Touch: A Poem by Zachary H. Avery, LMT

It’s something I have thousands of hours of training in, yet it’s so intuitive.
Sometimes people come in for a session,
When all they need is to be held.
Clasping their hands in mine,
They begin to weep.

It’s so simple, yet so profound.
We know that babies die without it,
Bad days can turn around because of it.
The truth is, what you touch with your hands,
You can’t help but touch with your heart.

It’s a way to bestow dignity, restore respect, and demonstrate love.
Sometimes I think my presence is more important than my strokes.
Yes, I know the origin and insertion of that muscle,
But more importantly I recognize the origin of your being and the insertion of your spirit.
This is indeed about more than dirty feet or ticklish thighs.

It’s more than just a physical act.
The mind and the body are indeed one.
I touch your trapezius,
But more importantly I touch your pain, your sorrow, your fear.
Assuredly, whatever we can allow to be touched, we can allow to be healed.

It’s something that grounds us.
By bringing us out of thoughts of the past and the future,
The act of touch brings us to the here and now.
Our guards come down, we release control, our worries and insecurities magically melt away…

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The Autonomic Nervous System Explained

People often ask me about the science/logic/reasoning as to how the services that I offer (i.e. massage, acupuncture, yoga, etc.) promote health and wellness in the body. I could answer this question from many different angles; we could talk about knots, trigger points, reflex areas, fascia, lymph, inflammation, circulation, endorphins, energy/qi, and so forth. Today, however, I want to go a little deeper with my answer.

Throughout my thousands of hours of training in alternative medicine, I’ve had the privilege to learn from some pretty phenomenal practitioners of both Western and Eastern medicine. What I’ve noticed is that people generally tend to have a great Western/allopathic understanding of health, or they have a good grip on the Eastern/holistic perspective; only a small number of people have studied both. Not only have I actively pursued studying health from both a Western and Eastern approach, but I’ve been building bridges between the two for the last several years. In this newsletter, I’m going to explain what I do from a Western point of view and then next month I’ll explain everything from an Eastern outlook (and I’ll show how the two perspectives parallel and are really one and…

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Not Knots!

Have you ever gotten a massage where everything is going great until you feel that sudden CRUNCH? “Wow, that was tender,” you think to yourself, but you choose to try to stay in that place of tranquility. It happens again. CRUNCH. You eventually work up the nerve to ask your massage therapist, “What IS that?!” Your therapist can reply in many different ways, but the most common, poignant reply is, “Knots.”

I have many clients who have come into my studio for the first time talking about the “knots” in their neck, shoulders, etc. In the massage industry, we talk so much about knots, but what are they? How do you get them? Better yet, how do you get rid of them? Shall we be so bold as to ask how to prevent them?! The term “knot” doesn’t have a medical definition, yet it’s used heavily among professionals and educated massage consumers alike. My goal this month is to shine some light on the topic.

One of the most classic rants I’ve heard from a client is, “HOW DO I HAVE A KNOT IN MY PINKY?!” The fact is that knots can appear anywhere that…

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