Ep 262 - Whitney Lowe Wants to Learn More: “The Rebel MT” with Allison Denney

Image of Whitney Lowe giving an in-person presentation.

Whitney Lowe, the somewhat reserved but well-researched massage therapist and educator, has a story to tell. It is one that spans the country, bridges timelines, and is driven by the deep desire to learn. His journey from Atlanta to Oregon is full of crossroads. But through it all, his vision and intrinsic curiosity saw him through. And we hope he never stops. Join us as we listen to Whitney share this amazing tale.

Host:

Contact Allison Denney: rebelmt@abmp.com     

Allison’s website: www.rebelmassage.com          

Author Images: 
Allison Denney, The Rebel MT.
Author Bio: 

Allison Denney is a certified massage therapist and certified YouTuber. You can find her massage tutorials at YouTube.com/RebelMassage. She is also passionate about creating products that are kind, simple, and productive for therapists to use in their practices. Her products, along with access to her blog and CE opportunities, can be found at rebelmassage.com.        

Sponsors: 

 

Rebel Massage Therapist: http://www.rebelmassage.com

 

The Academy of Lymphatic Studies (ACOLS): acols.com

 

milk + honey: milkandhoneyspa.com/careers

 

Rebel Massage Therapist:

My name is Allison. And I am not your typical massage therapist. After 20 years of experience and thousands of clients, I have learned that massage therapy is SO MUCH more than a relaxing experience at a spa. I see soft tissue as more than merely a physical element but a deeply complex, neurologically driven part of who you are. I use this knowledge to work WITH you—not ON you—to create change that works. This is the basis of my approach. As a massage therapist, I have worked in almost every capacity, including massage clinics, physical therapy clinics, chiropractor offices, spas, private practice, and teaching. I have learned incredible techniques and strategies from each of my experiences. In my 20 years as a massage therapist, I have never stopped growing. I currently have a private practice based out of Long Beach, California, where I also teach continuing education classes and occasionally work on my kids. If they’re good.

website: www.rebelmassage.com

FB: facebook.com/RebelMassage

IG: instagram.com/rebelmassagetherapist

YouTube: youtube.com/c/RebelMassage

email: rebelmassagetherapist@gmail.com

 

The Academy of Lymphatic Studies (ACOLS) promotes the quality and integrity of continuing education to practitioners in the field of lymphedema and edema management. Manual lymphatic drainage helps to reduce edema of various genesis, including posttraumatic and post-surgical edema, as well as several pathologies, such as fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, migraines, and chronic pain. Highly skilled manual lymphatic drainage therapists with advanced training are instrumental in supporting the healing process in patients recovering from oncology treatments as well as cosmetic, reconstructive, and gender affirming surgery. ACOLS offers Manual Lymph Drainage (MLD) Certification and Complete Lymphedema Therapy Certification courses in both in-person and hybrid options. With 150 annual course offerings all over the country, students can find the right course for them. 

Website: acols.com

Facebook: facebook.com/AcademyofLymphaticStudies

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/academy-of-lymphatic-studies-llc

Instagram: instagram.com/lymphaticstudies

Email: admissions@acols.com

 

Award-winning day spa milk + honey is currently hiring Licensed Massage Therapists in Texas, Los Angeles, Chicago, and Miami.  

Milk + honey is committed to helping employees achieve their personal and professional goals by offering competitive benefits, and an industry-leading compensation program that takes a holistic view of performance and tenure, allowing team members to take charge and own their own growth

Visit milkandhoneyspa.com/careers or find us on Instagram at instagram.com/milkandhoneyspa to learn more about what makes milk + honey a great place to work and submit your application.

Full Transcript: 

0:00:00.1 Speaker 1: Award winning day spa Milk and Honey is hiring licensed massage therapists in Texas, Los Angeles, Chicago and Miami. Milk and Honey helps employees achieve their personal and professional goals by offering competitive benefits, personalized growth opportunities, and an industry-leading compensation program that takes the holistic view of performance and tenure. Visit milkandhoneyspa.com/careers to learn more about what makes milk and honey a great place to work and submit your application today. That's milkandhoneyspa.com/careers.

