During our seminars, we have noticed that some practitioners are very reluctant to step into medical massage field. As a result of many conversations and e-mail exchanges, we concluded that fear of stepping out of a comfort zone is the main obstacle that keeps people from fully embracing medical massage.

Each therapist spends considerable time, sometimes years, to perfect an hour- or two-hour massage routine. For some practitioners, it is difficult to step out of this routine especially because medical massage is a very fluid and constantly changing type of practice. What works for one patient does not work for another. In a way, the therapist creates an effective therapy on the spot for each particular patient with a somatic abnormality and this protocol may change during the next session.

However, the most interesting part that the massage routine therapists develop is the foundation of the medical massage session, since all special techniques and approaches should be incorporated into an already successful routine. This makes the clinical application of medical massage much easier and effective.

From this point of view, we thought that for some of our readers who consider medical massage therapy as a potential career path, the personal story of Juan Luis Ordaz Sabag, MMT, DVM, from Mexico can be encouraging. The major difference between Juan and other therapists is the fact that he does not have a psychological “attachment” to the massage routine since he is Doctor of Veterinary Medicine. Since he has not received formal massage training, it was much easier for him to develop a massage routine as he started to learn and practice medical massage at the same time. We think that it is interesting to discuss the issue of medical massage with a therapist who has a fresh view on this topic. Here is our interview with


Juan Luis Ordaz Sabag, MMP, DVM

Juan Luis Ordaz Sabag, MMP, DVM

JMS: How did you get into the field of massage therapy?

Juan Luis: Well it is a long history. I met my future wife Ruth when she was 15 years old and since that time I remembered that she regularly visited an orthopedist because she suffered from constant upper and lower back pains. Her physician diagnosed her with Thoracic Scoliosis and said that there was a very good chance that she will need surgery later in life to correct the deformation. Initially, I did not know anything about medical massage or that such therapy can help people have better quality of life without having surgery. 

The time passed quickly, and we were married when she was 24 years old. After her second pregnancy and the birth of our second boy, she started experiencing more and more pain in the upper and lower back. I decided to study massage to relieve the intensity of her pain. For a while, I examined different techniques and approaches. I bought a lot of books on reflexology, traditional massage, acupressure, traditional Chinese massage techniques, etc. I used these techniques with moderate success until one day I was researching this topic on the Internet, and I stumbled on the Aesculapius Books (www.aesculapbooks.com) web page, which offered two textbooks Medical Massage (Volume I and II) and one book Therapeutic Massage, A Scientific Approach. I ordered them immediately because I was looking for something based on the science to control the intensity of the pain my wife suffered from.

While I waited for the textbooks, I continued to research more about their author and I also found the Science of Massage website. In the Video Library, I clicked on the Anterior Scalene Protocol, and I was greatly impressed by its presentation and very easy way to learn the recommended techniques and approaches. Instantly, I realized that this was information I had been seeking for several years. I decided to join the Video Library, studied it and eventually become a medical massage practitioner.

After I received the textbooks, I started to study the protocols using the books and the Video Library. I applied the different protocols on my wife and was amazed how quickly Ruth improved after I used the Levator Scapulae Muscle Syndrome and the Lower Back protocols.

After I helped my wife, many my friends started to see me for treatment, and, after I helped them, recommended me to their friends. At this point, I realized that being medical massage practitioner allows me to help people and generate additional income for my family. The more I practiced, the more people with various pain syndromes come to me. For many of them, I was their last hope since nobody was able to help them.

I found that many of the pain syndromes I observed in my patients matched exactly with what I read in the textbooks and saw in the Video Library. So far, I have been using MEDICAL MASSAGE PROTOCOLs and recommended techniques for almost seven years with incredible success.

JMS: Did you have any difficulties with learning and following the MEDICAL MASSAGE PROTOCOLs from our Video Library?

Juan Luis: MEDICAL MASSAGE PROTOCOLs in the Video Library are very user-friendly and easier to follow because Dr. Turchaninov made everything very clear and easier to use while performing the protocols step by step. I think it is very easy to learn the protocols and techniques since the information is very visual. Another important advantage of the Science of Massage website is that I have the opportunity to send in my questions, comments or suggestions about particular protocol or patient to “Help People to Have Better Life.”

JMS: What medical massage techniques have you found to be the most effective?

Juan Luis: First of all, I would like to mention that to have a diagnostic evaluation with all the necessary tests and know the questions to ask are the most valuable things I have ever found and I did a lot of research on this topic. I am always sure that we cannot treat the patient without knowing 100% what we are dealing with. As soon as I mastered that, the rest became much easier, I just followed the step by step protocols and stick with the recommendation and combination of different techniques as in the Segment-Reflex Massage, Connective Tissue Massage, Periostal Massage, Postisometric Muscular Relaxation, Stretching Massage, etc. 

Overall, the Video Library especially in combination with Medical Massagetextbooks is a powerful tool for all practitioners who would like achieve stable clinical results and help people with pain.

JMS: What is your opinion on the effectiveness of MEDICAL MASSAGE PROTOCOLs in terms of time and effort?

Juan Luis: I think the timing recommended in the protocols is helpful but in my opinion this time should be modified accordingly to each patient. In regard to my personal efforts, I think it depends how well the therapist has learned the techniques and uses them. At the beginning, I made a lot of effort when I started to use the protocols and follow the routines. I never gave up and followed the protocols strictly, and now everything flows effortlessly. The more I practiced and sharpened my skills, the more positive the results I get during the treatment of my patients using Medical Massage. 

What helped me tremendously and put the final touches on my professional skills, is the hands-on training I received while I took a medical massage seminar in Los Angeles. What I realized there – and it was greatly emphasized during the seminar – was that each protocol is not written in stone. It is the therapist’s personal creativity that is the key after he or she learns the basic scientific approach to medical massage.

JMS: Do you have a favorite type of bodywork?

Juan Luis: I like all bodywork related to preventive massage. One of my favorites is the combination of Stress-Reducing Massage with Therapeutic Massage. I also love the Sport Massage Techniques since during my entire life, I have been involved in different sports.

JMS: What professional advice do you have for our readers? 

Juan Luis: I recommend that all therapists, no matter if you are new in this profession or have been in this business for long time, practice Medical Massage and use the Science of Massage website to develop critical clinical skills to be able to effectively treat the patients. Based on my own professional success, I can say with confidence that the Science of Massage website is the greatest professional asset for therapists.

Category: Person of the Month