The Thinking Practitioner Podcast

 

 

Thinking Practitioner podcast brings together two of the leading educators in manual therapy, bodywork, and massage therapy, as they delve into the most intriguing issues, questions, research, and client conditions that hands-on practitioners face. Stimulate your thinking with imaginative conversations, tips, and interviews related to the somatic arts and sciences with Whitney Lowe and Til Luchau. 

Episode 52: Orthopedic Special Tests (with Whitney Lowe)

Til interviews Whitney about his use of Orthopedic Special Tests.

Topics include:

  • The promise and the reality of special tests
  • Pros, cons, and controversies
  • When to use them, when not to.

Get the full transcript at Til or Whitney’s sites! 


Episode 51: Neuroinflammation (with Todd Hargrove)

Til & Whitney talk with Todd Hargrove of the Better Movement blog and podcast about neuroinflammation and its role in pain and health.

Topics include:

  • What is neuroinflammation, and how is it relevant to hands-on work?
  • How does the concept of the “neuro-immune system” change things?
  • What are our levers for helping with neuroinflammatory conditions?

Get the full transcript at Til or Whitney’s sites! 


Episode 50: A View Across The Border (with Jamie Johnston & Eric Purves)

Whitney interviews Jamie Johnston and Eric Purves

Topics include:

  • How does massage education differ in the U.S. and Canada
  • How have things changed with the adoption of educational competencies for MTs in British Columbia
  • Should we keep performing special orthopedic tests if they aren’t considered as accurate?

Get the full transcript at Til or Whitney’s sites! 


Episode 49: Interoception Is The Key, Like It Or Not (with Til Luchau)

Whitney interviews Til about his upcoming “Three Questions About Interoception” article in Massage & Bodywork magazine.

Topics include:

  • What is interoception, and why should I care?
  • Is interoception our profession’s “mindfulness?”
  • How can I actually use interoception with my clients?

Get the full transcript at Til or Whitney’s sites! 


 

Episode 48: Psoas Work: Is it Safe? Is it Necessary? (Hip Jam rebroadcast)

In honor of the upcoming Hip Jam, Whitney and Til discuss the controversies, disagreements, considerations, and their own views on the infamous psoas muscle in manual therapy and massage in this “Greatest Hits” rebroadcast of ep 25.

Get the full transcript at Til or Whitney’s sites! 


 

Episode 47: Getting Over Over-Pronation (Ankle & Foot Function)

In celebration of Til’s upcoming “Leg Knee & Foot” online course, he and Whitney geek out on conditions, anatomy, function, and biomechanics of the ankle and foot.

Get the full transcript at Til or Whitney’s sites! 


 

Episode 46: To ITB, or Not To ITB? (Iliotibial Band Controversies, Conditions, and Approaches)

Whitney and Til unfold the controversies, compare thoughts, and share approaches for working with the iliotibial band.

Get the full transcript at Til or Whitney’s sites! 


 

Episode 45: Fascia in Sport & Movement (with Robert Schleip)

Til Luchau & Whitney Lowe talk with researcher Robert Schleip about fascia, movement, and research updates in the newly released second edition of Fascia in Sport and Movement, co-edited by Jan Wilke.

Get the full transcript at Til or Whitney’s sites! 


 

Episode 44: Table Lessons (with Doug Nelson)

Whitney talks to Doug Nelson about the challenges and learning experiences of a great massage career spanning over four decades.

Get the full transcript at Til or Whitney’s sites! 


 

Episode 43: Trauma, MDMA Psychotherapy, and the Body (with Marcela Ot’alora G.)

Til Luchau talks about trauma, psychedelic psychotherapy, and the body, with Marcela Ot’alora G., the principal investigator in a very promising FDA-approved study into MDMA-assisted therapy for PTSD.

Get the full transcript at Til or Whitney’s sites! 


 

Episode 42: Scars and Scar Tissue (with Cathy Ryan)

Til and Whitney talk to Cathy Ryan RMT about her book ‘Traumatic Scar Tissue Management: Massage Therapy Principles, Practice and Protocols,’ co-authored with Nancy Keenan Smith.

Get the full transcript at Til or Whitney’s sites! 


 

Episode 41: Going For It: The Massage Mentor (with Diane Matkowski)

Whitney and Til talk to Diane Matkowski (a.k.a. the Massage Mentor) to find out what gave her the chutzpah to ask 10 of her favorite massage and bodywork teachers to teach in her first online event, what it was like when nearly 600 people showed up, and what she’s working on next.