0:00:46.9 S1: This episode is brought to you by Rebel Massage, deep tissue body butter. Crafted because oil is too slick and lotion absorbs too fast, these organic professional-grade body work butters give you the grip you've been looking for. The best techniques in the world can get lost without the right product to support them. Try the Get a Grip version for a more specific focused work, or the Total Meltdown version for that grip with a little extra glide. Made by a massage therapist for massage therapists. Head over to rebelmassage.com to get your grip today.

[music]

0:01:31.1 S1: Whitney Lowe has a career that spans across a nation, bridges educational gaps and has through it all withstood the test of time. His approachable demeanor and inquisitive drive have made him a favorite among his students and anyone who has read his work. The common thread through it all seems quite clear to me, Whitney never wants to stop learning.

0:01:53.3 Whitney Lowe: Now, at this time, massage was not thought of very well, so I think I was making... If I remember correctly, when I was hired, I was making $13 an hour doing massage here at this clinic. And I didn't care, because I was getting paid to go to school as far as I could figure, because we had orthopedist and physical therapists and athletic trainers, and nutritionist, exercise science specialist all in this clinic working with the same patient population.

0:02:18.9 WL: And if I came in and I didn't have somebody in my 3 o'clock time slot, I was just following the PTs around, "What are you doing? What are you doing that? Why are you doing this? Why are you doing that? And they probably got really tired of me doing that so much, but I learned so much in that environment there.

0:02:35.0 S1: Whitney's massage therapy origin story is familiar to a lot of us. It began with the spark of an interest into something new and intriguing, but having no idea what would come of it.

[music]

0:02:50.5 WL: Yeah, so my name is Whitney Lowe. I'm from... You can tell by my accent I'm from the South, originally. From Atlanta, Georgia originally. I was in graduate school studying psychology back in the mid-1980s, and my former wife was going to massage school and was coming home every day telling me all about the cool things they were learning about mind-body interaction and client-therapist relationships.

0:03:14.1 WL: And I was in graduate school still early in my Master's program in Counseling Psychology, and we were still studying about rats running in mazes and all this kind of stuff, and I felt like, "This is really odd, they're learning about all this really cool stuff in massage school."

0:03:27.0 WL: I was really fascinated with that whole mind-body connection and holistic health and all that kind of stuff, and I was actually getting pretty burned out in my graduate school program 'cause I'd been on a long, straight away stretch trying to finish up my undergraduate degree and I immediately went right into graduate school after that.

0:03:42.5 WL: I thought, "You know, I'm gonna take a break from my Psychology program and go to massage school and learn about the body, and I think that would be really cool 'cause then I could just, I could get a job just doing massage on my own schedule and work it around school and all those kind of stuff." I just thought it was mainly a convenience thing and somewhat fascination with the curiosity, at least, about body work in general. And so like so many people I went to massage school and I got hooked.

0:04:07.7 S1: Whitney, if you have not experienced his classes, has mastered the art of teaching. For most, this is not an easy skill to cultivate. For Whitney, it was part of his deeper drive to continue to learn.

0:04:20.4 WL: Yeah, so it went relatively quick from being in massage school to teaching, like it has for many people in the older days, and still happens today, which I don't like.

[chuckle]

0:04:32.8 WL: I was out of school, and a year later, the curriculum director then... I stayed around the school for a while as a teaching assistant, 'cause I really got into being at the school, I was learning so much and we had an incredible... I mean, incredible pool of talent at the school where I went, Atlanta School of Massage in the late '80s. It was the only school in the state at that time, and it was just pulling from the whole southeastern region for talented individuals there.

0:04:58.5 WL: So it was really phenomenal teachers, I wanted to hang around them 'cause I wanted to learn more. And this kinda gets back to the thing of just, I have this voracious ferocious appetite for learning, and that's just a big part of it. So I stuck around there and I was a teaching assistant for a little while, and the curriculum director said, "I want you to start taking on a class." And this was like a year out of massage school, and I said, "I'm not ready."

0:05:19.8 WL: And she goes, "Oh yes, you are." And she said, "You're on the schedule. You have to do this." I really was apprehensive about doing that, but also I felt like I was being drawn to this 'cause I love education and I love teaching and learning and all that kind of stuff, so I started doing some stuff in the classroom and quickly recognized that I didn't feel confident or competent to be in there.

