It is our tradition that the Person of the Month chosen to start the new year in the Journal Of Massage Science is a winner of the previous year’s Case of the Month contest. This year, our Person of the Month is Angela Bitting, BA, LMT, from Dover, Florida.
Angela is an exceptional practitioner. I met her a year ago when she was a student attending a medical massage seminar. Three months later, we met again and she discussed with me her patients and wanted to ensure she was making the correct diagnosis and subsequent treatment plans for them. I was stunned by the depth of her questions, and her profound comprehension of the clinical applications of massage therapy. She had obtained such expertise from only two seminars and three-months of self-study. Angela has a significant massage expertise, but still her understanding and subsequent successful insight into the application of massage therapy is an incredible accomplishment. The information offered in her Case of the Month contribution in Issue #3 of 2013 JMS is further proof of her clinical skills.
Here is our interview with the
WINNER OF THE 2013 JMS CASE OF THE MONTH CONTEST
JMS: Our congratulations to you as a winner of JMS‘s Case of the Month contest!
A. Bitting: Thank you very much. I would like to express my gratitude to everyone who voted for my submission.
JMS: How did you get into the field of massage therapy?
A. Bitting: I was in my senior year of college in 1991, and had to do a presentation on a “helping profession.” I contacted a friend of our family who was a massage therapist working in a chiropractic clinic and asked if I could observe her treatments for a day. She agreed and it was a day I will forever remember. I observed several different clinical treatments and, by the end, it was as if the angels were singing down to me, “THIS is what you are supposed to do.” I graduated college the first week of May and was promptly enrolled in a massage school by the end of May. Since then, I have never looked back. Twenty-three years later, I still love this profession.
JMS: What is your opinion about medical massage as a treatment concept?
A. Bitting: Medical massage is very inclusive. It is about understanding how soft tissues are arranged layer by layer and the pattern of their innervation. After a correct evaluation, I can determine which methods or combination of methods of medical massage I will use to directly affect the involved tissue. Despite that the underlying principle of medical massage as a concept does not change, its applications greatly vary from patient to patient. In a sense, I create an individual protocol for each new client, which makes my work so exciting and effective. The concept of having multiple “tools” in the treatment bag determines the successful medical massage practice, and helps treat multiple and various conditions.
JMS: What medical massage techniques have you found to be the most effective?
A. Bitting: That is a tricky question. My experience has been that, when applied correctly, each technique or method is extremely effective. Segment-Reflex Massage (SRM) has provided some pretty amazing educational opportunities for me and my clients. Understanding how Connective Tissue Massage (CTM) varies from other deeper fascial work has helped me become more effective with conditions such as compartment syndrome. And of course, understanding the importance of applying Trigger Point Therapy correctly is the basic foundation of successful medical massage treatment. Vibration is my new favorite tool.
JMS: What is your opinion on the effectiveness of MEDICAL MASSAGE PROTOCOLs in terms of time and effort?
A. Bitting: These protocols are highly effective. I have become much more efficient with minimal effort, and this is reflected in my growing medical massage practice.
JMS: What percent of your practice is medical massage?
A. Bitting: Currently, I use medical massage in all of my treatments. I am performing the actual MEDICAL MASSAGE PROTOCOLs in about 90% of my treatments.
JMS: Do you have a favorite type of bodywork?
A. Bitting: There are so many effective types of bodywork that is hard to choose just one. This is probably why medical massage suits me.
JMS: What professional advice do you have for our readers?
A. Bitting: This is one of my favorite quotes, “Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire.” Find what lights your fire and then keep it burning. Do not be afraid to learn something new or different even after you have been in this profession for years.
Category: Person of the Month