What Is Middleway Method?

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What Is Middleway Method?

Middleway Method Massage Therapists gather information from our clients and then create treatments specifically for each individual. We never use massage routines or limit ourselves to using one technique at a time. We apply many different techniques in direct relationship with our clients’ needs, wants, and responses to what we are doing. The essence of Middleway Method is the therapists’ ability to notice whether or not what we are doing is enjoyable and effective for each client. For this reason, every Middleway massage is different.

The ability to notice the effect of what we are doing is a skill that requires development. Without direct training in touch sensitivity, many massage therapists do things that are neither enjoyable nor effective. They apply techniques because they think that the techniques are good in principle, rather than working in spontaneous response to what is really happening. They apply routines, which are inherently unresponsive to each unique individual’s needs. Lacking the ability to notice the effect of what they are doing, many massage therapists work on their clients, not with their clients, providing a much lower quality service than what is possible.

For example, a therapist may believe wholeheartedly that very gentle, very soothing massage is the best, so she always gives gentle, soothing massages. But when a client wants an aggressive, invigorating massage, they will not be happy with a gentle, soothing treatment. After one unsatisfying massage with a gentle therapist, the client will choose a different therapist who does more of what they like. I know a therapist who only does very deep, very painful, very aggressive treatments. People who like that style definitely enjoy his work. But people who don’t like that style don’t enjoy his work at all. The problem is that neither the gentle nor the deep therapist has the ability to notice when their technique isn’t working, nor the flexibility to do something new. A Middleway Method therapist easily does both gentle and deep, or makes up something else that works even better.

The ability to notice the effects of what we are doing is a refined skill that takes training and practice, much like learning to play a musical instrument. To develop a refined skill, we need refined training. Ordinarily, massage schools start their programs with Swedish Massage, and then progress into the deeper and more complicated techniques. Each technique is divided into it’s own separate course. For example, you don’t normally learn myofascial techniques in an energy work course. Perhaps a school will have a course toward the end of training that focuses on integration, but still the entire training leading up to that is fragmented. This format means that students often spend time performing techniques that are inappropriate to the client that they are practicing on, because rather than working with the client, they are simply mimicking the teacher and the specific style. Irrelevant massage is ineffective and unenjoyable.

A Middleway school teaches no separate techniques and no routines. Instead, students are trained from the beginning to notice whether or not what they are doing is enjoyable and effective for each person that they work on. When a client needs a particular style, the teacher is there to teach it. In that way, over the course of training, Middleway students learn many styles, but from day one in school, every massage is a unique interaction. The Middleway educational approach is therefore completely different than standard massage training. It is more challenging and more rewarding for the teachers and the students, because everyone has to work in response to what is really happening. Middleway training is just like every day, every hour, and every minute working as a professional therapist. Every moment something new and unexpected is happening, and we work with that.

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For questions about Middleway Method training, call Tobin Rangdröl, LMT, at 707-633-8046.

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