0:05:42.6 WL: And the only way I was gonna do that was to really learn a whole lot more and just really push the boundaries and continue my learning as much as possible. I started taking all the workshops that I could from all of the people that are around, and this was... At this time, there's a lot of people that were coming through that part of the country, and Atlanta was a real hub in the southeast for a lot of teachers down there.

0:06:03.5 WL: If you look looked at... This is just really weird, I don't know what this is, but something was in the water down in Florida at that time because it was birthing all of these people, Paul St. John, Judith Delaney, Benny Vaughn, John Fletcher. All these people. Aaron Mattes. All these people were down there in Florida.

0:06:22.5 WL: And consequently Atlanta being the biggest city in the southeast, they were all coming through there teaching a lot of courses, so I got to take a lot of stuff from some really great people. And that again, was just fueling this sort of constant appetite for wanting to learn more and do more.

0:06:38.1 S1: So there is this drive to learn coupled with being in the right place at the right time. Whatever was in that water seemed to find Whitney as well.

0:06:47.5 WL: I grew up in a little suburb of Atlanta called Decatur, and it's right... My house is basically just a few miles down the road from Emory University, and Emory University is a stupendous Medical School. And so I started going over to the medical library, and the first time I went in like, "Can I go in here?" Was the question. Or do I have to be a medical student at the college?

0:07:10.8 WL: So when I learned that I could actually go in there and make use of all these resources and read the books that were on the shelves and look at the medical journals, and that's when I started recognizing that all this stuff was in these university libraries, and it wasn't anywhere else. All of this stuff was so relevant for what we were doing in massage and trying to treat pain and injury conditions.

0:07:33.6 WL: And so I started just going over all my spare time, I would just go over and sit in the medical library. I'd walk in like, "Where am I going today?" So I'd go start walking down the shelves and land on somewhere in the Orthopedics section and pick up a book and start reading, and it would make reference to this journal article.

0:07:51.8 WL: "Oh wow, that's fasting. I gotta go look that up," and then I would go pick that journal article off the shelf and go look at it. One thing just constantly led to another. At that time also I had gotten an an incredibly fortunate job opportunity, which is the Emory Clinic was opening a new orthopedic clinic that was literally half a mile from my house, and I happened to know one of the physical therapists that was gonna be working there, and she said, "We're thinking about offering massage at this clinic. Would you want to do this?" And I was like, "Hell yeah."

[music]

0:08:24.9 S1: Whitney was going down rabbit holes before rabbit holes were so easily accessed online. Whether it was in the water or not, there was something inside of him that kept him going.

0:08:34.7 WL: If I think about my own historical path, a lot of this, again, it comes back to things that were encouraged and developed from my parents early on, especially, this was my mom pushing me to get on student council, to go for this, run for this thing, get involved with that club, and there's always a get involved with a thing. And then that became some other things like that. This was influenced a great deal by, I spent a lot of time...

0:09:02.5 WL: This was also during the same time in which I was starting message school. I spent a lot of time very seriously studying martial arts in my mid-20s or so, and there's this sort of lineage system in a lot of the martial arts training about, you're the newbie student, and then there's the two-year student above you, and then there's the four-year student above that person, and there's the six-year student above that person and this person teaches that person, teaches that person.

0:09:26.0 WL: Then when you're good enough, the head instructor comes and runs you through the wringer here doing this stuff, and there's always this drive to be the best. There was this drive to be one of those top people in that kind of thing. And to me, this started with music, being a musician, there's always a drive to be a better musician, to push myself harder, to be a better martial artist, to be a better whatever. So that thing appears repeatedly, I think for me, in a lot of different environments.

0:10:00.1 S1: Wherever his drive came from, Whitney still struggled with finding confidence in front of the classroom.

0:10:06.0 WL: I'm really... I'm kinda shy actually, and I really don't like that kind of attention on myself, and I was not comfortable with it. And this is going back to historically, back to when I started teaching and I was about... Have to do the math. Somewhere around 28 years old. Probably something like that.

0:10:24.5 WL: When I was that age, I looked like I was 16. I mean, I really have always looked a lot younger than I am. And so we have all these people coming into massage school at that time too, a lot of them were second career people in their 30s and 40s who've had adult lives doing all kinds of stuff and then come into the classroom like, "Who's this kid?" You know?

