Brush and Floss Daily!

I’m sure everyone remembers as young children going to the dentist, and if you were like me you dreaded it! These days it’s not so bad and for the most part I look forward to getting my teeth cleaned and go 2 to 3 times a year for maintenance as I’m sure most of us do since this is what our dentist’s recommend!

They not only recommend these regular check ups and cleanings, but also want us to brush and floss our teeth daily as a regular maintenance routine. When you think about it, it does make good sense. After all, these are the tools we use for mastication – to break down the food that we eat into smaller pieces so that the stomach can break them down even further so we can extract the nutrients from them.

The by-product of this mastication process is food particles between our teeth as well as between our teeth and gums. Not only is this not a pleasant site, the particles, if left alone will cause our teeth to develop cavities, as well as plaque and tarter which could lead to gingivitis and the possibility of losing our teeth! And as if this wasn’t bad enough, in worst cases this could effect your health negatively, not to mention the bad breath, which would be the least of your problems!

So you can see the importance of regular daily maintenance! If you were to ask my dentist about the importance of daily flossing he would jokingly say, “Only floss the ones you want to keep!” Makes sense to me!

Not only do I believe in the maintenance of the teeth and gums, I believe we should maintain everything we use and want to preserve. Not only would they last longer, we would also get better quality from them! Isn’t that what it’s really about, quality?

Over the past 19 years as a Muscle Therapist for the relief of pain, enhancement of athletic performance, and to increase ones movement and overall quality of life, I have built a loyal following of clients! Some I have been seeing for regular maintenance for over a decade! Once a week, maybe more!

When some people hear this they look at me like I have a third eye, followed with, and “they’re still not better?”(when it comes to pain), or “they still have to keep coming?” (so frequently). To this I respond, “well of course they’re better! The reason they keep coming is because they want to continue to feel better and do the things they love and enjoy!” For these reasons they do regular maintenance.

Over the years I have done my own personal research with some of my clients, where I would see them once a week, a couple of times a week, and even 5 days in a row (working different areas of the body). The changes I have witnessed are amazing! Though I believe everyone has limits, there is no one that this work cannot help. I have also found that the more frequent the therapy, the better and longer lasting the results are!

When I’ve talked to doctors about my findings they would often say, “the problem with that Jim is that though what you do makes people feel better it is palliative (meaning that it treats the symptoms) and it doesn’t last.”  Although they are wrong about the statement that it just treats the symptoms (and I do explain to them why), lets address the “it doesn’t last part“. To this statement I would usually ask them to give me an example of something that does last?

Examples I would ask them are, when I fill my gas tank up, will I ever have to fill it again?  When someone goes to the gym to exercise to get healthier why do they keep going once they are? Sometimes I get real bad and ask, why do I have to eat and breathe today, I did that yesterday? Obviously I’m just being facetious! The point is, everything we use needs to be maintained!

Every machine known to man needs maintenance, and this includes the human machine! Could you think of any other machine that is more important? The car? The computer? The lawn mower? No, none of them are as important as our body and the health of it!  Maybe the problem is that we do not look at the human body as a machine, when in fact, not only is it a machine, it is the most complex, but best put together/created ones on the planet, with no exceptions!

Yet these other machines are the ones we usually maintain. The reason we maintain these other machines is so they last longer and run more efficiently, i.e. better quality! But we didn’t just figure this out on our own, we were taught as young people by our fathers, mothers, teachers, doctors, etc, and they were taught by theirs, and so on. Our dentist, I would guess, started the education of the importance of maintenance with our teeth!

Think about it! From very early in life we are taught to brush and floss our teeth daily so we don’t get cavities and gum disease, etc! All this for 32 teeth! Which I 100% agree with! But we have billions if not trillions of soft tissue cells in our body that we were never taught to brush and floss (cleanse). Uh, now you see where I am going with that analogy!

So yes, over the years we were taught about exercising with weights to strengthen our muscles and to stretch our muscles which is great and also about maintenance. However this is not the type of maintenance I am talking  about. Strengthening and stretching should be part of everybody’s maintenance program, but this will not make the soft tissues (everything that is not bone, teeth, or finger and toe nails) supple and pliable, which is key to a healthier musculoskeletal and fascial system.

