Multi-disciplinary Massage saves Iron Man Championship Bid

by richard on October 6, 2015

Multi-disciplinary Massage is a term that describes my approach to body work. Rather than list all the modalities I use when I work it is more efficient to use this term. I first heard the term Multi-disciplinary used by James Waslasky in one of his workshops in 1998.

Mary Jo, which is not her real name, age 25, came in with IT band pain on the left that radiated up into her hip and down into her left knee. She was scheduled to compete in the IronMan Championships in Kona in 2015 and was due to leave in a month. She could not run without pain, bike without pain, or sit at her desk at work for very long without pain. Her physical conditioning was very good, she did not present with any postural distortions that might contribute to her pain, and there was no single event, like a bike crash, fall, or other accident, that could contribute.

I started her out in the prone position and began on her left calf and worked my way up onto the muscles of her hip. Everything seemed in order except the lateral aspect of her left leg from just above her knee to the greater trochnater had wash board feel to it along with a feeling of “fullness”, or “stuckness”. She reported that this area was tender as was the area around her greater trochanter and hip.  Her right leg was similar to her left. Working supine, her quads, hip flexors, adductors, etc, were not tender and seemed “normal”. She reported greater ease of movement and less pain getting off the table and booked another session three days out.

When she came for her next session she reported her run and bike was not painful. She reported some minor soreness from the work I had done, but was very encouraged. She booked four more sessions, two the following week and two more one week apart. She reported that after the last session she had no pain on any run or bike and none sitting at her desk. The trip to Kona was part of a two week vacation in Hawaii. Now she would not have to modify her run or bike to accommodate the hip pain and she would have a much better time on vacation.

People often ask, “What type of massage do you do?” This question is often accompanied by questions about specific, branded modalities like Myofascial release, ART, MAT, and so on. My approach is best described as Multi-Disciplinary. When I am working with a massage client I use a combination or selection of bodywork modalities. The decision of what modality to use at any given time is based on what that individual requires at that time. What happens first is always listening to the client’s story (getting a good history). Next is an assessment and then treatment. Mary Jo’s situation turned out beautifully.

If you have comments or questions for me about this post, or others, let’s talk. Thanks for reading!



Richard Maas is a Licensed Massage Therapist and Certified Lymphatic Therapist, drummer, and gardener. He and his wife Dianne started practicing massage in 1990.

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