that's probably your safest bet. No massage therapist that I've ever heard of are in a position to clear someone for performance. But oftentimes troops will have a physical therapist that can clear a dancer or not.

So encouraging them to go to who that troop or that company works with the information we've just discovered in session is probably going to do a lot of good for that dancer if they insist on pushing things beyond reasonable boundaries.

Whitney Lowe:

Yeah. So I want to talk on that theme for just a moment too with the other people who are involved in care for these individuals, be it athletic trainers or something like that in a sporting environment or PTs that might be working with a team or might be working with a dance troop. Do you find yourself working in close conjunction with some of these other healthcare professionals, or are you all kind of not talking a lot and different people are doing one thing with one group and one thing with another group?

Christian Green:

So right now, what I've noticed, at least with my involvement with PAMA, I know there are other massage therapists involved with companies and things, but you don't hear that as often as you hear as like this is the company's physical therapist, this is the company's physio, this is the company's surgeon, this is the company's trainer. So right now, although I don't know for sure, but I wouldn't say massage therapists are really commonly in a position to access the rest of the team that's working around a dancer. But that doesn't mean you can't because you still are working with that person and you can ask them to start a dialogue with whoever is part of their team for musculoskeletal care or psychological care. More of the forward-thinking companies will have that. It's sort of like a sports psychologist for performing artists because there is a direct link. We know as you know, the risk factors for musculoskeletal injuries, there's direct link between stress, anxiety, depression, the prevalence of musculoskeletal injuries. So some companies are coming around to that and understanding that.

Whitney Lowe:

I know we get asked all the time in the treatment room, "What kind of things can I do to help me either get over this or keep from having this happen again?" Do you have any common preventive things that you tend to share with people? And again, is it similar between the athletic clients that you have and the performing artists, or do you have things that are a bit more different on preventive care type things?

Christian Green:

So it's the same, but my approach is usually different. It's usually orbits some form of makeshift load management for the athlete or performing artists, is usually what they're doing with their time outside of the performances and training, decisions to maybe go play more games than they really needed to. Not all professional athletes just play with their teams. They can go out and do what they want. They can play for multiple leagues if they want on certain levels. Recreational athletes tend to have the thought that more is more, I want to go snowboarding, then the next day I want to play pickle ball and then the next day I want to play basketball.

I could do that, right? And maybe they're not paying attention too much to what kind of load that's really putting them under because a lot of the athletic culture is being sort of like, it sounds flippant, but like a stimulus junkie. They need more stimulus, more stimulus, more stimulus, but recovery is so not sexy. It's warm compresses and sleep and not doing things or doing things, active recovery with a decreased amount of load on the body. Performing artists, again, I fall back on that story form, health history, musculoskeletal event history, just what are the decisions have you been making? Are you noticing how it's affecting you? Will you allow that information to guide your decision making in the future? The sad thing is athletes have more choices than performing artists, way more. If the show's going, well, maybe there's an extra show that week. When they go to another show or there's time for a new choreography, the risk factors for injury are ever-present and increased.

I've also begun to see a correlation between activities, whether it's athletic, performing arts, athletic that are choreographed and those that are more improvised.

Whitney Lowe:

Interesting. So meaning like a correlation between injury incidences that happened?

Christian Green:

Yeah.

Whitney Lowe:

And I'm going to guess that they're more common in the improvised activities or-

Christian Green:

You would think, but it's a little different. It's a little different. So you think about football players, their training is very regimented, right? Very choreographed. But when they're on the field, there's a lot of improvisation that has to happen within. And so their capacity to improvise over the years of playing football has increased to the point where they could do a repetitive activity without having the harm of repetitive action. But now if you look at a dancer who's learning this choreography, they're going to move the same way every time they do that dance. And if they're going to the right all the time and not to the left, that could cause some sort of functional imbalance that might preclude an injury.

