RMIT Myotherapy Student

I am a student in the Advanced Diploma of Myotherapy program at RMIT University.

Clinical Myotherapy is a branch of manual medicine that focuses on the treatment and management of musculoskeletal pain including myofascial pain (trauma or muscle contracture), neuropathic pain (nervous system) and articular pain (joints).

Clinical Myotherapists use a variety of treatments such as deep tissue, myofascial dry needling, electrical stimulation, prescriptive and rehabilitation exercises, joint mobilisation and pain management techniques.

RMIT Myotherapy student

Dry Needling for Manual Therapists

I will use Dry Needling for Manual Therapists: Points, Techniques and Treatments, Including Electroacupuncture and Advanced Tendon Techniques by Giles Gyer, Jimmy Michael and Ben Tolson (2016) as a definitive reference source for MDN.

Dry Needling textbook

Medical Neuroscience

I completed the intense and very difficult 12-week Medical Neuroscience course designed by Dr Leonard White (faculty member of the Duke University School of Medicine).

Overall, my experience of Medical Neuroscience 2016 was especially self-motivating, and rewarding. I liked the many excellent and creative contributions from participants that helped my own learning process. The culturally diverse cohort course of 2016 represented an historic opportunity to participate in a cohort before the closure of the session-based platform for Medical Neuroscience. It also represented an opportunity to receive a certificate with distinction, which was awarded to a grade above 90%.

Circle of Willis

The Mind Body Medicine behind The Jñānam Method™

The Jñānam Method™ represents a unified potpourri of related styles and methods, based on my own experience that conjugate styles of bodyweight core training can assist in the rehabilitation of scarred musculoskeletal tissue and the full recovery of function. The primary objective of The Jñānam Method™ is the complete restoration of mobility and functional performance to the spine, the limbs and the socket joints of the body.

Because musculoskeletal dominance in the body can lead to overtraining of dominant muscles, The Jñānam Method™ breaks up the exercise routine and offers more movement variety.

I developed The Jñānam Method™ for my own body of mature age to prevent sarcopenia, characterized by the progressive loss of skeletal muscle mass (a.k.a. atrophy) and strength.

The Jñānam Method™ incorporates the techniques in the tradition of Krishnamacharya for individuals of mature age who will benefit from particular provisions (appropriate modifications, props) to help support the stretch, while maintaining the full length of the spinal column.

Jñān (ज्ञान pronounced gyān) means intuition. Applied to physical fitness, jñān represents tactical training.


Neuromuscular Dynamics

It is important to develop a practical knowledge of breath-oriented, myoneural exercise therapy for the back, the socket joints and the extremities.

What is Neuromuscular Dynamics?

Muscle spindles are small encapsulated sensory receptors that have a spindle-like or fusiform shape and are located within the fleshy part of the muscle.

Myotatic Reflex (Liddell-Sherrington reflex) occurs when the muscle spindles react to stretching by contracting the skeletal muscle.

Sherrington’s Law of Reciprocal Innervation: When contraction of a muscle is stimulated, there is a simultaneous inhibition of its antagonist. The reciprocal inhibition reflex causes the stretched muscle group to relax when the shortened muscle group is tensed.

The neuronal circuit that causes reciprocal inhibition is called reciprocal innervation.

Golgi tendon organ

Golgi Tendon Organ

Inverse myotatic reflex (a.k.a. Golgi tendon reflex) is a bisynaptic reflex, initiated by the Golgi tendon organ located in muscle tendons. However, unlike the muscle spindle, which acts as a length-detector, the Golgi tendon organ acts as a tension-detector.

To prevent damage to the tendon due to the muscle pulling too hard on it, the inverse myotatic (relaxation) reflex is initiated by increasing tension in the tendon, and the contraction of the muscle is inhibited.

Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation (PNF) Stretching Techniques in a Nutshell

Hold-Relax (using the Golgi tendon organ): Place the restricted muscle in a position of stretch, followed by an isometric contraction of the restricted muscle. Relax and hold the passive stretch at a greater range.

Contract-Relax-Antagonist-Contract (using reciprocal inhibition): Place the restricted muscle in a position of stretch, followed by an isometric contraction of the agonist. Relax the agonist muscle, and isometrically contract the antagonist muscle.

Mindfulness in Education

I am interested in the endeavour of lifelong learning and the promise of open learning or the social experiment of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) because mindfulness is integral to a more civilized, compassionate and humane society in the context of a future dominated by cognitive automation.

Unless the individual’s mind, body and spirit are open to learning (the development of intuition or jñāna), there is no practice of Yoga (Union). Given the appropriate pedagogical tools for learning, in the absence of any instruction, the child will find one’s own creative inspiration to attain achievement (sańkalpa saḿsiddhiḥ).

My Equipment

1. Tahiti Onyx superlight massage table with terry towelling fitted sheet set

Tahiti Onyx Massage Table
2. Therapist’s Thumb bodywork tool from Core Products

There are various bodywork tools in the market such as the Jacknobber, but I found the Therapist’s Thumb from Core Products to be the most intuitive tool for deep tissue bodywork. The Therapist’s Thumb was originally designed and made by Curt and Gina Nuenke, owners of BodyNiché Massage Studio.

Therapist Thumb
Therapist Thumb
Therapist Thumb
Therapist Thumb
Therapist Thumb

3. Contoured Face Cradle

I replaced the poorly manufactured original cradle that came with my massage table with a contoured one made of heavy grade steel and aluminium frame with oak wood face plate.

Face Cradle Comparison
Original ABS Plastic Face Cradle
DevLon NorthWest Contoured Face Cradle (Oak Wood)

4. Set of hard spikey balls from China

I have a set of hard spikey balls in three small sizes for specific muscle knots.

Spikey Balls

5. Digital TENS/EMS combo unit

Digital TENS/EMS

Flow and Being Nirāčārya

Nirāčārya: Jack of All Trades and Master of None

No one can claim mastery of anything, because absolute mastery is a misrepresentation. An individual can only, within reason, demonstrate competence within a role-based scenario.

I base this essay about being nirāčārya on my actual challenges as a creative designer, and my impetus for transition (sandhyā) from one role to another, in a troubling and uncertain economic climate. I claim the non-glamorous title of being nirāčārya – a Jack of All Trades and a Master of None. I am a generalist who derives innovation from dispassion (vairāgya) from modality. In my experience, being nirāčārya involves a dynamic and pragmatic quality of, typically haptic, engagement, which I define as mindfulness (a.k.a. flow).

Flow = Mindfulness

Mindfulness is not meditation, although it can be an object of meditation, e.g. mindfulness meditation.

The practice of mindfulness can be a means (upāya) and an end (upeya) in itself.

The term “flow” is being used in creative circles to mean mindfulness, which is the experience of being in the zone where your creative juices flow, unabated.

Massage therapy, which I am currently studying and practicing, involves the flow of partner communication between therapist and client.

Mindfulness supports the capacity to learn and adapt to challenge.