Myo Massage is a locally owned, therapist operated bodywork center where clients can find the therapists and techniques they most need. Our focus is on quality and connection, with specialists in Clinical and Sports Massage, Asian Bodywork and more
What is cupping? Maybe you’ve seen those big purple welts on athletes and celebrities and wondered what they were from? Or Maybe you’ve heard of cupping but weren’t sure what it does exactly.
Cupping uses glass cups to suction the skin upward, moving blood towards the surface of the body. The suction helps to soften tight muscles and lift and separate connective tissue, as well as loosen adhesions, bring hydration and blood flow to body tissues, and drain excess fluids and toxins by opening the lymphatic pathways. In traditional Chinese medicine, cupping is used to dispel stagnation, thereby improving Chi flow and bringing blood and nutrients to the affected areas. Cupping therapy can be used to treat a variety of ailments, including different respiratory disorders such as colds, pneumonia, and bronchitis, or it can be used on the back, neck, shoulders, and many other areas of the body for musculoskeletal conditions. Cupping can also help with cosmetic concerns like minimizing scars and reducing the appearance of cellulite by loosening and breaking up the cellulite to create smoother more toned skin and tissue.
Cupping can be added on to an acupuncture treatment or can be done as a standalone treatment. To learn more about Myo Acupuncture, click here. To book an acupuncture treatment or cupping therapy session click here or give us a call at 512-458-4696. If you have any questions, feel free to email our Acupuncturist at email@example.com
About our Acupuncturist: Lauren Brinkowski graduated at the top of her class from Texas Health and Science University in 2010, and has been with Myo since 2011. She maintains a general practice, but has particular interest in GI disorders, emotional disorders and women’s health, and has success in treating many disorders and ailments such as constipation, diarrhea, gastroparesis, IBS, post-surgery nerve damage, depression, anxiety, insomnia, concussions, PTSD, shingles, Bell’s Palsy, allergies, sciatica, arthritis, colds and flu, vertigo and various kinds of pain.
When we were exploring the ideas behind our movement curriculum, we thought a lot about the kind of person who might be taking our classes, and what we wanted to offer that might be different from other studios. One concept that is important to us in everything we do is sustainability: the idea that what we do in the present should lay the foundation for a better future, or at the very least not compromise it. This means buying recycled paper and using reusable hand towels, and it means investing in our staff in ways that allow them to have long, healthy careers. When we planned our movement classes, our focus was likewise on sustainable activities that will support healthy, functional movement both now and throughout your lifetime. So what does that mean exactly?
Imagine a person who practices a particular activity or sport.
Think of a ballerina. A football player. A yogi. A swimmer. A bodybuilder. A runner.
Think of the coordination, skill, grace, muscle tone, and fitness they have in their prime.
Now think what they experience at age 50. 70. 90.
The human body has amazing capabilities, and all these activities can bring great joy. They are often worth the costs. But there are differences in the long term effects of various movement practices. Those that have very narrow or rigid training goals or high impact methods tend to lead to more long term damage: joint issues, arthritis, instability. The potential for serious injury is even higher for those who launch into training without a foundation of core strength or balanced posture. It’s easy to feel trapped between the need to be more active for health and fitness, and the risk of overdoing it or aggravating injuries.
The benefits and risks of exercise
You already know that consistent exercise is essential to health. The research is overwhelming: according to the CDC among many other sources, exercise helps control weight, improves cardiovascular health, prevents heart disease, diabetes and cancer, improves mental health, and lets us live longer. What is sometimes less clear is how much and what kind of exercise is the best for each individual, and how aging affects these questions.
Exercise can have risks. There are extreme cases, like neurological degeneration among football players. We’ve all seen the gnarled feet of a ballerina en pointe; her chances of ankle arthritis and hip injuries like labral tears are vastly higher than the general public. Many studies find that young athletes who train too hard, too young, or with too much focus on one sport can damage growth plates in bones leading to life long problems. And some studies find that former competitive collegiate athletes actually fair worse later in life than those who started exercising after college on indicators of fitness like percent body fat, mile time, sit-to-stand test, and a push-up test.
In most cases, these downsides are directly related to injury rates. In a study from 2013 in The American Journal of Sports medicine, 67% of Former Division I athletes had suffered a major injury compared with 28% among non-athletes. Forty percent of these athletes in a sample of 40-65 year olds were later diagnosed with osteoarthritis, compared with 24 percent of non-athletes. Even without major injury, repetitive use from overtraining in competitive sports can lead to soft tissue degeneration and problems like early arthritis, chronic tendonitis or bursitis. The former college athletes also had higher levels of depression, fatigue and poor sleep. These psychological tolls are a major compounding factor of injury for anyone who comes to exercise as a way of moderating stress or depression, leading to a negative spiral that makes recovery even more difficult.