Because remember moving the same way day after day after day and pushing yourself to the limit, the body doesn't always love that. We see that with golfers too. Golfers are getting more muscular. Why? Because they're building up their capacity to be able to do a very choreographed motion with great force or really fine tune focus over and over and over and over again. Yeah, I definitely see the choreographed having issues unless the muscles that are being used are muscles that are intrinsic to endurance activities like the hands, it takes a lot. It takes a lot to damage your hands muscoskelatally, but performing artists manage to do it,

Whitney Lowe:

And I think people in our profession manage to do it quite a bit as well, we see that. And maybe we should fall into that performing arts category a little bit as well of what we're doing. So I want to talk about a slightly different tech here. You and I have had some lengthy discussions about the importance of education, research and things like that. And I'm curious, what kind of things do you do to keep up with what's happening in those fields or other types of research, things that inform your practice?

Christian Green:

I would say YouTube University is a good thing, I would say, because it's engaging. You can get a lot of information fast. The problem with YouTube is there's a lot of hucksters and faders and you really got to vet someone. And the gurus, there's no shortage of gurus. But I will say that books are a great resource for keeping up with things. I have the Fascia in Sport Movement book that's been invaluable to me. I have Carla Stecco's, Atlas to the Human Fascial System. That has been an immense benefit to me in just seeing, well, what are the size of these lesions?

We talk about what does muscle really look like because these fresh cadaver studies really dispel a lot of myths about muscles and fascia that help us with our hands. I imagine what kind of practitioner I want to be, and I pick my continuing education courses accordingly. So as I learned more about the body and what I was finding during sessions, I determined what is it that I'm missing. What am I losing out on? Why is this not turning out the same way over and over? So I found your course, of course, the Academy of Clinical Massage, and one of the things I really benefited about that is just the emphasis on assessment. I mean, we all love new techniques. Ooh, look what it did,

But why are we doing it? When do we choose to do it? In what order do we treat someone? All those things are... We can learn those things from a more comprehensive, I guess, path of continuing education. Think to yourself, what do I need to know? Pick those things. Don't just do it for the hours.

Whitney Lowe:

Yeah. That's a challenging and interesting lesson for a lot of new practitioners in particular. You have these requirements that you have to meet and early on it's just like, oh, I got to do this to meet the requirements. But this is one of those areas I've just harped on for years, feeling that it's so very important for us to recognize that our entry-level massage training only scratches the surface of the things that we really need to be knowing to be very effective as clinical healthcare professionals if we want to work with people at that level of what you're doing.

Christian Green:

For us, there's no choice but to view it as the start. Wherever you're at, you're always at the beginning, read books, talk to other modalities, talk to chiropractors. Don't think you're less than, talk to trainers, physios. Just talk to them. Learn.

Whitney Lowe:

Yeah. So on that note, if you were to have to give some advice to a new massage therapist who said like, "Hey, I really like the sound of this stuff. I'd love to work with some performing artists or maybe athletes or something like that." Do you have any immediate words of wisdom or advice that you would give to people who are seeking this out and wanting to get started doing something like this?

Christian Green:

Okay, so the first thing I would do is focus on yourself, because it tends to be when we prepare for something, we tend to attract that thing for whatever reason. So if you want to work with performing artists, learn about performing artists, I would recommend going to artsmed.org. You can learn a lot there. You could join PAMA without being an expert in anything, but then you'll gain access to all the contributors. These are professors, researchers. You'll have a bevy of research articles, meta-analyses of what is understood up to this point, and of course the deficiencies. Then I would start talking to your clients.

They might already be performing or she wouldn't know it. They might be doing it recreationally on the side. Learn what you can from them, put their values as your goals during the session, and then try to understand their expectations. Then be patient. Once you've started doing that, then I would say find a local company or school and what I do now, which I started out doing, I'm still doing it, offer them something for free. Don't just offer them the service. Hey, I'll let you spend money on me, if you'd like. Show them that you're willing to put some skin in the game,

Volunteer for an event, offer to do some public speaking. This will be the second year that over at the Evergreen City Ballet, I will be speaking to some of their students during their summer intensive about how to appraise their pain. That happens to be one of the things that would really help a lot of performing artists is how do I interpret these sensations that I'm having? Is this pain bringing me closer to my goal or further away? Help them understand the difference from the research. And this doesn't have to be about that particular subject. It's just something I know that was a need for dance. You could just talk about yourself and come in, this is what I do, and I want you to know what I do and what I see because it might help you with what you're doing and how you treat your own body. Use your imagination. Be creative. Be creative. That's a really big part of it. And then one day you earn that trust, you'll get closer and closer to achieve.

