About Me/My Massage

 

Katherine Smith

Licensed Massage Therapist

 

I grew up in the Green Mountain area...

and have lived in Colorado for most of my life. I graduated from Green Mountain High School, and got my Bachelor's degree in Speech/Language pathology at CU Boulder. After a circuitous career path, including working with adorable preschoolers at Fletcher Miller Special School, I got my certification from Colorado School for Healing Arts. Currently, I live in Lakewood with my husband and two college kids. We enjoy hiking, biking, scootering and watching movies together.

I'm one of those people...

who are passionate about their interests, and massage is no exception! I'm always reading or watching educational DVD's, including information that comes from other fields like Chiropractic, Physical Therapy, Postural training, etc. I have also studied and used nutrition, aroma therapy and herbal remedies for years in my personal life. I believe there are many things that contribute to being a healthy person, including diet, exercise, rest, positive relationships and laughter.

I really believe in massage...

Many of us go about our lives with pain that we learn to block out. It's so common for me to hear a client say, "Wow, until you worked on me, I didn't even realize that was bothering me!" The bottom line is that massage is very powerful in relieving pain and restrictions; I haven't met anyone yet that couldn't benefit from bodywork. I believe it's the most holistic modality out there because it addresses the entire body and works to create balance in the muscular and skeletal systems. What people don't realize is that tissue called fascia physically connects our muscles and internal organs, so this balance can also have a huge impact on digestion, breathing, female issues, etc. Massage not only helps to make everything work together better, but can help to prevent issues from developing in the first place. 

I enjoy a challenge...

I love to learn and really enjoy solving problems. If I don't have the answer right off the bat, I'll research an issue and give it my best effort.

 

When Is a "Full Body Massage" Not a Full Body Massage?

I can't tell you how many of my clients tell me that they've never had their abdomen or gluteals worked on. Or their anterior neck region. Or their chest. Or their spine. Or deep into their shins, behind the bone.

Really? And it's billed as a "full body massage"?

I'm sure you've heard that everything is connected in the body; that's why the one hour full body massage is such a valuable staple in the massage world. When your neck is hurting, it's most likely being caused by something in your pelvis, which involves your hips and so on. This connection doesn't exclude the abdomen, glutes, chest, etc. For example, I like to work the deep abdominal iliopsoas on all my clients because it connects the upper body to the lower, and the front of the body to the back. Have upper back and shoulder problems? Psoas. Middle back issues? Psoas. Lower back pain? Definitely psoas. Same with the gluteal muscles (yes there are three of them); there is no way to properly address hip and lower back issues without working all the glutes.

So why do so few therapists work these vital areas? I don't know. They may be contraindicated in a few conditions, or too tricky to work, or they may require an explanation to the client. But to me, the pay off is worth it.

I have had clients tell me that my massage is technical--one even said that I go in like a surgeon. I guess that's because I address specific muscles and fascia in a very intentional way in order to get the change that I'm looking for. Sometimes I evaluate a person in standing or walking, but I always assess them on the table to know what is tilted, shifted and rotated. This tells me what I need to do with all the tissues that are involved, and in what order. It also means I won't necessarily do the same thing on both sides.

Many massage therapists get into a rut; they do the same massage on everyone, even if the client requests specific work on an area. I'm always looking for the change in tissue, which is why I communicate with my clients during the massage: if something doesn't feel therapeutic, I will change my depth; if something doesn't release, I'll try again or use a different technique; if there is a specific complaint, the goal of my massage is to alleviate it. I want every client to get off my table feeling better.

 

 


 

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