Injury prevention, then, is key to sustainable movement. Injuries are common even in non-athletes who exercise: 28% in the study above. Another study in Harvard Men’s Health Watch that found a 21% injury rate in just one year among 6313 people who exercise regularly. Thankfully, many of these injuries are minor, and can be successfully rehabbed. But there is data to support the common-sense concept that some activities are safer than others. Lower-risk activities in one study included walking, gymnastics, swimming, hiking and gardening, as compared to higher injury rates in team sports, skiing, tennis, and running.
Injury prevention can mean choosing safer activities, or it can mean “pre-habbing” by working on your foundational skills, strength, and mobility. It’s important to remember that exercise can take many forms and still be effective. Movement doesn’t even have to look or feel like “exercise.” In fact, variety is ideal: the more types of movement you practice, the more versatile and injury proof you will be.
Our bodies adapt to challenge at every level: the main principle of training is to interrupt the body’s homeostasis with new challenges, each time going through a cycle of fatigue and recovery. After each cycle, the system is stronger and better prepared to handle similar challenges. For example, the demands of aerobic exercise lead to decreased resting heart rate and increased lung capacity, increasing your efficiency and reducing long term strain on your heart. Lifting weights stimulates the growth of muscle tissue. Weight bearing exercise leads to denser, more resilient bones. Stretching the fascia leads to greater elasticity and rebound. Exposure to new information leads to better neurological conductivity.
It’s the balance between challenge and recovery that needs attention. Injury happens when when the challenge is too extreme, or when recovery is insufficient. Recovery is a function of time, but also what we do during that time: the more circulation and gentle movement we can incorporate, the faster we recover. That’s where massage comes in, as well as gentle movement and stretching. Cross-training (otherwise known as variety in your routine) can also give you a chance to recover while still challenging other parts of the body.
The good news is that for older individuals who remain active, performance and health outcomes can be similar to younger athletes. In fact, although some aspects of aging are inevitable – slower recovery and healing, in particular – there’s some evidence that suggests that many of the supposed effects of aging are instead the effects of being sedentary. As an example, according to a physiologist who works with Cirque du Soleil, performers show little to no bone density loss until around 60 or 65, despite medical dogma which says that bone density typically declines by 1% a year starting by age 30, and much faster for post-menopausal women.
Sustainable exercise isn’t something you’ll find under one roof at most gyms or fitness studios where the focus is on weight loss or achieving performance goals. Even yoga studios, despite their gentle intent, often push students into a practice that is too fast, competitive, or unsupported to achieve the desired effects. And so there aren’t many models for what we are doing, nor is it well understood by the public. But given that the core of our massage practice is about pain relief and injury management, it was particularly important to us to create a movement program that addresses both injury prevention and recovery for a life-long, sustainable practice.
Myo Stretching: What is Active Isolated Stretching? - YouTube
Ever heard of AIS? AIS stands for “Active Isolated Stretching”. AIS is an approach to stretching that unlocks restricted fascia & restores optimal muscle length. AIS is uniquely effective because of the way it engages the nervous system and provide proprioceptive feedback that allows you to increase your active, usable range of motion.
AIS is called ‘isolated’ because you are targeting one muscle or muscle group, in one joint at a time. This specificity allows you to target the exact points of restriction. When we take a more general approach with full body stretches, we often end up overstretching areas that already have good mobility and missing the areas that don’t.
Moving into a stretch actively utilizes the body’s reciprocal inhibition system and quickly creates length in the connective and muscle tissues being stretched. An example of reciprocal inhibition is when the bicep contracts: the tricep must lengthen to allow the elbow to bend. By taking an action to the end range of motion, the opposing muscles and connective tissue are given a signal from the nervous system to release.
AIS stretches are precise, controlled, & brief. Longer stretches activate the stretch reflex, causing the muscle to reflexively shorten to protect the joint. Working to the end range of motion for no longer than two seconds keeps the nervous system feeling safe enough to accept the change in the soft tissue.
AIS is extremely effective in refreshing the stretched areas with circulation, opening range of motion quickly, and creating stronger brain/body connection to proper joint mechanics. AIS can be helpful with injury recovery and athletic performance, as well as being gentle enough to help manage chronic pain and stiffness.
About our AIS Instructor: Heidi Timer has been a licensed massage therapist since 2003. She specializes in Active Isolated Stretching and offers one on one sessions, and group classes at Myo. To learn more about AIS click here, or email Heidi at firstname.lastname@example.org
Have you ever considered getting Acupuncture? Maybe someone recommended the treatment to you for a specific problem and you weren’t sure what Acupuncture was and how it could help.
