Friday, September 4, 2015
Going the Distance: The Spratt Method of Muscular Therapy
Do you know how when you find something and/or someone that changes your life you want to shout about it from the rooftops? Well that's how I feel about the work I am now able to do by partnering with Jeffrey Spratt, MT.
“Massage Therapy at its finest can be life changing and even life saving, and even at its very basic, massage therapy should be momentum changing.” ~Jeffrey Spratt, MT Owner and Principal Spratt Muscular Therapies, LLC
When I think of Jeffrey and how he developed the Spratt Method of Muscular Therapy, I think of Leonardo da Vinci. It's the same kind of genius and passion and ability to harness both the right side and left side of the brain and to have an unceasing curiosity about human anatomy and the human body in motion! Leonardo da Vinci, "believed the workings of the human body to be an analogy for the workings of the universe.". Jeffrey treats me as a sacred being and has even used the analogy of my body being a vessel. "We move out the bad to make way for the good," he once told me during a treatment!
I've been to many body workers and talking therapists on and off throughout my life with a concentration of different body work modalities during these past 8+ years. After the diagnosis of post polio syndrome, a progressive neuromuscular disease by Western Medicine standards, I set out on a healing quest. I feel blessed by every person I met along the way. I kept hitting a wall that I couldn't move beyond no matter how hard I tried. I learned incredible soul lessons, discovered my own resiliency as patterns repeated themselves in these relationships and they gave me an opportunity to discern Truth; to separate out those who are just doing body work, and Jeffrey. He has a passion, dedication, commitment, curiosity, intention and deep desire to help every client who comes to his table to reclaim their life and reclaim their advantage in their physical activities, their family relationships and their work life. For when you feel free and comfortable in your body, when energy - your life force can freely flow and you can experience the deliciousness of your physical being unencumbered by any of the influences from the past, you reclaim your life and reclaim your advantage and life suddenly becomes vibrant and expansive.
So yes I've been blogging about my work with Jeffrey now for many months. What has me so fired up?
At the beginning of yesterday's treatment I said to Jeffrey, "I had a trigger this week."
As my body and voice trembled, Jeffrey's eyes and entire being filled with compassion. Genuine compassion, care and love for what I was experiencing. He became soft and gentle - a gentle giant at 6'3" tall.. "Those are only moments right?"
"That's right Jeffrey," I replied. "I know that the Universe is helping me to heal and let go of everything."
"And every time you do, you get stronger."
I told him coincidentally I had just written a blog about Strength.
I showed him where I was feeling the effects of the trigger in my body. It felt as though a splinter was finally coming to the surface or the analogy he has used in the past, it's like draining a cyst. He listened intently and I could see how he was already planning out the treatment.
As he worked, I felt compelled to talk with him about how his work is so different than any other therapist I've ever been to. He shared with me how he loves the work and "It's fun!" he added. Being a creative genius is fun. I feel it when I write and especially when I write poetry.
I found myself comparing his approach to massage therapy to other therapists and modalities I experienced. There were echoes of techniques used in other modalities but the sequencing, the method and Jeffrey's approach to the human body is unlike anyone else which is why Spratt Muscular Therapy has a TM next to it I'd imagine!
Jeffrey was trained as a commercial pilot. Yes one who flies airplanes! He uses the model that a pilot uses before take off to check the various parts of the body. He begins the treatment with compression. Real compression versus what the therapists I experienced used which was an obligatory check over the body. You see Jeffrey is using compression to explore and figure out what he can do to make sure that the plane has a smooth take off, in flight experience and then a smooth landing and to address any possible mechanical issues that could lead to a problem.
He shared with me in yesterday's treatment that as he was trying to figure out what he wanted to do with his life, he pursued a Theater major while in college.
"There was this one method acting class that really stuck with me," he said. "We had to partner with somebody and they would lie down. We had to pretend that it was a weird gift from one of our uncles and had to figure out what this gift was all about."
Jeffrey went on to demonstrate how he explored the movement of the body during that class and how something was ignited within him through that experience that he brought forward to his practice. Jeffrey explores what he can do to release the potential that lies within everybody to heal and experience peak performance in all areas of life. It's his passion and his mission.
Since I'm a runner, Jeffrey incorporates a lot of flushing and stretching into the work.
"Ooh I didn't realize my foot was sore," I said to Jeffrey.
"Well yeah you didn't know before someone started poking and prodding right?"
And it felt delicious to have that previously unknown trouble area melt away.
Jeffrey went deep into the areas I had described to him before my treatment. Using the Spratt Method, he brought relief to areas that have been a source of pain and tension for decades that no other therapist or modality could effectively touch (literally or metaphorically). I know that it's his intention to help clients reclaim their lives and reclaim their advantage that makes this work so powerful along with what I bring to the table with my intention to heal! Jeffrey also works from his heart allowing his compassion and the compassion of Divine Love to flow through him as he works to bring relief and balance to my body.
I could feel myself getting really worked up about all the previous therapists I worked with and how inefficient, ineffective and at times harmful they were and then, as Jeffrey cupped his hands around my left leg to do energy work, I let it all go. I let my entire system come fully into the present moment allowing all to heal. I felt an intention for peace and strength for my left leg. When Jeffrey did a deep stretch for my calf muscle on my right leg, I could feel it deep into my calf muscle but when he worked on the left leg, I could sense that it is still a work in progress. No judgment. It is what it is and I know that everything is healed. During the energy work, I could feel strength return and a reminder to make peace with all that is.
Jeffrey worked on my left arm using techniques from Thai Yoga Massage combined with the Spratt Method. With every movement I could feel him saying, "Reclaim. Reclaim this arm and reclaim your life." I felt my stomach clutch - that old familiar solar plexus clutch of fear that had been my companion 24/7 and now only comes and goes in fleeting moments. I reminded myself there is nothing to fear. I am safe. I'm with Jeffrey. I could feel his strength and how grounded he was in that moment so unlike any of the other therapists I worked with who would shrink away and leave me in my pain to just experience the rawness of it all. How amazing to be able to observe the fear and then feel the healing pour through me through Jeffrey's healing therapeutic touch.
Violence flowed out of me as Jeffrey held my cranium and he incorporated the techniques from CranioSacral therapy into the treatment.
And then the most amazing thing happened. He worked on my throat and clavicle area using the Spratt Method and I felt as though a door had opened. I took the deepest breath I probably ever took in my life and felt the past fall away. I wrote a poem shortly after I was diagnosed that talked about the body falling away healed when you follow your bliss.
I now know that I am going the distance in endurance running and I am going the distance in my life. Reclaiming my life. Reclaiming my advantage - an advantage that was stolen from me by a thief in the night and other perpetrators of violence and now is being returned to me through positive touch ... through Jeffrey Spratt and the Spratt Method of Muscular Therapy ... through the grace ... and through the intentions I set for myself 8+ years ago when I set out to heal my life. It's all here now and I am deeply grateful.
I chronicle the first 7 years of my healing odyssey in "Coming Home: A Memoir of Healing, Hope and Possibility" and continue the journey in "Journey Well." These two inspirational books that will motivate you and move you to tears along with my books of inspirational poetry are available on Amazon.