0:10:45.6 WL: And so it was really clear to me that the only way I was really going to get adequate respect from people was to really, really know my stuff inside and out and be able to share something of real value and relevance with people.

0:10:58.8 S1: And as you can probably imagine, Whitney put his nose to the grindstone and methodically navigated his way through the jobs and experiences that have made him who he is today.

0:11:10.1 WL: I did private practice in my house, I rented office space, I did a lot of the whole gamut of things that people try to do starting out. And I was broke, I was like trying to do anything to get started in massage, and I'm young and new at this, and so really working hard to try to make some things happen and open up my own office in a medical office building.

0:11:34.5 WL: It was one of the first places that I was and that, learned a lot about running a business and failed at a good number of those things, but those were all very powerful lessons for later on. So it wasn't until after all of those things that I ended up at Emory, which was great because I needed some experience under my belt. I had worked for several chiropractors and worked in some aspects of the healthcare arena prior to that.

0:12:01.7 WL: Because Emory was just a totally different place. There was just... I would come into work sometimes at Emory and like, "Alright, here's the person that's gonna be on your schedule today at 02:30, she has a broken neck." And it's like, "What do I do?"

[laughter]

0:12:16.2 WL: They didn't teach us this in massage school. And this person has been a severe automobile accident, they've got pins in their spine and all this kind of stuff, I'm like, "Holy crap." It was a supercharged effort to try to learn a whole lot more about getting outside the box, and that's one of the things, again, that experience at Emory and consequently teaching at the same time really drove me to recognize we didn't have adequate educational materials for massage therapists at that time.

0:12:43.9 WL: That's when I was really recognizing that there's a whole lot more to this than just giving people a static amount of information. You have to be a critical, creative thinker, to adapt to all kinds of different situations that you're not gonna hear about in the books in school, and you have to figure out how you're gonna deal with this in real life.

0:13:02.8 S1: When it comes to thinking critically, Whitney is a thought leader. His own definition of critical thinking is unsurprisingly well thought out and extremely helpful.

0:13:12.4 WL: I think if I go to the quickest kind of definition that comes up for me in thinking about that whole process is "if then" statements, which is, "If a client has this, then what are you going to do in your treatment approach? But, if this client has this series of signs or symptoms or whatever, and they're 85 and not 22, then what are you gonna do with your treatment?"

0:13:38.0 WL: And this gets us out of this whole realm of looking at things like recipes and routines, which unfortunately, is the way that a lot of message gets taught in, especially in CE courses or in school. You gotta get out of that, because people are individuals and you have to learn to think uniquely about each individual that comes to you.

0:13:57.6 WL: Because clearly, one person with carpal tunnel syndrome that is mild case and just getting started, is very different than somebody else's carpal tunnel syndrome who's 10 months into this very severe case of it and can't even hold silverware to eat with. And that's when you have to really start drawing on a much bigger pool of knowledge to be able to make those informed decisions about what you're doing.

[music]

0:14:20.8 S1: Luckily for his students and ultimately for the rest of us, Whitney found himself in the unique position of being able to implement strategies he knew would be helpful for future massage therapists towards developing our analytical skills.

0:14:37.1 WL: I was sort of moving up through the ranks at the massage school and becoming one of their primary teachers at that point, and the massage school had decided that they wanted to create a program that was exclusively devoted to training massage therapists from the get-go to deal with these types of orthopedic injuries and pain and injury problems.

0:15:00.4 WL: And they wanted to have Benny Vaughn be sort of the curriculum director for that program. He was gonna help set the curriculum up. Benny was down in Gainesville, Florida at this time, so he was not too terribly far away. He had come up and done several workshops at the school, and that's when I had met him. Took several of his workshops.

0:15:15.7 WL: I was just really flabbergasted, 'cause he was the first person that I had taken any training from that really started talking about assessment at all, about how important and relevant that was, and that just really clicked for me. It was like, "Yeah. It's like, why do we keep talking about all the stuff that we're doing for people and nobody's talking about how do we figure out what's really wrong with them?" It just really made sense.

0:15:37.7 WL: And so the school had determined that they needed somebody in-house at the school to be the program manager and day-to-day operations manager for this whole training program, and Benny was gonna be like the subject matter expert that was gonna bring in a lot of specialized knowledge, and we would work together in creating this curriculum for this program.

