Why create a massage video? Show me another that works.
Massage is about finding life's cheese

I started performing massage at the professional level in 1991, and since that time I've turned into something of a
massage-book junkie. In addition to collecting massage texts old and new, I began to hunt down many of the massage
videos on the market. After several years, however, I began to notice a couple things:

First, although many of the books were substantive, even
inspiring on occasion, it would take quite a bit of effort and commitment for a newcomer to use one and then piece
together an effective massage sequence they could use at home.

Massage is about
finding life's cheese.

Second, and surprisingly to me, the videos - although they came closer - still lacked the comprehensive nature needed to actually empower the viewer into a level of
proficiency. They tended to be disorganized and disjointed, frequently
overpriced, with minimal entertainment value (they were so damned "serious" and precious at times), sometimes a bit too new-agey, with little or no contextual
information.

I had little interest in writing a book, mainly because it wouldn't get read, but the idea of creating a video literally popped into my head while on a run one summer
afternoon. OK, I thought, here's a way to package not just some history and theory alongside the practical aspects of massage, but I can also demonstrate without words the pacing and rhythms, the depths of pressure, body mechanics, the lack of "efforting," as well as the importance of making smooth transitions from one position to the next. The remaining question was how to combine all these elements into one swell foop, one seamless flow, keep it under two hours, and not put people to sleep.

If you will, please overlook some of the warts on the DVD. For instance, when I attempted to "inject" the rat with stressor chemicals, I
inadvertently got sprayed all over my face. It's worth a laugh so I'm glad the video editor left it in. Also, as I threw the rat away he hit a doorframe and knocked over all the dominos I'd laid out for an upcoming prop. Damn rat.

This DVD is not intended to win an Academy Award; some of the words are garbled and I
wasn't wearing a proper microphone, but a slick production is not the point. Look at this rather as a workbook with notes already in the margins. It was filmed in under three hours, with minimal
editing. In fact, the first 55 minutes were shot in one take. The cameraman is still shaking his head about
that.

Mr. Rat politely declined a dose of stressor chemicals

No cheese for him.

As you can tell, I'm big on the word proactive, so let's discuss it a little further. I believe a functional definition of this word within a massage context is still
emerging, and we're defining it together as we speak. We can start, however, by saying a proactive massage
aims to set the table for an expanded sense of
well-being
. In contrast, and by its very definition, a 'therapeutic' massage attempts to correct a negative physical condition such as a stiff lower back. According to David Palmer, the current 'dean' of American bodywork (he invented the massage chair), 'proactivity' is the direction massage leaned towards until the mid 1980s.

"In 1985, there was a shift from massage to massage
therapy," he says. "Things started being defined in the negative, such as "I have a problem. I need to fix it.' " This perspective reflects what some people might term the 'clinic-ization' of
massage, which to me might be leading us down a path that diverges from the
millenniums-old spirit that precedes it.

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