By brushing and flossing (cleansing) these tissues you will change the  viscosity of the ground substance (ground substance is the fluid in our bodies that all the tissues bathe in, and is the medium in which communication takes place between all the cells) from a gelatinous to a more fluid state, as well as calm the nervous system down, allowing the muscle fibers to melt and separate under the skilled therapist’s fingers, while also breaking up other adhesions from fibrotic tissues, thereby creating the pliability that a healthier musculoskeletal system should have!

Also, not only will increased pliability of these tissues happen right away, you will also mechanically draw fresh blood carrying nutrients and oxygen into theses tissues as well as accelerate the removal of toxins(i.e. metabolic waste) from them, creating a much healthier environment!

 More is definitely better!

Through my research I have found that the more consistently you free these tissues up, the healthier they feel – not only subjectively, but objectively! Many times I will hear things from my clients like, “I can’t remember when I could move my neck this far, though I know it’s been years“. I had one client say after freeing his hip up multiple times that it hadn’t felt that loose in 30 years! Now that’s making changes, and I don’t make this stuff up!

Due to time constraints and financial cost however, one of the biggest challenges is doing the consistency that is needed to make the biggest changes. You see, the majority of people that have musculoskeletal problems are past the age of 40, so they have 40 plus years of gravity, repetitive strain and habitual patterns to brush and floss out. Imagine not brushing and flossing your teeth for that long. The prognosis doesn’t sound good, does it?

That being said, though more frequency is better, people of all ages can feel and move better then they currently are with the help of this type of bodywork (i.e. Muscle Therapy/Soft Tissue Manipulation) from a skilled therapist even with as little as once a month!

Unfortunately most people do not realize this, and I believe this all comes down to how we were educated since we were young, and is known as our belief system! So my recommendation is, if you want to feel physically better, then change your belief system and brush and floss (cleanse) your soft tissues regularly! General massage is wonderful, but it is superficial and is not what I am talking about!

When I ask clients I have been working with for a while and are now in their maintenance phase, in the perfect world where time and money wasn’t an issue would they get muscle/Myofascial therapy every day (this would be on different parts of the body)? The answer is always yes, without a doubt!

Over the years many of the clients that would come into my office would say things like, “it hurts here or it hurts there, but I don’t know what I did. I just woke up and couldn’t turn my neck or my back was stiff“. Then they would ask, “what do you think happened?” Many times I would say “life happened! Over the past 40 plus years you have been opposing gravity, using repetitive motion, and holding on to habitual patterns.” (see my article titled “How Full is Your Glass?”)

To oppose gravity we must use our musculoskeletal/fascial and nervous systems to keep us stable just to stand or sit upright.

We use repetitive motion when we move, work, walk, or do any kind of physical activity. To do this, we repetitively contract and relax our muscles, and over time some of these muscles and other soft tissues shorten while others elongate and adapt to these new lengths making our bodies more unstable, not to mention the inflammation in the tissues from the constant tension and friction, thus creating the repetitive strain.

Then we have habitual patterns. Have you ever seen someone walking down the street from far away and though you cannot see their face you can easily recognize who it is based on the way they walk or hold themselves? This is an example of a habitual pattern, and we all have them!

It is these main three things that I am talking about when I say to a client “life happened“. Not only do these three physical stresses cause the tension in our body to increase over a life time, but in some area’s where there is extreme physical stress over long periods these soft tissues thicken and adhere to each other or to bone, thereby decreasing our pliability and range of motion (ROM) even more! Not to mention, accidents or minor/major injuries that may happen to us along the way over this 40 plus year period!

Picture a 2 month old baby who can put his or her feet in their mouth, now fast forward 80 years to see a man or woman who has so much rigidity that they have to turn their whole body 180 degrees to see who or what is behind them. This is life and you and I are somewhere in between.

You may not be able to get back the pliability of the 2 month old, but I guarantee with the help from a skilled therapist’s hands you can restore a lot of this pliability in a relatively short time, and with regular brushing and flossing(i.e. cleansing) of your soft tissues you can reverse a lot more and slow down the rest of this life causing rigidity that plagues the 80 year old!

Knowing that we don’t live in a perfect world and time and money are an issue for most people, one should determine the time and money they can allocate to getting and maintaining a healthier musculoskeletal/fascial system and get started!

Not only does this work, there is no way it cannot!


Stay Pliable

Jim Durant

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How Full Is Your Glass?