0:15:53.0 WL: I had actually gone back to graduate school again at this time. I had gone back to Georgia State again to start a new Master's program in Sports Medicine and Biomechanics, because I was again, trying to sort of push the envelope of learning even further. And the school approached me with this opportunity to work with Benny, and I was like, "Oh, no, I can't do all this stuff at the same time, but I'm not gonna give up this opportunity to work with Benny to stay in graduate school, so I'm gonna quit graduate school again."

[music]

0:16:26.4 S1: Leaving graduate school behind for a second time, Whitney felt a kinship with Benny Vaughn, and began walking down this path that was presenting itself to him.

0:16:37.2 WL: I had already taken several of his workshops at this point. Like I said, he really, his approach really clicked with me and said, and we really clicked as individuals too, just personally. And so that started a very important relationship of us working together when they... When I took the position to run this program and manage the program, and he was gonna be the curriculum director.

0:17:00.5 WL: They sent me down to Florida to do a bunch of training with him, and then they would bring him up frequently, and we would work a lot together and he would teach in the classroom, and then I would be in the classroom with him a good bit, and then we started teaching some CE courses together as well at that time. So that was...

0:17:15.6 WL: We were developing a really good program that was in its, sort of in its infancy of becoming a really kind of stellar training program for massage therapists. So that was the beginning of my formal time teaching and learning so much from him.

0:17:29.8 S1: At this point, Whitney seemed to have it all. With a solid job and incredible prospects on the horizon, he found himself in the very human reality of wanting to change gears.

0:17:41.3 WL: I had a killer job at Emory Clinic that people would just die for. I had a great job at the Atlanta School of Massage running this program working with Benny, and this was two years before the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games. So all this stuff was happening in Atlanta, in the sports medicine community and all this kind of stuff.

0:18:00.6 WL: But there were a lot of things going on in my personal life. My marriage was not in good shape, and my former wife and I were saying, "We need to leave Atlanta," because we just felt like we had to kinda strike out on our own. We had grown up, we were in high school together and we'd grown up in that town, and we'd just sort have been there and felt like bigger things were waiting for us somewhere else. And I'd always had this thing in me about wanting to go out West.

0:18:27.1 WL: And so we actually made plans to relocate to, what we perceived at that time, which was kind of like the bodywork Mecca out west in Colorado, which is in Boulder, 'cause the Rolf Institute was there, Boulder School of Massage was a great message school that if I went, I'd probably get a job teaching there and do some stuff out there.

0:18:47.4 WL: So we were headed out there and we were just broke, didn't have any money, and just like doing this crazy-ass idea of just putting everything we owned in this truck and driving out there. And we got out there to Colorado, and as you know, we could not find an affordable place to live anywhere. It was so expensive out there.

0:19:05.6 WL: And we were just sitting around in a hotel room one afternoon, after trying to look for a place to live, and we had these two cats and nobody would let us have the cats in the places that we wanted to rent, and she said, "You've always said you wanted to go back to Oregon." Because I went on a backpacking trip around the country when I was 22 and fell in love with the Pacific Northwest.

0:19:24.6 WL: She said, "Why don't we just go back to Oregon? You said you always wanted to go back. Well, why don't we just go to Oregon?" And I was like, You just can't like go to Oregon with no plan or where you're going or why." And it's... And we sat around for like... I couldn't figure out a good reason why not to do that.

[chuckle]

0:19:39.2 WL: Because nothing else was working, so we just got in our vehicle and drove out to Oregon. And had no idea where we were going, what we were gonna do once we got there, didn't know what town we were going to or anything. And we aimed for Eugene, because I knew there was a massage school there in Eugene.

0:19:53.1 WL: There was a gentleman there that I had a great deal of respect for, and I thought, "Well I'll try to hook up with... " This is a guy named Rich Fay, who was doing a lot of sports massage work at that time as well and I thought, "Well, Eugene's a really athlete-oriented town. I can get something going there, I can figure something out."

0:20:10.5 WL: Anyway, we went and we ended up going to Eugene, and then found in the paper an advertisement for a little tiny place that was on the Oregon coast, north of a town called Florence. And it was this house that was sitting up on a mountain side, backed up to the National Forest overlooking the Pacific Ocean. And we were two city kids that wanted a nature experience.