Get the full transcript at Til or Whitney’s sites! 


 

Episode 40: How To (Not) Fix It (with Cal Cates)

Til and Whitney talk to Healwell’s Cal Cates about how their work with death and dying brought perspective and presence to their work as a massage therapist; and to living itself.

Get the full transcript at Til or Whitney’s sites! 


 

Episode 39: Are You Thinking Critically? (with Ruth Werner)

Til Luchau talks to writer Ruth Werner about her recent work on critical thinking skills, steps, and stages. ​

Get the full transcript at Til or Whitney’s sites! 


 

Episode 38: Frozen Shoulder & Adhesive Capsulitis: Updating our Approach

Whitney Lowe & Til Luchau give a crash course on frozen shoulder/adhesive capsulitis, discussing recent research and comparing their respective views and strategies.

Get the full transcript at Til or Whitney’s sites! 


 

Episode 37: Shoulder Pain, Impingement, & Rotator Cuff Issues: The Most Common of Problems

Til Luchau and Whitney Lowe share their ideas, strategies, techniques, and tests for better results with the most common type of shoulder condition, subacromial pain syndrome (SAPS) and its myriad presentations, including rotator cuff pain, etc. Download the handout with detailed episode notes, techniques and tests from http://a-t.tv/ttp-saps/

Get the full transcript at Til or Whitney’s sites! 


 

Episode 36: Research and Education with Robin Anderson

Whitney Lowe talks with Robin Anderson about her new role as president of the Massage Therapy Foundation and how research plays an important role in our field. They also dive deep into some issues around curriculum design and the crucial importance of developing solid educational programs to ensure the future success of our field.

Get the full transcript at Til or Whitney’s sites! 


 

Episode 35: Resources That Inspire Our Learning

Til Luchau and Whitney Lowe share their top resources for information and inspiration, both professionally and personally, letting us in on everything from their favorite podcasts, playlists, books, and apps, to how they recharge and find meaning in their work and in their lives.

Get the full transcript at Til or Whitney’s sites! 


 

Episode 34: Thoracic Outlet Syndrome: What You Didn’t Know

Whitney Lowe and Til Luchau share trivia, tips, tests, and techniques for working with thoracic outlet syndrome (TOS), including some cool self-care methods for you and your clients. Find out why TOS is “one of the most controversial topics in musculoskeletal medicine,” and how Til and Whitney actually work with TOS symptoms in practice.

Get the full transcript at Til or Whitney’s sites! 


 

Episode 33: Drew Freedman: Dealing With Adversity

Clinician and educator Drew Freedman talks about navigating many challenges of managing a busy clinic in the heart of Boston. The clinic was severely impacted by the Boston Marathon bombing and then again this past year during the Covid challenge. We discuss how to face adversity and how to continue looking forward and not let these challenges drag you down.

Get the full transcript at Til or Whitney’s sites! 


 

Episode 32: Art Riggs: Aging Well

Art Riggs was one of the first Certified Rolfers™ to publish a book about “advanced” techniques. His textbook (Deep Tissue Massage) was adopted by massage therapy programs worldwide, and as a result, his teaching and style has influenced tens of thousands massage and manual therapists in the decades since. Art talks with Til Luchau about his work, aging, self-care, and more.

Get the full transcript at Til or Whitney’s sites!  

 


 

Episode 31: Headaches of Another Kind: Cervicogenic Headaches

What are cervicogenic headaches? Are they even a thing, and if so, why are they particularly amenable to manual therapy and massage? Til Luchau and Whitney Lowe discuss these questions, and share some self-care tips for you and your clients. Download the handout with detailed episode notes, techniques and tests from http://a-t.tv/ttp-cgh/ 

Episode topics include: 

  • What kinds of headaches CAN manual therapy help with?
  • What’s the controversy around cervicogenic headaches?
  • What kinds of self-care help?

Get the handout: a-t.tv/ttp-cgh/ or get the full transcript at Til or Whitney’s sites! 


 

Episode 30: Excuses, Excuses: Our Favorite Reasons Not To

What makes taking care of ourselves so hard? Til Luchau and Whitney Lowe dissect the difficulties, and share their favorite excuses for not putting their own care first.

Episode topics include: 

  • The five key self-care behaviors;
  • The date we’re most likely to give up on our resolutions;
  • Getting “internal bipartisanship” around your own self-care initiatives.

Get the full transcript at Til or Whitney’s sites! 


