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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 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.


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. 


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. Listen to learn more, and participate in the project at the link below. 


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? 


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. 


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. 

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. 


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

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? 

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?


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?”  



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? 

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…


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. 

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…  

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. 



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.


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.


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



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

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