0:20:30.5 WL: We were like, we went out and looked at this place like, "Oh my God, this is incredible." And we just thought like, there's this tiny little house, we just thought, "Well, we'll live in this house and we'll build a massage practice down the road in this town called Florence." And, of course, I hadn't looked into the Oregon licensure laws at all before I moved out there, because I wasn't planning to go there.

0:20:49.0 WL: So once we signed a lease on this place and sort of got settled in there and said, "Okay, now it's time to get to work," I contacted the Oregon Board... And this was in July 1994. I contacted the Oregon Board and they said, "We don't have a provisional practice clause in our licensure law. You can't get a license until the next test comes around." I said, "Okay. Well, when's the next test?" And they said, "December."

[chuckle]

0:21:12.2 WL: I was like, "What? I can't work until December? That's six months from now." And we had no savings or anything like that. We had paid off all of our credit cards and everything, so we had no debt. And I was just like... And we'd signed a lease on this place to move into this extremely remote place on the Oregon coast where there's no jobs or anything around there. Kinda thinking like, "What the hell are we gonna do?"

0:21:37.4 WL: And so I kinda basically said, "You know what? We've been given six months, with no obstacles, no commitments, nothing like that, and I have been wanting to produce educational materials for massage therapists, and I think there's a business in this, to produce educational materials for massage therapists and distribute this stuff around the country to other massage schools."

0:22:00.7 WL: So I got busy learning about computers and desktop publishing and putting stuff together, and design, and I put together this really rudimentary training manual. So that's how the whole education business actually got started, was completely out of an accident of necessity, of doing something like that.

0:22:19.9 S1: With a lot of time and a new technology platform that was beginning to surface, Whitney's accident of necessity turned out to be not only good timing, but also the beginning of a whole new direction.

0:22:32.3 WL: That just happened to occur right at the time of the big computer boom in the '90s of all these software platforms pushing the envelope and getting better and better. And it was like, I got on there and it's like you can actually plug your computer into the phone line in your house and talk to a professor at a university that I had really admired once, he used these early Usenet groups. You know, there was the very, very beginning of the internet when it's just black screens with text written on it, and you're like, "This is gonna be incredible."

0:23:06.6 S1: As his marriage was taking its own difficult turns, Oregon was feeling more and more like home. Whitney's future was beginning to take shape.

0:23:16.0 WL: It wasn't long after being there that we sort of recognized that the problems in our relationship weren't about Atlanta. It was really just, it wasn't working. And so she ended up going back to Georgia and I stayed there. At that time too, after a year, I said, "I love the Oregon coast but I have to get off the coast because I need to be near the university libraries for what I'm doing with work."

0:23:38.5 WL: And so I decide to move back over into the Valley. And also I was starting to travel at that time, 'cause the little booklet had led to some workshops, and I was flying to teach these workshops, and getting in and out of flight, and being over on the Oregon coast was kind of a pain, so I moved over to Corvallis. 'Cause Oregon State University was over there and so, and I could be near a university library.

0:24:00.4 WL: Because again, this was still pre-internet days and there was no access to university resources and libraries on the internet yet at that time. After being in Corvallis a while, that's where I met my current wife, and she was on her way back to Alaska, ironically from California, and then we met and both of us decided after a while of being together, we had to get out of the rain. 'Cause it's very rainy on the western side of the mountains in Oregon.

0:24:22.5 WL: And we were looking at all kinds of places and just decided to move over to the east side of the mountains in Oregon, which is the hot desert ecosystem. And we've been here in central Oregon since 1997.

[music]

0:24:40.6 S1: You may already know that Whitney has written a couple of books. Settling into his new home, this is where his writing began to blossom.

0:24:48.9 WL: When I first moved to Oregon, I sat down to write a book about orthopedic massage, and I said I'm gonna write the assessment chapter first. Because that's where the treatment starts, is in the assessment process. And I was gonna... And that was getting longer and longer and longer and longer. I said like, "This is a book. This is not a chapter, this is a book."

0:25:06.6 WL: So ended up writing the assessment book first. Self-published that, because the other part of this thing, this story, was that being so broke over there when we started this thing out, I wrote up a detailed business plan and took it out to banks to try to get some funding to start this thing, and they were like, "Wow, this is really interesting. Good luck."