 

Episode 29: First Season Retrospective – Best of the Thinking Practitioner
Til Luchau and Whitney Lowe review highlights and take-aways from the star-studded first season of their acclaimed podcast (yea, right).

Get the full transcript at Til or Whitney’s sites! 


 

Episode 28: Advanced Credentialing and Massage as Healthcare

 Whitney Lowe talks with Cal Cates, executive director of Healwell. They tackle the challenging issues of how to recognize advanced training and the challenges of integrating massage into the healthcare system.

Episode topics include: 

  • Why is advanced credentialing important for us?
  • What are some of the big challenges we face when attempting to be part of the healthcare system?
  • Who is ultimately responsible for advanced credentialing?

Get the full transcript at Til or Whitney’s sites! 


 

Episode 27: The Little Man In The Brain: The Sensory Homunculus

Til Luchau and Whitney Lowe discuss the most famous (yet, unreplicated) illustration in neuroscience, the sensorimotor homunculus, which purports to show the proportion of the brain dedicated to each body part. Is it accurate?

Episode topics include: 

  • Is the cortical homunculus a map, or the territory?
  • How did it come about? Penfield’s methods and limitations.
  • How might this all apply to manual therapy and massage?

Get the full transcript at Til or Whitney’s sites! 


 

Episode 26: Zoga: Movement for Manual Therapists, with Wojtek Cackowski

Til Luchau talks with Polish physical therapist, Anatomy Trains teacher, and manual therapist Wojtek Cackowski about his innovative Zoga Movement method, and how it can help manual therapists not only with their clients, but with their own embodiment and self care.

Episode topics include: 

  • What is Zoga? How does it relate to manual therapy and massage?
  • Fascial shearing and gliding, vs fascial “stretching”
  • Til and Wojtek’s collaborative online courses combining Zoga and Advanced Myofascial Techniques

Get the full transcript at Til or Whitney’s sites! 

 


 

Episode 25: Psoas Work: Is it Safe? Is it Necessary?

Whitney and Til discuss the controversies, disagreements, considerations, and their own views on the infamous psoas muscle in manual therapy and massage. Download the handout with detailed episode notes, techniques and tests, and a special chapter from Til’s book from http://a-t.tv/ttp-psoas/ 

Episode topics include: 

  • Psoas: Holy Grail muscle, or wholly irrelevant?
  • Psoas and back pain, leg length, etc.;
  • Safety considerations;
  • What Til and Whitney actually do (and don’t do) in practice.

Get the full transcript and handout at Til or Whitney’s sites! 


 

Episode 24: Plantar Foot Pain Crash Course
Whitney and Til share a treasure chest of foot-pain ideas and techniques, packed full of assessments, anatomy, concepts, and hands-on tools. Download the free (optional) handout and follow along as Til and Whitney give an audio preview of their upcoming Plantar Foot Pain collaborative webinar (part of the ABMP CE Summit).

Get the full transcript and handout at Til or Whitney’s sites! 


 

Episode 23: Do Expectations Shape Results? Mark Bishop
Mark Bishop’s research shows that clients who think treatment will help benefit more than those who don’t expect much relief. What is more, practitioners who expect their modality will help actually get better results than practitioners who are less certain. What’s up with that?

In this episode, Til and Whitney interview manual therapist, physiotherapist and researcher Mark Bishop about his fascinating investigations into how expectations can shape results; the role of client preferences in treatment success; and how practitioners can most effectively leverage these effects.

Mark Bishop PT PhD FAPTA is a physiotherapist with more than 30 years of clinical and research experience in the area of rehabilitation of musculoskeletal pain disorders. His work has focused predominantly on the mechanisms underpinning the efficacy and effectiveness of conservative interventions for pain, especially manual therapy and exercise. He is currently a faculty member in the Department of Physical Therapy with affiliations in the Center for Pain Research and Behavioral Health, and the Pain Research and Intervention Center of Excellence at the University of Florida.

Get the full transcript at Til or Whitney’s sites! 


 

Episode 22: Gil Hedley: Fascia, Fuzz and Furor
Anatomist Gil Hedley discusses fascial debacles, debates, and dissection with Til Luchau.

In this episode, 

  1. Gil Hedley’s Fuzz Speech: facts, fantasies, and furor;
  2. Sexuality in the dissection room;
  3. Conspiracies: pattern of meaning, or menace?

Get the full transcript at Til or Whitney’s sites! 


 

Episode 21: My Aching (Upper) Back: Thoracic Spine Pain
Whitney and Til discuss a very common (but poorly researched) complaint: upper thoracic spine pain, and what to do about it.