Over the past 18 plus years as a therapist I have worked with people from all walks of life such as construction workers, musicians, dancers, athletes of all types, doctors, financial people, hair and nail technicians, etc. When I ask them how long they have had their aches, pain, or discomfort I would often hear anywhere from days, weeks, months and even years. They would also say things like though the pain has been constant lately, it started out being on and off.

This is known in most cases as an acute flair up of a chronic condition and is quite common with repetitive strain type of injuries. This article is not specifically about repetitive strain injuries, though it is the most common problem I have seen.

That being said, I believe that most musculoskeletal pain in the body is caused by excessive pressure on the nerve(s) in the localized area making them fire off so fast that it is over the pain threshold.

This pressure is caused by stress (physical, emotional, or psychological) of some type which causes the nerve(s) in the area or referred areas to fire off at a faster rate of speed which in turn tightens(shortens) muscles in some areas while making the muscles on the opposite side of the joint taut(long). This also causes the other soft tissues throughout the body to move and over time adapt to these new lengths.

This not only causes tension in these soft tissues but also causes pressure within the joint itself thereby causing more increased stimulation to the nerves, both to those that innervate the soft tissues as well as the joint. This causes a perpetuation and exacerbation of pressure which could ultimately lead to a vicious pain, spasm, pain cycle.

Here’s how it works. We all have many nerves that innervate the soft tissues of our bodies as well as the joint spaces, both sensory and motor. The sensory nerve(s) feel stimuli (i.e. stress) both internally within our bodies and externally throughout the environment (ex. gravity, etc), and the motor nerve(s) respond to this stimulation, many times by tensing the surrounding tissues either throughout the body or in a localized area.

This tension of tissues could be tight (i.e. shortened) or taut (i.e. lengthened) muscle(s), and other soft tissues depending on which side of the joint these tissues are on. The main thing to get from this is the pressure it is causing and the continued and increasing over- stimulation of the nerve(s).

Like Sands thru the Hourglass!

For this analogy, I want you to think of each nerve in the body as a 12 ounce glass. When we are born these glasses are empty. We are going to use grains of sand to illustrate stress which is the substance that fills these glasses throughout our lives. When this stress (sand) goes over the top of any one of these 12 ounce glasses (the pain threshold) we experience pain and/or discomfort. Now remember each nerve has its own 12 ounce glass and inervates and serves different areas of the body.

From the moment we are born this stress starts to affect and make changes in our bodies, at least in the physical sense in the form of gravity. “To understand the negative affect that gravity can have on our bodies just raise your arm out in front of you at a 90 degree angle. For the relatively healthy person this is easy. Now hold it there for eight hours. Or just bring it up and down like a painter would for that amount of time. This will give you the true reality of what gravity does to our bodies over a life time! “

The good news is our bodies have an incredible ability to absorb and take a lot of stress before there is a problem. So when we are young and growing we are just starting to take on these stresses and generally cannot feel the effects that I am talking about as the sand (stress) starts to fill the bottom of the glass(s).

As a matter of fact if we could go from children to adolescence to young adults without some type of traumatic injury I believe we could go well into our late thirties without filling (and over-flowing) any of these 12 ounce glasses. Then again when we are young we generally do not do the repetitive type of activities we do during our working years which very well may be the reason, the exception would be the kids that are heavily involved in sports. But remember, this is only an analogy.

To continue, I believe the stresses we experience in our lives including physical, emotional, and psychological accumulate in our body’s tissues over time thereby filling these glasses and thus manifesting in the form of tension (i.e. pressure) over a 35 to 40 year span. Yet we still do not experience pain or discomfort unless this sand (i.e. stress) fills and goes over the rim of the 12 ounce glass(s). Though we may feel stiffness at times we do not have the pain until this sand (stress) goes over the top of the glass(s).

My experience (approximately 40,000 sessions and 25,000 hours of professional hands-on experience) tells me that these glasses start to over flow at around forty plus years of age. As I’ve said before, I believe most of these stresses are due to repetitive type strains and the accompanying pains and/or discomforts that have to do with the type of job or physical activity each individual participates in on a regular basis. Of course the psychological and emotional stresses we experience in our daily lives add to and perpetuate the sand (stress) that fills these glasses, and in some cases may be the main cause!

 Let the problems begin!