[chuckle]

0:25:25.8 WL: Because they weren't gonna... I had no collateral or anything like that, and they weren't gonna bet on this young kid with this wacky idea about massage education business and things like that. So basically, we built a business off of my credit cards, lived off my credit cards for six or eight months, so I had a humongous credit card bill for quite a number of years paying off the start-up seed money for business.

0:25:52.9 WL: But the book led to... That became a more serious version of that assessment book, and then it started getting picked up by a number of massage schools wanting to use in their curriculum, and then this led to more workshops and training programs and things like that around the country doing a lot more.

0:26:05.5 WL: So I was on CE start doing that whole gig for quite a while, and then got back two years later doing the more comprehensive orthopedic massage book that I had done with Elsevier starting in around run around 2000. '98 I think it was the first version of that book, so '98 or 2000 or something like that.

[music]

0:26:27.4 S1: Getting published then was very different than it is today, and Whitney's commitment to his vision remained steadfast. He persevered, because that's what Whitney does, and soon became a published author.

0:26:39.8 WL: I committed to this vision. I really saw that there was something here. And that's happened a number of times, where I've been committed to a vision because I saw something coming down the road, and I said, "This is going to be... " And to be honest, I've made a lot mistakes also seeing things down the road turned not to be the way I thought they were gonna be.

[chuckle]

0:27:01.3 WL: But that was another one. The other big big one, I think for me was seeing online education early on as a viable thing, that I thought was gonna be very significant and still hasn't really percolated into the massage world as much as I think it will in years to come.

0:27:21.7 S1: Being able to see clearly into the future or have visions about what to do next, as we all know, is not easy, but Whitney worked hard at this and it paid off.

0:27:32.6 WL: It was a sort of a crisis point early on in my career too, about was I gonna stay doing massage or was I gonna go back to the whole psychology thing? Because I had been studying psychology and Buddhist meditation and a whole bunch of other sort of trans-personal psychology and things like that, and it's like, "Is that my path?"

0:27:50.3 WL: And I said, "Alright, I'm gonna sit down here and meditate one day and just listen for the messages of what I'm supposed to be doing," and I just kept getting this message over and over again, "Learn about the body. Learn about the body. Learn about the body." And that really turned into me recognizing my path was doing this.

0:28:09.8 WL: And for me, I have continued to see this as a vision and a mission statement behind my work, which is what I'm really about is relieving pain and suffering in the world, and massage therapy happens to be the vehicle that I'm choosing to do that through.

0:28:24.1 S1: But every career, even though it speaks to us, has its downsides too.

0:28:29.1 WL: I don't like having to sell stuff, meaning myself, mainly. I'm not good at it, and it feels like it gets in the way too, of the things that I'm needing to do. And I do recognize how important it is, because if I don't sell things then nobody gets to benefit from this. So it is a necessary thing that's important.

0:28:51.3 WL: And I have learned some things to do better over the years, but I still don't do it well, and it is the kind of thing, like if I'm sitting there at my computer, like I've got a choice between spending 45 minutes opening up a new research study on learning science or doing my Facebook media profile updates, I know where I'm going. [chuckle]

0:29:10.0 S1: Looking back though, Whitney wouldn't change a thing.

0:29:13.8 WL: I'm proud of a lot of my failures because they were all great learning experiences, and I think we've gone over a lot of those. The failures that I've had in starting business ventures or some of the publishing things or stuff that I've done, they've all been really good learning experiences, and I don't tend to... I really don't tend to see them as failures.

0:29:35.7 WL: It was that my dad had a quote from Thomas Edison that he had posted in his workshop down there and he said like, "I haven't failed 10,000 times, I've found 10,000 ways not to succeed." And that's really been more of what I've tried to look at over the course of time, is look at those things as great learning experiences, 'cause that's what they really are.

0:29:55.0 S1: But if he could go back in time, I asked Whitney if there was any advice he would offer his newbie self?

0:30:01.9 WL: There's a part of me that says, "Find a way to have completed one of your Master's degrees."

