Mission Statement and Ethos
At risk of being too blunt: too many physical therapists, masseurs and body workers in general are unnecessarily shortening their working lives by working too hard on their patients as a result of using too much force.
The research backing this assertion has already been carried out by Gerry Pyves, where he demonstrates that 78% of therapists injure themselves during their careers, in some cases resulting in them having to retire prematurely.
The old and outdated adage “No pain, no gain” is dead!
When too much force is employed on chronically tense muscles another aspect that needs to be taken into account is the discomfort and even pain caused to clients. One could say that non-withstanding the benefits of endorphin relief, this approach is in effect re-traumatising already traumatised tissue.
Muscle Memory, Body Armour and Ageing
The body remembers every injury and stores it in the muscle memory, where it turned into chronic body armour which is added to by every subsequent injury, large or small.
This results in gradual – or instantaneous – loss of mobility, increasing inflexibility, loss of circulation, lymphatic sluggishness, increasing toxicity, fatigue, and finally ending in chronic pain and misery.
Changing from a Yang (male) approach to a Yin (more female) approach: “No Pain = Gain”
There has been a gradual move over the last 40 to 50 years to a gentler way to approach therapy: Bowen Therapy, McTimoney Chiropractic, Cranial Osteopathy, No-Hands Massage, Spinal Touch and Hyperton-X to name but a few excellent examples.
What these all have in common is their minimal and gentle touch. The term Light Touch Therapies has been born. Their safety is reflected in minimal need for additional insurance other than that carried by masseurs and other bodyworkers.
Has Massage generally been left behind? Yes!
This is an observation and not a criticism in any way. Rather, despite the evident benefits of all the different schools and approaches to massage, when faced with an injured client the average masseur will apply what they know best from their training, treating symptoms without (yet) having any tools to get to the root of the problem: untangling and releasing the self-defensive body armour that the client is automatically and unconsciously using.
GMR – A Revolutionary New Approach to upskilling a masseur into an even more effective practitioner. The 21st century Masseur and Bodyworker?
Where GMR achieves a quantum leap is that it actually actively and deliberately engages the most important person involved … the client or patient … or to be even more precise … their brain.
All of a sudden, the masseur or therapist is no longer actually ‘doing’ anything to the patient.
N.B. This is crucial for a prospective GMR practitioner to understand.
The therapist’s role is to facilitate.
Instead, the therapist is simply showing the patient how to deliberately, gently and painlessly release their own muscles.
The spontaneous release of ‘holding patterns’, the defensive body armour already mentioned, can be quite jaw-dropping for both therapist and client alike.
To repeat: gentle, painless and often permanent results are suddenly a possibility
The ratchet analogy goes something like this: you hurt something (by spraining or straining mostly) you lose some mobility. You hurt it again, even just a little, and you lose a tiny bit more mobility. You hurt it again and suddenly you are chronically guarding the original injury and it can go as far as a frozen shoulder for example.
Using GMR, the ratchet analogy gradually untangles injury by injury, episode by episode and muscle by muscle until one by one all the neighbouring muscle groups that have been ‘recruited’ to protect the original injury are themselves released from ‘imprisonment’.
All of a sudden normal service has been resumed, the muscle memory has been recalibrated – without pain – resulting in a very happy client and a very satisfied therapist.
As explained in the 60+ page pictorial training manual: no single therapy can do it all, and that includes GMR. Not all results are instantaneously miraculous.
However: time and time again GMR shows us the capability that an intelligent enquiring therapist coupled with the client capable of giving clear feedback can together achieve highly satisfactory solutions that conventional wisdom tells us are either impossible or unlikely, given that many other more conventional interventions have failed.
Just because you have been told you have to live with it is often not ALWAYS the case.
Even an existing, skilled and experienced practitioner newly trained in GMR, tentatively applying their new skills with existing clients – or brand-new clients – regularly report their satisfaction and genuine surprise – and that of their clients – with the results that they obtain.
As with all new skills, it takes a little while for the therapist’s ‘muscle-memory’ to develop, the subtle nuances and sensitivities to merge into their existing skills and where – and this is the exciting part – like riding a bike, suddenly the therapist shifts into not having to ‘think’ what they are doing and instead feel intuitively what else needs to be done.
New job description? No longer ‘just a masseur’ but a highly skilled and capable GMR therapist who gives a really great massage.
After doing a job for 10, 20 or 30 years when faced with yet another day of 4, 5 or 6 clients with the same chronic problems for which they at best get temporary relief, a degree of boredom and even futility is not unimaginable. (Generally, from a client’s perspective getting a massage is a sweet-and-sour experience, too: you know it is going to be uncomfortable as those knots and tense muscles are hammered, rubbed and squeezed into submission … but afterwards you generally feel great.)