Often when a new client comes in to my office they will say things like I have pain in this area or that area but it is not all the time, more on and off. This is when the sand (stress) is fluctuating between over the rim and under the rim of one or more of our glasses.

An example would be the roofer who starts out in the morning with stiffness in his/her back. By mid morning they notice their back feels a little looser. This, I believe is caused by the repeated contracting and relaxing of the muscles which creates heat in the body, and changes the viscosity of the ground substance (a fluid medium that surrounds every cell in the body) from a gelatinous to a more liquid state, making them healthier and more pliable (flexible)!  This action also helps to push blood and lymph thru these muscles and other soft tissues as well as having many other physiological benefits.

This is very good when done as exercise but not when continued for eight hour periods. By the end of the day the roofer is experiencing increased stiffness from this physical stress which adds more sand (stress) to their glasses in these areas and the entire body for that matter. Add to this the friction that is caused by the increased tension and you have more inflammation (i.e. more pressure) which brings the sand over the top of the glass (i.e. pain threshold). Hence the pain is on and off!

Though all excessive tension in muscles pull on the bones of the joints they cross, pulling them out of alignment, causing inflammation, strangulating nerves and blood/lymph vessels, leading to pain or discomfort, etc, most of this can be reversed alot by a qualified therapist (and no, not just heat or stretching, and certainly not by strengthening these areas).

But the real problems start when there is so much pressure in the spine that it causes a disc to rupture or the rotator cuff tears.

When we do get to this point (i.e. when there is a true rupture in the disc or major tear in the rotator cuff), surgical repair many times cannot be avoided, though there are exceptions. This is because as I have stated earlier, pain is caused by the over stimulation of the nerve(s) from excessive pressure. Using the spine as an example, when a disc ruptures, the outer rim (annulus fibrosus) cracks/breaks and the inner gelatinous part (nucleus pulposus) squirts out and pushes on the nerves in and around the area. This could be compared to a jelly donut placed on the table and smashing down on it with your fist. The jelly in this case would splatter everywhere. So in the case of a ruptured disc. Though soft tissue manipulation will help ease much of the pain by taking away some of the pressure, it will not clean up the areas splattered by the disc itself and in some cases it does not get absorbed by the body.

 Is that the smoke detector I hear?

But before we get to the point of rupturing a disc in most cases we have many warning signs. Aches and pains we feel after prolonged physical activity, though common in everybody, may be the first initial signs. But the bigger and more important signs to listen to are when we get to the point where our pain/discomfort is on and off (above and below the rim of one or more twelve ounce glasses).

You see, pain is our bodies alarm telling us something is wrong –  “too much pressure” in this case. If we do not listen to this alarm we can end up with more problems (bulges, ruptures, tears, etc). It’s like hearing your smoke detector going off in the middle of the night and instead of looking to find out why it is going off you just took out the batteries and went back to bed. The possible outcome may not be so good. So listen to your alarms!

Call 911!

Once you hear the alarm(s) (or better yet, before) find a qualified Massage Therapist, Rolfer, etc, one who specializes in orthopedic based soft tissue manipulation and can texturally palpate (examine by touch) and identify these unhealthy tissues and restore them to a healthier  more pliable state, thereby bringing this sand way below the rim of your glasses! This type of work will also create a much healthier environment for all the cells to live thereby increasing the quality of your life!

Note: I found the following paragraph on the Healthline website just as I was writing this article:
“Disk herniation occurs more frequently in middle aged and older men, especially those involved in strenuous physical activity. Other risk factors include any congenital conditions that affect the size of the lumbar spinal canal”

“Middle aged and older men, Interesting………any guesses why?

So I ask again, How full is your glass?”  j.d.

I hope you found this article informative as I truly enjoy sharing this with everyone. My goal and mission is to educate more people about the soft tissues of our body and how we can reverse a lot of the damages the many stresses in our lives cause them. Also, how we can keep them healthier and our body as a whole thru maintenance, thereby decreasing pain or discomfort, increasing athletic performance and enhancing anyone’s quality of life!

To find out more about Soft Tissue Manipulation and how it can enhance the quality of your life please call me today at:


Not only does this work, there is no way it cannot!

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The Ultimate Fountain of Youth

Over the past 18 years I have had the good fortune to help thousands of people who have suffered pain and/or dysfunction live a happier, healthier, pain free quality of life!