In this episode, 

  1. Does posture drive upper back pain? Does psychology?
  2. Breaking the Upper-Cross-Syndrome rules (and what “PhD” doesn’t really stand for).
  3. The Over-the-Edge technique for upper back pain.

Get the full transcript and handout at Til or Whitney’s sites! 


 

Episode 20: A Pain in the Neck: Cervical Challenges and Strategies
Whitney and Til discuss assessment and treatment considerations unique to working with the neck and cervical region; how their respective training programs are adapting to the challenges of COVID-19; and much more.

In this episode, 

  1. Neck issues: shifting from tissue fault to nociceptive driver
  2. Can we treat the neck in isolation?
  3. Thoughts on “text neck,” and more.

Get the full transcript at Til or Whitney’s sites! 


 

Episode 19: What About Risk– with Ruth Werner
How do we manage risk, in a world where we don’t even agree about what the risks are? Pathology writer Ruth Werner joins Til and Whitney for a lively conversation about risk, risk tolerance, and ethical decision making in massage and manual therapy, in the face of both COVID-19, and in the differences in how we perceive the risks involved. 

Get the full transcript at Til or Whitney’s sites! 


 

Episode 18: Ann Blair Kennedy and Kemi Balogun: Project COPE
Project COPE is tracking the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on both essential and “non-essential” healthcare practitioners, including massage therapists and bodyworkers. It’s already revealing some insights about representation and diversity in our field. 

Get the full transcript at Til or Whitney’s sites! 


 

Episode 17: Who Charts Our Path?
Manual therapy and massage practitioners are voracious consumers of professional continuing education. Who should be deciding what they learn? 

In this episode,  

  • What implications does the “medically necessary” discussion have on massage and bodywork education, CE, and credentialing? 
  • Why don’t Rolfers think they’re doing massage, anyway? 
  • What is the post-COVID roadmap for professional continuing education? 

Get the full transcript at Til or Whitney’s sites! 


 

Episode 16: Benny Vaughn- Black Lives Matter
Benny Vaughn, an iconic figure in massage therapy, talks with Whitney and Til about his experiences as an African American massage therapist, and offers both practical advice and deep inspiration on how manual therapists can address racism and bias in their own lives. 

Get the full transcript at Til or Whitney’s sites! 


 

Episode 15: Robert Schleip- Talking to Fascia, Changing the Brain, 20 Years Later
Fascia evokes widely divergent responses from manual therapists, with viewpoints ranging from “incredible” to “irrelevant.” Til Luchau talks with fascial researcher Robert Schleip PhD about his current perspectives on tissue change and the nervous system in manual therapy; fascial debates; and much more. 

In this episode, 

  • Questioning the tissue-based narratives in manual therapy, 
  • Putting to rest the question “How is your work misunderstood?” 
  • Inflammation, insula, networking, and much more. 

Get the full transcript at Til or Whitney’s sites! 


Episode 14: Do We Keep Doing This?
A lot of hands-on therapists are wondering about “staying with it.”  Til and Whitney explore the reasons massage and manual therapy practitioners might (and might not) be thinking about quitting. 

Get the full transcript at Til or Whitney’s sites! 


 

Episode 13: Inflammation: Hands-On
Inflammation is implicated in nearly all musculoskeletal complaints, including chronic pain. Til and Whitney explain this, and talk about the implications for massage and manual therapy.

In this episode, 

  • Are most client complaints related to inflammation?
  • What most practitioners don’t understand about inflammation
  • Key points practitioners should keep in mind

Get the full transcript at Til or Whitney’s sites! 


Episode 12: The Cytokine Storm of COVID-19
Coronavirus symptoms range from mild to fatal. Though still mysterious, in many patients it seems to be the patient’s own inflammatory reactions that tip the scale. Til and Whitney explain this, and talk about the implications for massage and manual therapy. 

In this episode, 

  • What is the deal about COVID-19 and cytokine storms? 
  • What is a cytokine, and why do I care? 
  • As massage therapists and bodyworkers, where does this leave us? 

Get the full transcript at Til or Whitney’s sites! 


Episode 11: Stretching the Tissues, or the Truth?
Does manual therapy stretch the tissues? Til and Whitney consider the history, evidence, debates and implications of this fascinating question. 

In this episode

  • Myths and misperceptions about stretching,
  • Are we stretching connective tissue, or nervous system?
  • What does this mean for massage, bodywork, and manual therapy?

Get the full transcript at Til or Whitney’s sites! 


