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Massage Therapy is Knot Optional!

Updated: Mar 13, 2022

Massage Therapy is Knot Optional!

And here is why

Thank you so much for joining The Body Mechanic Blog. I hope you enjoy it, and enjoy this journey into health and fitness! As always, please share any post to those that could benefit from the information. Now, on to the topic of the day…

OK, I want you to know that you are compelling me to write this. If I am going to indoctrinate you, then this point must be completely clear. This is the foundational principle by which I stake what I do and hold dearly. And that claim is this — The vast majority of pain that we suffer is the result of unmitigated tension in the body and brain! This tension creates excessive stress on the connective tissues, joints and internal organs. Note this: you may have initially injured yourself, but that injury should have long since healed (just as a cut on your arm would invariably heal). So why has it not? The reason is that your body has gone into spasm as a result of your injury (result of “fight or flight”), anxiety takes over, and that spasm has choked off much of the blood supply to your tissues. This condition is called, “Ischemia”, and can remain in place for days, weeks, months, or even years! Because of this, waste builds up in the local tissues, which causes further chronic damage. I wonder what would be a good method of clearing this waste?

Remember this too: The job of your brain is to protect you at any cost. Neuroscience tells us that the the brain’s basic function is to make sure that you SURVIVE. Note I didn’t say, THRIVE! If you want to THRIVE, then you must take time to reprogram your brain. You must change your view of pain and healing. In short, you have to recognize the connection between tension, ischemia, pain, and your brain.

Your brain has made the decision that you should be tense because of your circumstances, whatever they are. Perhaps you sit too much at work or travel a lot. Perhaps you injured yourself playing tennis or running. Or perhaps your co-workers stress you out. Whatever the reason, “fight or flight” (anxiety) is evident in your body and is taking a toll. Now, here is an example of what I see over and again: You love to run, and one day your knee starts to hurt. So you go to the doctor and X-rays reveal you have “arthritis”, the joint is inflamed and your meniscus is wearing down. What now? Well, corticosteroid injections, strengthening exercises and some passive stretching. …BUT, what if the reason for the knee pain and injury is CHRONIC TENSION produced by the muscles and fascia? If this is true, then the tension must be relieved FIRST! And the best known way to do this involves deep soft tissue work.

Here is another scenario: You love to play soccer, and one day your low back starts to hurt and pain shoots down your leg. So you go to the doctor and xrays reveal you have “arthritis”, degenerative disk and inflammation in your spine. What now? Well, corticosteroids of course, along with strengthening exercises for the back, and some stretches. …BUT, what if the reason for the back pain is actually CHRONIC TENSION in the hips and hamstrings? What if the shooting pain is coming from a tight Piriformis muscle? Again, why not use deep soft tissue work?

And here is another example: You love to play tennis, and one day you have pain shooting into your heel. It gets so bad that you can not walk. So you go to the doctor and find out you have “Plantar Fasciitis” and/or “Achilles Tendinitis”. You have inflammation in your poor foot. What now? The long needle of corticosteroid into your foot, that’s what. …BUT, what if the reason for your foot pain is actually an exhausted and chronically tight Tibialis Posterior (which is a major but little known arch support muscle). And what if your lower leg muscles (calves, Soleus) are chronically tight, pulling on the Achilles tendon and Plantar Fascia so much that it causes inflammation? AGAIN, how effective would deep soft tissue work be?

Actually, I think I at least understand why deep soft tissue work is so rarely used. It is tough to do on any consistent basis! Statistically, a typical bodyworker that does deep tissue work can expect to last about 5 years, then chronic pain in the fingers, hands, wrists and elbows force the bodyworker to stop, or choose another career. My solution for the bodyworker is simple: Condition and fingers, hands, and rest of the body to easily handle the job. Then use deep soft tissue work to fix injuries. If only we knew of a bodyworker that takes physical conditioning seriously. Wait, The Body Mechanic does! This is why I do finger tip push-ups, knuckle push-ups, and various other weird keep my body conditioned so that I can do many hours of deep soft tissue work every day. It is necessary for fixing injuries.

Consider this: What if the front tires on your car wear down unevenly and prematurely? Then your mechanic simply replaces your tires, even though you have a misaligned front end. What would happen then? I guess the new tires would soon suffer the same fate as the tires they replaced. And this cycle would continue until someone makes the decision to stop looking at the symptom (tire damage) and begin looking for and treating the real problem (misaligned front end). This is tantamount to how we tend to handle health care. What if your pain is caused by chronic tightness in your body? If this is true (and it seems to be true for the VAST number of cases), then isn’t it apparent that you must relieve the tension? This is why deep soft tissue work should be included in any regimen for healing injuries.

Today, massage therapy is still largely viewed as “spa treatment”, and used as an afterthought in treating injuries. But I am out to show you and everyone else that good, deep massage therapy is an invaluable tool for helping the body to heal by addressing the most potent issues in pain matters — releasing chronic tension and retraining the brain. What better way is there to release chronic tension? This is why Massage Therapy is KNOT optional when it comes to healing your injuries. And very soon you will completely agree with me.

…Talk soon!

Have a wonderful day, and an even better tomorrow!


There simply is no medicine better than Positive Mental State! If you insist upon being happy, then you will give your immune system a big boost! Make today a Great Day!

To Your Health!

Jeff Wooten, “The Body Mechanic”

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