With over 25,000 hours and 40,000 sessions of hands-on experience my textural palpation (to examine by touch) skills have magnified many times over. It is this extensive experience that has made me witness to the changes, sometimes dramatic, in soft tissues of so many different clients time after time. Most importantly, with continued maintenance I am able to preserve these tissues in a healthier state.

It is this revelation that brought me to the conclusion that precise soft tissue manipulation is the Ultimate Fountain of Youth! And I believe exceptional textural palpation skills are needed to achieve this.

“A lifetime of stress”

From the day we are born, and throughout our entire lives, our nervous system fires off at a certain rate of speed. The rate at which these nerves fire off is different for everyone. This is similar to the heart beat, though some people may be the same, most are different.

Throughout the stresses of our lives these nerves fire off at different rates of speed, depending on the type of stress and the duration. These stresses can be physical such as standing or lifting, or psychological, such as thinking about bills that need to be paid, or emotional, such as the loss of a loved one. The faster any nerve fires off the tighter the muscle and other soft tissue that it supplies becomes. So if the whole nervous system is firing off at a fast pace on a regular basis imagine what that can do to the whole body over time!

Along with this, muscles and soft tissues on one side of the joint are pulled closer together, while the muscles and soft tissues on the opposing side of the joint are pulled further apart making them taut. In both cases it causes compression or tension to anything in the area, such as the blood and lymph vessels, and nerves. It also causes compression of the joints that these muscles cross, and can and do pull on other structures as well as pull joints out of alignment. The bottom line, increased pressure!

This increased pressure placed on any joint for a sustained period of time causes this debilitating cycle to happen over and over again throughout life, which eventually leads to our joint problems (Degenerative disc disease, osteoarthritis, etc) not to mention the thickening (fibrosis) of the soft tissues themselves.

To recap, it is the over stimulation of nerves that causes tension (i.e. pressure) in the first place, causing the nerve(s) to fire off even faster, causing even more tension. Over time this cycle repeats itself creating ever increasing pressure.

To add insult to injury this pressure creates friction, which causes heat, which causes inflammation, which causes (you guessed it) more pressure, etc.

Eventually, this viscous cycle if perpetuated causes the nerve(s) to fire off over the pain threshold (which is different for everyone), thereby causing us discomfort. For example, if a person weighing 150 lbs stepped on your foot you would feel pressure and it would be uncomfortable, but if an elephant stepped on your foot it would crush it. Hence the more pressure, the more discomfort. In turn this pain causes us to compensate and use our body differently to minimize the discomfort, and thus a whole new series of abnormal patterns start.

Though I believe that all three types of stress cause this over stimulation, my experience tells me that it is the physical stresses that cause most of these physical problems(via localized nerves). This is why the roofer has back pain, the painter has shoulder pain and the computer programmer has carpel tunnel syndrome, etc. I believe that the emotional and psychological stresses in life in most cases are the perpetuators and exacerbators of our physical ailments, however, there are exceptions.

This being said, I believe there are three specific types of physical stress that cause these problems over a life time. They are gravity, repetitive strain, and habitual patterns (watch for my article on this subject).

The pressures from these stresses over a life time not only constricts blood and lymph flow thereby slowing down the rate at which nutrients and oxygen are delivered to and hasten the removal of toxins (i.e. metabolic waste) from the cells, but they also wear away at the cartilage in our joints by way of friction (like the wearing away of a cars tires from driving thousands of miles). The end result, osteoarthritis, i.e. chronic pain!

Picture a 2 month old baby so pliable that she can put her feet in her mouth. Now fast forward eighty years and see a rigid 80 year old man or woman that has to turn their whole body in order to see who or what is behind them. This is what a life time of these stresses cause. Now imagine if we could reverse some of these changes and slow down the rest!

Ah, the Fountain of Youth!

Though we cannot stop these degenerative changes that happen through a process we call life, we can without a doubt slow them down! This would decrease pain and stiffness, increase range of motion, increase overall health, and thus enhance anyone’s quality of life.

Precision Muscle Therapy is an Orthopedic based soft tissue manipulation which I designed, developed, and refined over the past 18 years for the relief of pain and/or dysfunction as well as the enhancement of athletic performance, and to increase anyone’s overall quality of life!

Though PMT is the discipline I follow, these results can be achieved by any competent therapist specializing in soft tissue manipulation. Remember, it’s not the technique, it’s the technician! But textural palpation is the key!