Acupuncture is a technique that involves placing very fine needles into specific points on the body to achieve a certain therapeutic effect. In total, there are 361 standard acupuncture points on the body from head to toe which are all located on meridians, and there are over 200 additional points on the ear alone. Each meridian corresponds with a major organ system and is the pathway of qi flow in that part of the body.
About our Acupuncturist: Lauren Brinkowski completed her undergraduate degree in Biological Sciences in Illinois before moving to Austin, Texas where she received her medical education at Texas Health and Science University. There, she completed 4 years of instruction and over 1000 hours of supervised clinical training before graduating at the top of her class from this nationally accredited graduate school in 2010. Lauren maintains a general practice, but has particular interest in GI disorders, emotional disorders and women’s health, and has success in treating many disorders and ailments such as constipation, diarrhea, gastroparesis, IBS, post-surgery nerve damage, depression, anxiety, insomnia, concussions, PTSD, shingles, Bell’s Palsy, allergies, sciatica, arthritis, colds and flu, vertigo and various kinds of pain.
How can tiny needles have an effect on my health? By placing acupuncture needles into points on the meridians, you can regulate the flow of qi which improves the flow of oxygen, nutrients, and blood to particular areas of the body to create a specific healing effect. Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture help to relieve imbalances in the body, which, in turn, stimulates your body’s innate ability to heal itself. It is gentle and safe and can be used to treat a wide range of conditions from stress, to pain, to infertility. Acupuncture has been in use for several thousand years and has proven effectiveness in many modern studies for hundreds of conditions.
If you want to learn more about Myo Austin Acupuncture click here.
You already know how to move… right? To the extent of our abilities, we all do it every day. But when you think about it, you probably don’t move as well now as you did as a child. As infants, we rock, roll, and crawl. We progress to running, climbing, jumping, dancing and playing for hours every day. And then? Gradually, we are trained to move less. Sit still. Stop fidgeting. Focus. Listen. Be good. Movement becomes something you do only at recess and gym class. Some of us go on to train in a particular sport or physical activity, but only in certain ways, at certain times and seasons. As adults, movement happens in limited, repetitive patterns. It’s rare that we have the variety, frequency, or freedom of movement that we had as children. That, more than aging itself, is what leads to the reduced capabilities most people experience as they age. We stiffen into the patterns that we use most often.
In a sense, Movement Foundations classes are a fountain of youth. They bring us back to the developmental, non specialized skills and strength we need in order to be really versatile and free in our movement, like we were as children.
Despite what many fitness gurus and brands will try to tell you, there’s nothing new about fitness systems that focus on quality and diversity of movement rather than specialized performance. But despite a recent resurgence of ‘caveman’ fitness as part of the overall paleo trend, natural movement systems are still the underdog in the fitness world. Even Crossfit, which shares some of the same origins and focus on functional strength, is heavily weighted toward performance and competition rather than quality of movement.
Although we can trace the roots back as far as ancient Greece, modern fitness and training techniques largely stem from systems developed in the 1800s in the wake of the industrial revolution. At the time, there was growing concern about the ‘diseases of affluence’ brought about by an increasingly sedentary workforce. Competing systems of fitness and strength training (and gymnasiums to practice in) popped up all over Europe, introducing equipment like parallel bars, pommel horses, and stall bars, and formalizing systems of calisthenics and stretching.
One of the thinkers to emerge from this trend was Georges Hébert, a physical instructor for the French Marines in the early 1900s. He believed that the dominant fitness systems coming out of Sweden and Germany led to uneven muscular development and inadequate preparation for the practical demands of life, and that organized sports focused too heavily on competition and performance. Instead, he believed that exercise should result in practical ability, moral purpose, and courage. His philosophy was strongly influenced by his experience during his Navy service of a volcanic eruption, during which he coordinated the rescue of around 700 people. This was the basis for his personal motto, “Être fort pour être utile” (“Be strong to be useful”).
In developing his training system, called the Natural Method, Hébert built on the existing exercise systems of his time and incorporated concepts of progressive training (ie the idea that training should start at an accessible level for each individual so as not to exclude less skilled individuals, and develop from there), as well as influences of the popular ‘back to nature’ movement, including his observations of habitual physical activities among indigenous people around the world. The system focused on developing practical skills like climbing, swimming, fighting, balancing, and crawling, while also challenging the fears associated with falling or jumping, to develop strength in both body and character. If possible, these exercises were to be performed in nature to maximize spontaneity and preparedness for unpredictable environments.
Hébert’s ideas eventually formed the basis of all French military training, and in particular, the use of the “parcours” or obstacle course. More recently, his teachings have been heavily influential in the development of Parkour as a sport in its own right. The Natural Method is also the primary source for the MovNat® system developed by Erwan LeCorre, as well as many other Primal or Paleo inspired fitness trends.
