Sports Massage Therapist Profile – Tommy

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Sports Massage Therapist Profile – Tommy

Tommy isn’t a new face at all, in fact he’s been a part of the Body Mechanics team for over 4 years! He’s treated hundreds of clients, many of whom trust him to maintain their health on a regular basis, but we still wanted to dig in and find some tidbits about Tommy that no one would know. Here’s what we learned!

What’s your history with sports? Do you compete? Train? Maybe just watch?

Tommy – From the ages of 4 – 10, I practiced Martial Arts. As I got older I gave up on Martial Arts to focus on playing football, baseball & lacrosse during high school. After high school, I became fascinated with bodybuilding. I had abs for the first time in my life! But…I still couldn’t lift my own body weight in a pull-up.

My goal became to be able to do 10 perfect pull-ups which lead me down the rabbit hole of bodyweight training. Before the pandemic I had just started practicing Jiu Jitsu and really enjoyed it. I would love to go back when I feel it is safe to do so.

Can you share one experience, as someone who knows their body and is active, that has greatly impacted your massage

Tommy Over the past few years I have overused my body so much. I have developed and sometimes gotten rid of many of the same symptoms my clients complain of. I’m currently dealing with a chronic pain in my shoulder. It isn’t so bad that it affects my work but I have to be mindful of not letting it rest.

What is your best uh oh story? A time you really messed something up with your body.

TommyWhen I first started Jiu Jitsu I had a sparring session where I was put into a choke hold and restraint. I was trying to escape a move and twisted my torso really hard, which my opponent squeezed his legs and arms around me even harder. I bruised my rib and had to work through that pain for a month!

If you could try any sport/or amazing physical activity what would it be?

TommyGymnastics, Olympic Lifting, & MMA

How did you get into sports massage? 

TommyI was going to school for acupuncture. My teacher at the time was an acupuncturist and a massage therapist. She suggested I get licensed in massage therapy first. I fell in love with massage therapy and completely lost my interest in becoming an Acupuncturist.

Are there any athletes you would love to work on? 

Tommy – I enjoy working on all athletes. None specifically!

What sets your sports massage apart from anyone else?

Tommy – My ability to understand my clients experience as my own. Since I have had and still get some of the issues my clients come in with I tailor my techniques using educated, experienced empathy.

What are your favorite kinds of people to treat and why?

Tommy – Anyone who needs my help! I like to teach people to help themselves after I treat them. People think they have to do big expensive things to feel better but there is a lot of knowledge out there that can teach people to help themselves. I guide everyone I can to that info.

Who is your favorite person who works in pain science? (doctor, personality on youtube or insta, website?) 

Tommy – One of our own therapists at Body Mechanics, Matt Danzinger. Sometimes the big people in the field are less reachable and sometimes even unpractical. Matt and I work in the exact same environment. Our interpretations of an issue come from a similar starting point, as opposed to where maybe a physical therapist or chiropractor would need to approach something. Even if we disagree on something we are speaking the same language. Our conversations and analysis have facilitated my growth at a much faster rate then my other work environments.

Are there any oddball facts we do not know about you that we should? 

Tommy – When I was younger, I used to believe Coffee was a scam! Hahaha! How could that smelly brown liquid make you stay awake?

Medical Massage Therapist Profile – Erika

We welcome Medical Massage Therapist Erika to the Body Mechanics team! She gave us some insights into her life, passions and hobbies. Take a read to get to know her a little better!

What is your clinical/career background and what drew you to medical massage?

Before becoming an LMT I worked with physical therapists and chiropractors. The work I assisted them with was mostly trigger point and myofascial release. 

What drew me to medical massage was being able to see a client progress and become healthier and stronger as I work with them. I love setting a goal with someone, focusing and forming a plan of attack with them, seeing them work harder and finally achieving that goal.

LMT Medical Massage Therpist at Body Mechanics Orthopedic Massage
Medical Massage Therapist Erika Rossell

How long have you been practicing medical massage?

2 years. This is a new career path for me but I take it very seriously. All of my jobs as an adult have been a way for me to make someone’s life better, but  before now I did as an entertainer. I brought joy and brightness to them. Now I can help people by healing them with my own hands.

Can you share one experience that has greatly impacted your massage?

I treated a first time client who had been finding no comfort for her low back pain. She was mentally groggy from the heavy amount of  prescribed pain medication she needed to function, tried physical therapy, acupuncture, and reiki. None had brought her relief. She started to book after one session on a bi weekly basis and told me that massages with me were the only treatment that brought her any relief. I was so grateful to be able to help her.

What is your best “Uh-oh!” story? A time you really messed something up with your body, that helped inform your medical massage technique.

My Uh-oh story isn’t actually about my own mistake! One time I went to get a massage and the person I saw performed traction on my finger a little too hard and it was hurting for 2 weeks after! That experience reminded me that you really have to be proactive and check in with a client. It also made me understand how important it  is to grasp and respect the limits of the body

What are your favorite kinds of people to work on and why?

People that have a genuine interest in learning about their body and healing it through their own effort. I love people who are as eager to learn about their body as I was when I started to go to school for medical massage. People who are engaged and want to learn how they can help themselves and want to know why I chose the style of work I did. I love the conversation when people are interested in learning more and getting stronger.

If you could try any sport or attend a special event what would it be?

 Don’t know so much about history but I would love to work on some top ranking champion surfers!

Body Mechanics Orthopedic Massage Erika Rossell
Erika breathing fire

Are there any oddball facts we do not know about you that you’d like to share?

Plenty! I’m a retired dancer. I’m also a retired circus performer. I know how to eat and breathe fire. I know how to swallow a sharp sword. I surfed when I was a kid growing up in Florida. Bonus fact: my mother is a Florida LMT going on 36 years. 🙂

What sets your medical massage apart from anyone else?

I become invested in how that client feels. I care deeply about their pain. I’m a newer massage therapist but I’m highly experienced in pain and recovery being an injury sufferer and a retired dancer. I understand how restricting and inhibiting injury can be to somebody’s everyday life and I work my hardest to find the problem and get them past it.

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