There are five main components that went into the development of Precision Muscle Therapy. Palpation, Releasing & Cleansing Techniques, Body Mechanics, Body Movement, and Client Education! To understand why this therapy is so effective we will start by discussing the first two, palpation and releasing and cleansing.

I started working with people who suffered from musculoskeletal pain and/or dysfunction in 1993 when I worked for a doctor who specialized in Manual Medicine/Physical Therapy. I worked ten hour days four days a week seeing a client/patient every fifteen minutes.

Though I do not believe that this is enough time to get the results needed, what I did start noticing was that over time I was able to find where the problem was instantly. I also started to be able to tell the difference between healthy and unhealthy tissues (and yes there are definitely unhealthy tissues in our bodies).

The symptoms of these unhealthy tissues to trained hands are pressure, heat, thickness, etc. This pressure could be tight, taught, or spastic muscle(s), congestion, scar tissue, fibrotic tissue (thickening), etc. The bottom line is the number one underlying symptom that I am feeling is pressure, and a competent therapist with good textural palpation skills will find these area‘s. Some areas are obvious, others, not so much.

This is why I believe that most therapies are unsuccessful. First, most doctor’s and therapist’s do not use textural palpation to help diagnose the problem. This is the most effective tool at our disposal. No machines needed, just good hands!

Second and with all due respect, the doctor’s/therapist’s that do use palpation cannot feel what I am talking about, and do not realize that this is where the problem is. I’m not sure why they can’t feel these areas (maybe because this takes many, many hours of hands on experience and doctor’s unfortunately are too busy to take the time needed.) but when I worked for the doctor right out of school I couldn’t feel this either. But I was working (massaging) with on average 20 plus people a day. So by the end of my first year I could palpate with proficiency!

So palpation I believe is the first component needed for lasting pain relief. Because, if you can’t feel it, you can’t fix it!

Once these unhealthy tissues are identified the proficient therapist can turn back time and restore these tissues to a healthier state through a series of releasing and cleansing techniques. This can be compared to a carpenter who has two smaller rooms that are divided by a wall and wants to make it one big open room so that there is more space to fit more people comfortably. So he/she breaks up the dividing wall, like the therapist releasing the tight, spastic tissues. Then the carpenter  sweeps up the remaining debris from the floor, like the therapist that cleanses these tissues through a series of sweeping massage strokes like effleurage, thereby pushing out congestion/toxins (metabolic waste) and other foreign matter so that it can be removed by the blood/lymph systems.

Now in both cases everything is open and there is less pressure around the local and distal areas creating a healthier and more comfortable environment!

There are many reasons why people believe that soft tissue manipulation is so effective, it increases circulation of the blood and lymph systems, it calms down the nervous system, and it decreases muscle spasm, etc.

Why it’s so effective!

Though I agree with this, I believe that the biggest piece to this puzzle is that soft tissue manipulation changes the thixotropic level of the fluid these tissues bath in called ground substance (watch for this article), thereby taking the pressure out of the area so everything flows nicely (i.e. blood and lymph) and at the same time doesn’t over stimulate the nerves.

A basic definition of thixotropy is:  Property of certain materials which liquefy when they are subjected to vibratory forces such as simple stirring or shaking.

The examples that I often use when describing thixotropy is to picture gelatin, when it is first made it is liquid, but once placed in the fridge and it cools becomes the thicker gelatin that we eat . Or paint when sitting around gets that thick film on top but when shaken or stirred becomes more liquid. These are both examples of changing the thixotropic levels.

This process of changing the thixotropic levels will also occur within the ground substance when the proper soft tissue manipulation is applied, thereby restoring health to these soft tissues and opening up the flood gates of the blood and lymph systems so that they can feed all the tissues/cells with plenty of fresh nutrients and oxygen, and more efficiently removing the toxins (metabolic waste products) while also taking pressure off the nerves and joints, thus slowing down the wearing away of the cartilage.

These degenerative changes happen to all of us throughout a life time and regardless of what anyone tells us we cannot stop them. But if these soft tissues are freed up and maintained by a competent therapist we can all slow these degenerative changes down, thereby decreasing any pain and stiffness, increasing athletic or any type of performance, as well as enhancing overall health, and thus anyone’s quality of life!

Where’s the magic?