Whitney Lowe:

Where do you see trend lines going for these two arenas in particular, like with performing arts, massage for that particular group or massage being done in the athletic environment, do you sense that there's a growing degree of acceptance or people choosing and seeking that out, or does it feel like it's still kind of a closed system?

Christian Green:

I feel like culturally, on a social level, it's still closed, but they're working on it. But with regard to valuing the services that say a massage service or a body worker offers certainly trending up. So I definitely see the trend going up with a patient-centered, client-centered approach to care. They are adopting more manual therapy. But socially speaking, they're still closed, you got to earn that trust, but it's improving. We just need to keep doing what we're doing, educating general public about what we do, why we do it, asking our clients what are their values, what are their expectations and trying to meet that, and then we'll across the board, go on.

Whitney Lowe:

Yeah. Wonderful. Any other last parting thoughts that you'd like to share with our practitioners on issues related to performing arts, massage approaches, athletic approaches, things like that?

Christian Green:

We tend to get kind of focused on the biomechanical and even though maybe the value of what we do hits more on what people calling the biopsychosocial realm, try to remember there's a person in front of you, and even though they do performing arts and they're an athlete, they're still a person. Bodywork, regardless of what it is, has not moved far away from what it was when we were children. Child gets hurt, child reaches out, parent or some other authority figure comes over, says, "What's wrong?" Child says, "Hurts here." You say, "Where?" They point, you put your hand on the owie, you take a look at it, you assess it, and then you tell the child it's going to be okay. It hasn't really deviated far from that, has it?

Whitney Lowe:

Yeah. In a nutshell, if there was a nutshell about what it is that we do to help make people feel better, that's kind of it encapsulated there. Yeah. Well, Christian, thank you so much for sharing those things with our listeners. If people would like to get in touch with you, learn some more about the things that you've mentioned, is there a quick way, easy way for people to get in touch with you?

Christian Green:

I invite anyone who wants to drop me a line, connect, ask questions, learn more about PAMA Performing Arts, or just connect as another practitioner, reach out to me at christian@manualtherapyseattle.com. My website is manualtherapyseattle.com and there you can see some more of what I'm doing. You can see responses from some of my clientele on why they think things worked out for them, which we'll sort of bear out what we just closed with that biopsychosocial model. And yeah, I think that's probably the best way.

Whitney Lowe:

Yeah. Wonderful. Well, thank you so much for coming along today and sharing some of those things with our listeners. There were some really valuable gems in there about working with these unique populations. So it's always interesting to see the very different places that people have taken this wonderful work. And this is certainly some groups of people that I think can value and really gain so much benefit from the things we're doing. So thanks again, for the work that you're doing and for sharing that with everybody today. And do recall The Thinking Practitioner Podcast is supported by ABMP, the Associated Bodywork and Massage Professionals. ABMP membership gives professional practitioners like you a package including individual liability insurance, free continuing education, and quick reference apps, online scheduling and payments with PocketSuite and much more. And ABMP's CE courses, podcasts, and Massage and Bodywork Magazine always feature expert voices and new perspectives in the profession, including from Til and myself and Thinking Practitioner listeners can save on joining ABMP at abmp.com/thinking.

So thank you again to all of our listeners. Thanks for hanging out with us today, and especially a thanks to our sponsors for supporting the show as well. You can stop by our sites for video show notes, transcripts, and any extras. You can find that over on my site at academyofclinicalmassage.com and also over on Til's site at advanced-trainings.com. If you have comments, questions, or things you'd like to hear us talk about, just record a quick voice memo on your phone or use the old-fashioned email to send it to us at info@thethinkingpractitioner.com or look for us on social media under our names. You can find Til there, under his name Til Luchau and myself under Whitney Lowe over on various social channels there as well.

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