Just as they were a century ago, fitness practices that emphasize muscle isolation, competition and performance are dominant over natural movement systems today. But the natural movement philosophy persists in many lesser known systems. Each is slightly different in focus, language and exercises, but they share overlapping elements and goals. They work with developmental and restorative movement to reset the nervous system, wake up neglected muscles, and restore fundamental strength, mobility and coordination. Then they work on developing strength, flexibility and control in all possible planes of movement, from rolling on the ground, to squatting, to hanging from a branch. With practice, the end result is a conditioned, graceful and infinitely more capable body.
To us, this way of looking at fitness makes so much sense. It represents a paradigm shift from unbalanced, piecemeal training that so often causes injury, to integrated, practical training that prevents injury and provides a solid foundation for everything else. In Movement Foundations classes at Myo, you will experience elements of the Natural Method described above, along with other related systems. We also offer Original Strength®, a movement restoration system that uses developmental movement patterns like crawling, rocking, and rolling, to reset the vestibular system, integrate and coordinate the body’s movement and posture, and ultimately restore posture, strength, balance and flexibility. All of our classes are progressive – meaning that you can join at any level and add intensity over time.
Kevyn McAnlis, who teaches Movement Foundations at Myo, got her start as an athlete and yoga teacher. After repeated injuries from Vinyasa style yoga, she began to explore corrective movement through Yoga Tune Up®, which works to improve posture and reduce pain through a blend of yoga, corrective exercises, breath work and self-massage. She is also Level 1 MovNat certified, and a practitioner of Z-Health, a fitness system that seeks to reshape the way you train by focusing on and improving the connection between the brain and body. By incorporating brain based activities, natural movement and weight based practices she helps people find the right balance of work and play in their movement sessions.
Kirby Sams, who teaches Original Strength, is a life-long mover and athlete, and a trainer since 1991. He was injured and partially paralyzed playing football in college. Although he didn’t realize it at the time, he used the guidelines of OS, diaphragmatic breathing, vestibular motions and cross midline movement crawling, to restore his body to the way it was meant to be. He is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist, SFG1 Kettlebell Certified, TRX Suspension Training Certified, Functional Movement Systems Level 1 Certified, and of course, an Original Strength Certified Pro. He works with all populations, however he particularly enjoys changing the lives of people over the age of fifty.
A year – like all measurements – is both incomprehensibly large and extraordinarily small, depending on your perspective. We do millions of tiny things in a year, many of which add up to bigger accomplishments. Other projects can take decades to bear fruit.
The New Year is a beautiful opportunity to reflect on how far we’ve come in the last year, and what we see for the year to come. It’s like a precious pause between breaths, an almost magical glimpse of stillness and calm and clarity.
This has been a transformative year at Myo, and for me personally. A year ago, we had just signed the lease for the larger space at the Triangle. Today, we’re celebrating our gorgeous new space, new services, and new class offerings. In this year, while we planned and built the physical space, I’ve also taken a personal journey into the movement world. Starting from just a few seeds of an idea, I read, researched, interviewed and experienced countless movement styles to find the right teachers and classes for our studio. This year, as I deepen my own personal movement practice, I want to share some of these behind the scenes experiences and insights.
Many people take this day to make New Year’s resolutions. I don’t. I love the idealism and the hope and excitement of making big goals, but it’s no secret that we usually fall short of our grand resolutions. Real change is about the small things adding up. So instead of resolutions, I set intentions to guide the easy, tiny, manageable choices we make day after day.
This year, I choose movement. If there’s an option, I’ll choose the one with more varied movement. A walking meeting at work. Parking further away. Climbing over something instead of walking around. Stairs instead of elevators. Dance instead of TV.
During this year of movement, I’ll be sharing about my personal explorations as well as who, how, and why of what we are doing at Myo. Won’t you join me?
Catherine Collett is co-founder of Myo. She has been a massage therapist since 2003, specializing in myofascial release, pain management, and lymphatic drainage. She also holds a BA in Anthropology from Grinnell College and spent several years working on linguistics and schools development projects in Namibia with the Kalahari Peoples Fund. She’s is an avid world traveler and foodie, and loves movement in all its forms.
This article gives a great overview of Qi and Qi Deficiency, giving suggestions on how to balance your energy and overcome symptoms of deficiency and blood stagnation. Symptoms of Qi Deficiency are thyroid disorders, irregular periods, infertility, anxiety, fatigue, autoimmune disorders, susceptibility to infections, muscle aches and pains, allergies, liver disease, changes in appetite and weight, and much more. You can start to treat Qi Deficiency by making changes in your diet, reducing stress, and getting enough rest. Qi Deficiency can also be determined and treated by acupuncture. Read more about it here: bit.ly/2Oy98tf