GMR holds out the possibility of not only an increased sense of well-being and energy for a therapist, and the excitement and intellectual stimulation of actually being able to achieve the unimaginable with ‘stuck’ clients, but offers the joy and satisfaction of helping clients trapped in chronic pain to increased well-being, comfort and gratitude.
Instead of feeling ‘I am just a masseur’ as opposed to comparing oneself to other currently more highly trained therapists, learning GMR subtly changes the therapist into someone who can untangle knotted muscles painlessly and as a result gives an absolutely beautiful, gentle, pleasurable and painless massage to blissed-out clients … to which the clients now greatly look forward to experiencing. GMR often succeeds where far better-trained professionals can make no lasting impact or find a lasting solution.
Challenging, stimulating, exciting, deeply satisfying and finally … Really good fun!
Our mission statement is that GMR be adopted as a universal ‘bolt-on’ that will be taught to every newly qualifying therapist to emerge from the excellent training colleges already in existence.
The benefit of this is that new generations of massage therapists and body workers avoid the pitfalls of RSI, chronic cumulative injury, fatigue, exhaustion, discouragement resulting from unnecessary ‘efforting’ and straining, working on over-muscled injured clients who chronically require deep and forceful – and painful – interventions. To repeat the words: unnecessary … and avoidable.
Old dogs and new tricks
At the other end of the stick are those hard-working therapists who already experience the above symptoms, working hard at the coalface for many years; it is not too late for them to begin to do things differently and thereby extend their working lives for as long as they wish.
The bonus for them in training in GMR is that not only will they know how to use this gentle and valuable tool, they too will be able to untangle and release their own existing injuries by being shown how – in the process of training – to engage their brains in doing this!
Summary – GMR has the potential to change and enhance current skills and develop a new breed of Masseurs+
The GMR Academy believes that the sooner enough highly experienced, open-minded and motivated therapists develop the skills to become GMR Trainers, the sooner enough people can be taught new skills and start to apply them widely throughout the country and the colleges.
(Contact us if the idea of being part of this excites you, whether you simply want to add to your skills or are keen to spread the word of this by developing into a Trainer.)
Being under the umbrella of ThinkTree, we foresee a very exciting future and look forward to being joined by other pioneers as we work to bring this to the UK and eventually to the world.
ThinkTree are really switched on technologically, so we plan to learn from them and to bring students an exciting Syllabus; a practitioner-only film of the entire step-by-step techniques you will be taught to speed up your learning abilities; CPD points as you train (at whatever level); support; ongoing Special Topics Days; eventually Student Clinics. Some trainings can be done online once you have had face-to-face training … After all you can’t simply learn massage from a book!
About The GMR Academy
This first saw the light of day in 2017. It was established by Peter Smith.
During his training at the College of Homeopathy from 1981 to 1984, he was encouraged by his mentor Robert Davidson to “… not just be a homeopath! Learn how to touch people therapeutically!” As a result of his sage advice in 1982 Peter began training in Spinal Touch, followed by Orthobionomy and finally trained in Hyperton-X, partly by Frank Mahoney the developer of HTX. By the time his homeopathic studies were complete he was already in practice as a Light Touch Therapist. Over the last 37 years he has used LTT’s to good effect.
So impressed was he by what he learned, he never understood why these therapies were not mainstream, though gradually on reflection the complexity of Kinesiology-based muscle testing et cetera are not necessarily skills that many people could be bothered to learn.
Now rapidly approaching his 70’s he became more and more determined that these wonderful techniques should be available to other people. Over the years he adapted – as you do – what he had learned and represented them in a very easy to learn format which he has been calling Gentle Muscle Release for years.
When he heard of the work done by Gerry Pyves which showed what damage masseurs and body workers were doing to themselves he resolved, anno domini notwithstanding, to prepare a core Manual and a training syllabus and to spread these techniques as widely as possible.
As there are quite a few thousand – 100,000+? – masseurs in the UK, many of whom are unnecessarily hurting themselves (and their clients!) the sooner enough of us can join together to form an Academy the better. The skills need to replicable.
He is very excited, especially since discovering ThinkTree, and can’t wait to meet other like-minded pioneers. Simply adding the understanding of GMR to all newly training masseurs and body workers really does offer tremendous potential all round.
Peter has been lucky to have been able to work throughout with Angela Lewis, who has a very impressive CV, has a wide range of skills and most importantly is a very experienced teacher. Angela is Peter’s first and Senior Tutor.
He can be contacted on 01872 870801.