"Active Engagement Techniques” with Whitney Lowe

Yesterday I had an opportunity to attend the presentation “Active Engagement Techniques” with Whitney Lowe at AMTA-CA Annual Education Conference.

I thought it was an interesting concept to engage painful regions. We talked a bit and both have agreed that 1000s names to massage therapy procedures/modalities, is not sustainable, not ethical and very confusing for all, clients, healthcare professionals, as well as for us as a community. It was nice to learn that, for a change, somebody agrees with me. LOL.

Another issue. I always used to say: “If one vigorously presses, or performs other dangerous “no pain no gain” manipulations, and cannot explain why this is done, one simply don't know what she/he is doing; and ultimately shouldn't do it.

Interestingly enough, Whitney used the expression ”Clinical reasoning.” Now I will use “you are not using clinical reasoning” instead of ”you don't know what you are doing.” Sounds much gentler. Clinical reasoning, is a part of clinical thinking, and should be applied whenever we treat our clients.

Participants have asked very intelligent questions, including such as “if Active Engagement Techniques should be applied in cases of fresh/recent significant injuries.” Whitney replied that clinical reasoning doesn’t not suggest in such stage to apply Active Engagement Techniques. Clinical reasoning suggests to apply different massage techniques, to warm-up area, and then with condition improvement to incorporate Active Engagement Techniques.

Whoever follows my writings and teachings, not once heard me say: ”There are different technical approaches, including massage methodologies, to reach rapid and sustainable results.” I was trained first to provide techniques to reduce size of lymphedema, following by introductory massage in inhibitory regime in order to increase threshold of pain, following by connective tissue massage/fascia release, muscles mobilization, trigger point therapy, post-isometric relaxation techniques.

Listening to Whitney, it became obvious that he approaches orthopedic status disturbances utilizing the same concept as I do, but applying different techniques.

There is no silver bullet in our occupation, and everyone can contribute and share knowledge that will lead to better clinical results. In no case we shell deny medical physiology treasure, as well as remember that conventional Western massage is 150 years old. By attempting to reinvent the wheel, we are ending up with 1000s different names, our colleagues leave our field massively and after being only a few years in business. This is painful, and shouldn't be this way. Massage therapy is very powerful methodology of treatment. Millions of people, if not all, are in desperate need of treatment.

By working together, confronting educators, who propose unsustainable claims, deny the treasure of medical physiology, declare “new revolutions,” claim that only ”this” particular methodology is the only right approach, we will improve the field of massage therapy. I believe that massage therapy field is in decline, and, God forbid, can be totally destroyed. Together we can reverse it in its direction to destruction.

Best wishes.


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