Since I started doing soft tissue manipulation as a profession in April of 1993 I have worked with people of all ages, from 12 weeks old to 93 years old. This has really been an incredible and rewarding journey for me! I’ve worked with people who had minor muscle pulls to people who had been suffering for 5, 10, 20 years and more. But regardless of the type of pain or discomfort they had, the symptoms (that I would feel) and results that I achieved were the same.

What I mean by this is, where ever the client would complain of pain and/or discomfort I would feel fullness (i.e. pressure). This fullness could be as stated before tight, taught, or spastic muscle(s), congestion, scar tissue, fibrotic tissue, etc. The end result is increased pressure in the area(s). When this pressure is removed, the nerve(s) that was over stimulated calmed down thereby bringing this stimulation below the pain threshold and thus decreasing the pain and stiffness.

One of the first things that I tell clients the first day of therapy is that Precision Muscle Therapy (i.e. soft tissue manipulation) is therapy, not magic (though many clients think it is). However, if there is anything magical about soft tissue manipulation it is in the clinicians hands.

One of the most amazing things that I’ve learned by working with so many different people is that the thixotropic levels in these soft tissues (young and old alike) can be changed to positively affect their health! This could be compared to holding a muscle in your hands that feels like a brick and by using a series of releasing and cleansing techniques turning that same muscle into what feels like a balloon filled with water i.e. restored pliability!

This process takes away all or most of the pressure within these tissues as well as the joint(s) they cross, thereby taking pressure off the nerves while opening the flood gates of the blood and lymphatic systems to supply fresh nutrients and oxygen while accelerating the removal of toxins (metabolic waste), thereby leaving all the tissues and our bodies in a better state of health!

Please listen to what this message is saying, and that is, there is a process to everything in life. To get a good education we go to school and study, to pay our bills we go to work, to give our children the best opportunities we teach them and try to bring them up right, to be healthier we eat right, and exercise, etc. None of these come in bottle.

To slow down the degenerative changes of our bodies we should find an effective therapist who can return these soft tissues of our bodies to a softer and supple state, and through a maintenance program keep them there. This is the ultimate fountain of youth and it can not be found in a bottle, but it can be found in a proficient therapist hands!

Summary: Pain is caused by an over-stimulation of the nerve (s) which is caused by stress of some type. This over-stimulation  causes increased pressure on the very nerve(s) that is over stimulated  by increased tension in the soft tissues/muscles it supplies. This increased pressure creates more friction, which causes inflammation, creating even more pressure.

Throughout our life, if allowed to continue, these pressures will wear away at the cartilage that sits between the bones causing them to come closer together. Over time these pressures not only wear on cartilage but also have the potential to cause discs to bulge or even  rupture, pull joints out of alignment, etc. At the very least when these bones come closer together, a narrowing of the opening that the nerves pass through occurs causing pressure on the nerve(s), which causes increased stimulation of the nerve(s), which over time leads to this vicious cycle.

Therefore, regular and continued maintenance of these soft tissues is a must to help slow this continued deterioration and increase your quality of life!


“The Ultimate Fountain of Youth”

Not only does this work, there is no way it cannot!

Call 860-202-2433 today for your FREE consultation!

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Precision Muscle Therapy – a personal journey to discovery

A week out of school I started working for a doctor that specialized in manual medicine (physical therapy). I worked 4 days a week 10 hours a day seeing a new patient every 15 minutes. I worked with roughly 50 to 60 people 2 times a week (100 – 120 sessions).

Over the next few years I started to build a private clientele on my days off,  which were Wednesdays and Saturdays. By the end of August 1997 it was time to move on and open my own practice. Over the next year I built a very busy practice working approximately 40 plus hours a week.

Some clients I would see once a week, some twice, some every other week, once a month, etc. One of the biggest things that I started noticed was that when a client came in more frequently the tissues would have a more dramatic change, and felt much healthier! And because I had the good fortune to work for the doctor where he put so many bodies under my hands within such short periods I started to be able to notice even the subtlest of changes within the tissues!

My textural palpation skills started to heighten so much that I was able to tell the difference between healthy and unhealthy tissues (by this I mean full of congestion and other toxic neuro stimulants). When I rented space from Chiropractors for a few years one of them would have me come into the room when he was working with a patient and have me isolate the spot(s) that bothered them! The best part was when I would manipulate and cleanse these areas out they would become much healthier and much less sensitive to the touch. Most important, the patient/client felt better!

