How To Overcome Pain With Massage
Written by Kianna Morgan, a therapist in training and MSW student. Kianna is passionate about trauma-informed practices and enjoys writing as a way to share empowering information with people suffering from trauma and chronic stress.
How does Tim help his clients reduce pain and restore range of motion?
Tim Schimick is a licensed massage therapist who has been practicing for over 20 years. In addition to therapeutic massage, Tim has training in Structural Integration, Zero Balancing, Craniosacral therapy, and the John F. Barnes’ method of Myofascial Release.
While attending the Utah College of Massage Therapy Tim was trained to assess structural issues by watching people walk and move as well as learning about how they use and posture their body throughout the day. These assessment tools helped Tim learn to identify where they held their tension and how it was creating pain in their structures.
From there he learned to formulate a plan for how to help align their body and thereby alleviate the patterns that were hindering movement. These foundational skills still inform Tim’s work and allow him to work with people from all walks of life. He works with everyone from athletes to students and professionals of all age ranges. The overarching aim of Tim’s work is helping reduce pain and return clients to a higher quality of life.
Many of Tim’s clients come to him seeking help with chronic pain or stiffness, rehabilitation from injury or help recovering from joint replacement surgery. In all of these situations, the body’s main defense mechanism is to “lock” the area down to inhibit movement in an effort to reduce pain. Tim’s techniques help to soften this natural inhibition, allowing the body to return to a space it already knows as “correct”.
How can Somatic Therapy help you heal and release tension after the pandemic?
During the pandemic many of us were forced to abandon the office and adjust to modified workplaces at home. Many of which were not ideal and often did not support healthy alignment in the body. When the body is forced to spend hours in a chair that’s too short or a table that’s too tall it will do its best to adapt to the new postural requirements. Often these adaptations are small and may even feel imperceptible, but they compound over time.
In addition to this purely physical change, many were experiencing significant increases in stress. Stress is a whole body experience that comes with its own postural pattern. Muscles tighten, breathing becomes more shallow and our body has a harder time relaxing into deep restful sleep. These stress patterns combined with unideal work setups further compound each other.
Eventually the body reaches a tipping point. The pain or tightness that we often attribute to something like “sleeping wrong”, is often a result of the prolonged postural changes and stress taking hold. Tim helps his clients by finding where adhered or stuck tissues are hindering the body and helping to restore proper alignment in a way that best supports them.
How does Tim’s Eastern belief system and background influence his work as a somatic therapist?
In addition to his bodywork training, Tim also has a Masters degree in Oriental medicine from the Midwest College of Oriental Medicine. During his time there he was trained in acupuncture, cupping and nutrition. This training allows Tim to apply multiple lenses when assessing a client’s problem areas. He can then choose modalities and techniques that will best help restore balance to the structure and whole person.
Tim has gone on many journeys that have supported his embodiment and connection to himself and the world, including a two week retreat to the Peruvian rainforest. While there, he worked with a Shaman using traditional plant medicines to help Tim open up to the energy of himself and others. That experience has allowed him to be more aware of the energy in his sessions.
Similar to the tissues, energy can also get stuck. Tim’s research and education around chakras and Qi has also helped him be able to assess where energy is “stuck” for his clients. Using the tools of his training, Tim then helps re-open the energy pathways to create a better regulated nervous system.
What is intuitive bodywork and how can it support somatic therapists in session?
In an Intuitive Bodywork session, Tim combines his expansive knowledge of anatomy with intuition and listening to the subtle signs of the body. In these sessions he will often combine various modalities (like Craniosacral therapy or Zero Balancing) into his sessions. By tuning into the energy from the client and trusting where his intuition guides him he is able to uniquely support each individual.
For example, stress and anxiety affect our structures as we close off or block the heart chakra. Intuitive bodywork aides in releasing stress and anxiety, helping to open up the heart chakra and reconnect with your true self. The connection Tim forms with clients allows him to tune into their energy and help restore a sense of calm and well-being.
How does Esalen style massage influence therapy sessions?
Esalen massage originated at the Esalen institute in Big Sur California and was the site where many well known bodyworkers honed their trades, including Ida Rolf and Moshe Feldenkrais.
Esalen style massage uses long, fluid strokes that evoke a feeling of the entire body being connected; restoring balance to the structure while helping to alleviate stress and anxiety.
How does Tim’s teaching background influence his sessions?
Tim taught movement assessment, craniosacral therapy, Swedish Massage, and Structural Integration at Utah College of Massage Therapy in Salt Lake City. As an instructor Tim had to really hone his communication skill. He had to learn to take complex concepts and break them down into digestible content for the students. This skill servies him today as he takes time with clients to explain what is happening in their structures and why. He also invites clients to explore changes in their daily lives that can continue the healing process. This allows clients to have an empowered and active role in their own healing.
What is craniosacral therapy?
Craniosacral therapy is a light touch technique that focuses primarily on the skull and spine. As the body creates and circulates cerebrospinal fluid in the cranial system, it emits a “pulse” that can be affected by stress and life circumstances. Craniosacral therapy aids in the proper regulation of the craniosacral system, thereby reducing stress and tension in the body. This also helps to restore a sense of presence and well-being.
Red Beard Somatic Therapy has a team of somatic therapists that specialize in applying interventions that help you heal from injuries and illness.
At Red Beard Somatic Therapy we create a safe holding space for you to connect with your body and release tension. Our team is dedicated to empowering you so that you can move freely and step out of pain. We strive to give you the tools to alleviate stress and pain.