 

Episode 10: When Does The Tissue Matter?
Whitney and Til consider the debates about tissue-based effects in manual therapy, and share their views about when it makes sense to think about the actual tissues and physical effects of hands-on works. 

In this episode, 

  • Why would people say that the tissue doesn’t matter in manual therapy?  
  • Examples of tissue-based narratives; the arguments for, and against  
  • Til and Whitney ask each other, “What tissue effects do you think about when you’re working?”  

Get the full transcript at Til or Whitney’s sites!  

 


 

Episode 9: Descending Modulation in Manual Therapy
Whitney and Til discuss the descending modulation of pain in manual therapy. 

In this episode

  • What is descending modulation? 
  • What are the implications? 
  • How do we use it? 

Get the full transcript at Til or Whitney’s sites! 


Episode 8: Key Challenges Facing Our Field, Part 2
Whitney and Til talk about the key challenges and opportunities facing manual therapy, bodywork, and massage therapy. (Part 2 of 2) 

In this episode

  • Increasing the accuracy of our explanations,
  • Polarization, divisiveness, and infighting within the profession,
  • Consolidation and up-scaling of the bodywork “industry”
  • and more…

Get the full transcript at Til or Whitney’s sites! 


 

Episode 7: Scoliosis and Manual Therapy
Til and Whitney talk about hands-on work with scoliosis. 

In this episode

  • What do we know about scoliosis’ causes?
  • What are some common scoliosis myths? 
  • When scoliosis is a problem?
  • What are conventional treatments?
  • What’s manual therapy’s role?
  • And much more. 

Get the full transcript at Til or Whitney’s sites! 


Episode 6: Tendons and Tendinopathies
Whitney and Til discuss considerations for hands-on work with tendinopathies and tendon issues. 

In this episode

  • What is a tendinopathy? Examples? 
  • Tendinitis vs.tendinosis; tenosynovitis; 
  • What are typical signs? 
  • What is known about causes?
  • Inflammation or degeneration? 
  • Collagen, paretenon, fascicles, etc; 
  • Nerval arborization/sprouting; 
  • What’s manual therapy’s role? 
  • Approaches, debates, consensus; 
  • And much more…  

Get the full transcript at Til or Whitney’s sites! 


Episode 5: Documentation and Electronic Health Records with Diana Thompson
Whitney talks with Diana Thompson about documentation, health records, and including massage therapy in mainstream healthcare practices. 

In this episode,

  • Introducing Diana Thompson, 
  • History of Hands Heal and SOAP documentation for massage therapy, 
  • Washington’s “every category of provider” clause, 
  • Electronic health records and the future of clinical documentation, 
  • and more. 

Get the full transcript at Til or Whitney’s sites! 

 


 

Episode 4: Key Challenges Facing Our Field, Part 1
Til and Whitney talk about the key challenges and opportunities facing manual therapy, bodywork, and massage therapy. (Part 1 of 2)

In this episode,

  • Aging practitioners, younger students,
  • Split personality of the profession,
  • The epidemic of over-busyness,
  • Income issues,
  • and more.

Get the full transcript at Til or Whitney’s sites! 


 

Episode 3: Sacroiliac Joint Pain: Causes, Controversies, and Considerations
Til and Whitney discuss sacroiliac joint pain and hand-on therapies: causes, controversies, and considerations.

In this episode,

  • What causes SIJ pain?
  • Does the SIJ move a little, or a lot?
  • What about hypermobility?
  • What are the controversies?
  • What does the research say?
  • Key considerations for manual therapists,
  • and much more.

Get the full transcript at Til or Whitney’s sites!


 

Episode 2: The Back Story, Part 2
Til and Whitney interview each other about their backgrounds, histories, and current interests. Part 2 of 2.

Join two of the leading educators in manual therapy, bodywork, and massage therapy, as they delve into the most intriguing issues, questions, research, and client conditions that hands-on practitioners face. Stimulate your thinking with imaginative conversations, tips, and interviews related to the somatic arts and sciences.

Get the full transcript at Til or Whitney’s sites! 


 

Episode 1: The Back Story, Part 1
In this episode, Til and Whitney interview each other about their backgrounds, histories, and current interests. Part 1 of 2.

Join two of the leading educators in manual therapy, bodywork, and massage therapy, as they delve into the most intriguing issues, questions, research, and client conditions that hands-on practitioners face. Stimulate your thinking with imaginative conversations, tips, and interviews related to the somatic arts and sciences. 

Get the full transcript at Til or Whitney’s sites! 

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