Now, before I get to far ahead of myself we need to go back to when I finished school, which was April 9th, 1993. On April 12th I started working for the doctor. This was before you needed to be licensed in the state of Connecticut. On May 6th I was in a Motor Vehicle Accident (MVA) and was hit head on by a pick up truck traveling approximately 50 miles per hour, OUCH!

Though this was the most physically painful experience of my life this was also a bitter sweet moment and the turning point in my life and career!

After spending 3 weeks in a wheelchair due to severely swollen ankles I started going to physical therapy. I started off going 3 times a week. Though I had neck and back pain, one of the areas that bothered me the most besides my ankles was the anterior compartment of my lower legs, i.e. shin splints. If you can visualize getting hit head on, the first thing that gets hit are the feet, which lead to severely swollen ankles.

Anyway, over the first few sessions when the therapist would ask me what bothered me I would always say the worst thing right now is the front of my legs. To this she would often respond, that’s because your ankles are locked up. Once I free them up (she did this with some form of traction) your legs will feel better! So I thought to myself, she’s been doing this for 12 to 15 years and I just graduated massage school, so what do I know?

After 3 times a week for 3 weeks and my legs didn’t feel any better I asked If she could just massage them a little. So she did a little skin rolling, but I think it was more to appease me. It was superficial and did not do much. Frustrated after 9 sessions and not feeling much better when I got home that night I pulled out my massage crème and stripped the anterior compartment of my lower legs working deeper with each stroke.

To my amazement after working each leg for just five to ten minutes each the aching pain that I had been feeling reduced considerably! So I did this 2 or 3 times a week over the next few weeks and the acute aching pain was gone!  This was the sweet part to that bitter-sweet accident, and what has lead me on my journey!

From that point on I starting reading all the information I could find on soft tissue pain and/or dysfunction (one of my favorites was Job‘s Body, and a must read for serious orthopedic based therapist’s) as well as taking many continuing education courses in orthopedic based soft tissue manipulation. Such as neuromuscular therapy, myofascial release, sports massage, etc.

So please join me on my continued journey into the effectiveness of orthopedic based soft tissue manipulation and the almost magical changes a skilled pair of hands can make!

Please feel free to add any comments, experiences or questions you may have! I look forward to sharing my experiences!

Remember: Not only does this work, there is no way it cannot!

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Put an End to Aches and Pains

by Jim Durant


Let’s take a car with a useful life expectancy of around 150,000 miles. Now let’s imagine that you drive this car an average of 15,000 miles per year. If we take the 150,000 miles and divide it by 15,000 then the useful life expectancy of that car would be 10 years, give or take a few additional miles. This is just an average, remember every car is different.

Let’s say you were to buy this car new with no mileage on it and take the next 2 years off work and drive all around the country tacking on mile after mile.  And at the end of the second year you had accumulated 150,000 miles on that car. Would you still have an additional 8 years of life at 15,000 per year? The answer is no, of course not!! The life-time use of this car is 150,000 miles give or take, not 270,000. This I’m pretty sure most people know and agree with.

Now let’s take the human body. Today the average healthy human body has an expected useful life of between 70 and 90 years. Now remember in this comparison we are talking about the joints, muscles, tendons, fascia, ligaments, cartilage, blood, lymph and nerve supply.

If this is true, then why do people of all ages complain of pain and/or dysfunction in the neck, back, shoulder’s or other area’s of the body?  And why don’t we all complain about it in the same areas? Also, the people that we are talking about have not had an accident of any type.  The answer without a doubt is repetitive strain. Examples of this would be the roofer who has chronic back pain and stiffness, the computer programmer or hairstylist who has neck and shoulder pain or symptoms of what we’ve come to know as carpal tunnel syndrome.  The painter who complains of shoulder pain often called tendonitis or bursitis, etc.

Let’s take the roofer for example in our comparison with the automobile.  If the full time roofer works from age 20 to 50 “i.e.30 years”, does he have another 20 to 40 years of useful life in his back?  I doubt it, at least not quality of useful life.  The same goes for the computer programmer and/or the painter.

Regardless of what any doctor wants to label these conditions they are for the most part all caused by the same thing, repetitive strain “repetitive over use syndrome” etc.
The good news! There is a way to slow down these degenerative changes! The answer is  “Precision Therapy”!!!

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