[laughter]

0:30:11.6 WL: Because, mainly my second one, the Sports Medicine and Biomechanics. And I had plans to finish that, but ended up leaving Atlanta before I did that. That would have open doors, not only for me, but I think for other people in our field, to have pushed the envelope on greater movement into academic arenas and greater acceptance of what we do by other professions and people outside that.

0:30:35.6 WL: I feel like I could have helped open some more doors and greater acceptance of what we were doing if I had finished one of those things and had those academic credentials. Because, I mean it does help that I have books that are published by reputable medical publishers, and I've put a lot of my work out there for people to evaluate and critique and criticize and that sort of thing, that has helped, but still it would be beneficial had I been able to do that.

0:31:00.9 WL: I would also say on those lines, don't be afraid to take those chances and don't be afraid to fail doing those kinds of things, 'cause that is how we make great strides.

0:31:10.9 S1: I don't think any of us don't feel the great strides and movement in academic arenas that Whitney Lowe has provided for our field. His exquisite blend of psychiatry, spirituality and science, enable us to see deep truths about who we are and what we do. His dedication to the research is awe inspiring. Keep doing what you're doing, Whitney. We are all grateful.

[music]

0:31:41.4 S1: Members are loving ABMP Five-Minute Muscles and ABMP Pocket Pathology, two quick reference web apps included with ABMP membership. ABMP Five-Minute Muscles delivers muscle-specific palpation and technique videos, plus origins, insertions and actions for the 83 muscles most commonly addressed by bodyworkers.

0:32:05.7 S1: ABMP Pocket Pathology, created in conjunction with Ruth Werner, puts key information for nearly 200 common pathologies at your fingertips, and provides the knowledge you need to help you make informed treatment decisions. Start learning today. ABMP members log in at abmp.com and look for the links in the "featured benefits" section of your member home page. Not a member? Learn about these exciting member benefits at abmp.com/more.

News

Oregon Proposes External Pelvic Floor Massage Rules

The Oregon State Board of Massage Therapists proposed new massage therapy rules that would allow licensees to perform external pelvic floor massage. Submit your comments in support of, or opposition to, the rules before October 31, 2022.

Maryland Implicit Bias Training Resources

Maryland massage therapists must complete implicit bias training by October 31, 2022, to fulfill their continuing education requirements. View a list of approved training resources.

Blog

Keeping Massage Fresh for Longtime Clients

As much as we want massage therapy to be a routine, we also want it to be an intentional choice every visit because of the client’s love of the service and our care to always meet the client’s (changing) needs.

Blood, Lymph Get Pumped Thanks to Massage

Massage therapy has become a wildly expansive net that has caught, and continues to catch, a slew of methods of bodywork. You can be an authority in all sorts of approaches, spanning from myofascial release to trigger point therapy to cupping to manual lymphatic drainage. And that’s a good thing! 

Benefits

2022 ABMP CE Summit Course—MLD: Basic Techniques for the Neck and Face

Gain an understanding of manual lymphatic drainage (MLD) movements and the location of important lymphatic structures as you watch Nicola McGill’s dynamic demonstration of three MLD techniques and MLD sequences for the neck and face. Learn about this important modality that, when provided effectively, can support and enhance the movement of lymph fluid through the lymphatic vessels and eventually back to the cardiovascular system.

2022 ABMP CE Summit Course—Introduction to Manual Lymphatic Drainage

Manual lymphatic drainage (MLD) is a gentle, rhythmic form of bodywork that enhances and supports the movement of fluid through the lymphatic system to support health and well-being. Developed by Danish therapists Emil and Estrid Vodder in the 1930s, MLD is now practiced extensively by health and wellness practitioners and is used within the medical community to treat lymphedema and post-surgical and post-traumatic edema. Join Nicola McGill in this engaging course to learn the benefits, indications, and mechanics of this gentle, effective modality.

2022 ABMP CE Summit Course—Lymphatic System: An Essential Guide to an Underrated System

Join us for a fascinating look at the underrated lymphatic system, with special emphasis on its structures and functions. Learn the vital role each of the system’s components plays, including lymphangions, nodes, trunks, ducts, and the glorious cisterna chyli. We’ll also look at various lymphatic-related pathologies, including lymphangitis, lymphoma, cardiovascular and traumatic edema, and lymphedema.

Please note: We have recently updated our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. Learn more...