Treatment Approach - Sam Hammer LMT CPT
Stages of movement retraining:
1) Unconscious Incompetence
2) Conscious Incompetence.
3) Conscious Competence.
4) Unconscious Competence.
My work with clients focuses on the neuro-muscular-fascial-skeletal movement system that propels us through our days and lives. Musculoskeletal pain often shows up as a hardware problem - degeneration in this joint, inflammation in these tissues - but the underlying drivers are very often software problems: the less-than-optimal movement patterns all of our bodies develop in adaptation to life’s slings and arrows in order to walk, sit, drive, pick up groceries, workout, you name it.
My approach combines highly attuned myofascial release and unwinding with neuromuscular reprogramming and functional movement education. The big levers for change are position, sensation, and breath.
What does that mean? Depending on your needs, a session with me might include the following:
A history of symptoms, movement patterns, injuries, etc.
Postural and movement based assessments to see where and how your body likes to move and where it doesn't and how those patterns might contribute to symptoms
Precise movement explorations that invite rebalancing of structural, sensory and movement patterns at the reflexive level.
Subtle testing and palpation on the table to look at which muscles are firing or not, what areas are restricted and which ones move freely.
Targeted, relaxing, and deeply effective hands bodywork;
Movement education and homework to help integrate the shifts in your body.
The neuromuscular software we develop is an accumulation of any number of experiences: mimicking those around us growing up; responding to pain, injury, stress, and trauma; adapting to habitual postures and environments (shoes, chairs, computers, cars, sports, etc); imbibing cultural messages about how to present ourselves, and so on. None of these things are perfectly attuned to our biological realities, so the hardware of our tissues often takes the brunt with symptoms ranging from pesky to debilitating.
Sometimes, though, the pain which may have started with some cranky joints or muscles lingers on as a glitch in the software of our nervous systems, a chronic internal alarm signal that persists long after the fire is put out. Physical pain is also often an interdependant part of the wider fabric of our lives: our relationships, our environments, our habits, our attitudes
Manual therapists and movement oriented practitioners like myself specialize in helping clients press reset in their neuromuscular systems.
Whether the immediate issue is mechanical wear and tear or chronic musculoskeletal pain, manual therapy and movement explorations that assess and address physical pain and wellness from the perspective of movement patterns, myofascial integration, and neuromuscular adaptation can fill an important niche alongside more hardware intensive approaches (MRI’s, surgery, injections, acute injury treatment, etc.) and broader medical care that must account for all the body’s systems but often doesn’t have the time or inclination to analyze client movement or palpate myofascial tensions.
My assessment and treatment focuses on three interconnected components of your movement system:
Skeletal alignment and integrated joint function.
Muscular and fascial alignment, health, and tension.
Motor control: how your brain organizes movement, especially the unconscious micro movements involved in walking, breathing, and maintaining upright posture that make up most of the movement we do each day. (We average 22,000 breath cycles per day!)
My work aims to cultivate reflexive, integrated, and balanced movement: a smooth and balanced orchestration in which we move where and how we want to move, without pain, without dysfunctional compensation, and without having to consciously think about it.
The goal is that you feel more at home in your body.