|Janine Strenta demonstrating|
Its popularity is due in large part to the knowledge and enthusiasm of the course developer, Janine Strenta. Janine, a massage therapist and acupuncturist, is an exceptional teacher. After more than 25 years of teaching, Janine’s love for the subject is undiminished. “I teach medical massage because I love it and because I know how effective it can be,” she said one afternoon during a break from supervising the Therapeutic Massage Clinic. “In my Continuing Education classes it’s wonderful to watch the light bulb go on for students who already have a knowledge base, as they learn the next level of care. They know they have something they can use immediately to help their clients.”
What is Medical Massage?
For Janine, medical massage means treating the body as a three-dimensional system in motion. “I like to address the body holographically,” she explained. “With the medical massage I teach, students learn to approach both sides of the body and to use physical movement at the same time. We’re not just doing effleurage to the quadriceps, for instance. Instead, we’ll work with the quadriceps while the leg is moving, so we can integrate all of the muscles of the terrain.
We work the muscular structures and the fascial planes. If a massage therapist just releases the “knot” in a muscle it won’t do much long term, because other muscles that are compensating for the tightness also need to be addressed. All of the aspects involved have to come into mediation on the table and learn how to ‘play’ together again.”
Janine created this approach from her experiences as a massage therapist and acupuncturist, as well as from her own needs to address pain. “After having an injury and experiencing pain, I would experiment with moving and working with my own body. A lot of my techniques grew out of creating ways to work on someone the way I wanted my body to be worked on.”
Though protocols for specific problems are given in the 6-session Medical Massage course, Janine hopes participants will gain a new way of thinking about the body. “I joke that students probably think there is some secret treasure book hidden in the teachers’ lounge that has all of the answers for every condition,” she laughed. “But of course there is no one answer. Students can use the protocol as a starting point, and if they understand the muscles and structural dynamics involved in their client’s particular problem, they will be able to figure out what to do for that individual.
“Although I teach treatment protocols, I hope students don’t feel ‘married’ to a protocol. They should be committed to the idea of thinking about the body and choosing techniques that will accomplish their goals. Really good massage work references the client’s body for them, so they can once again experience their body as healthy and comfortable. When you help a person with a chronic problem remember that his or her body can feel good, it’s important.”
Current students may have Janine Strenta for Swedish Massage I and Clinical Strategies East and West. After they graduate, if they have an interest in one of her Continuing Education classes, they may want to enroll right away to ensure they get into this popular teacher’s course.
Check out all of the upcoming classes on the Continuing Education website