Ben E. Benjamin

Tennis Elbow

The elbow is such an inconspicuous part of the body that we rarely notice it unless it hurts. Pain at the elbow is most often caused by injuries to the tendons. Sometimes a muscle injury is involved as well, which may cause the pain to extend down the forearm. There are other structures surrounding the elbow that can become strained or inflamed, but tendons and muscles cause the most troublesome problems.

Active Isolated Stretching: The Mattes Method, Part 2

essential skills

In Part 1 of this article, I began describing Aaron Mattes’s Active Isolated Stretching (AIS), explaining the seven defining characteristics of this uniquely effective modality. Here in Part 2, I’ll talk in greater depth about the specific ways in which AIS can complement other forms of bodywork and increase a therapist’s efficiency and effectiveness. I’ll also give a brief overview of how these techniques can be incorporated into a massage therapy practice.

essential skills

Human Touch In Our Lives

Originally published in Massage & Bodywork magazine, January/February 2009. Copyright 2009. Associated Bodywork and Massage Professionals. All rights reserved.

Attitudes toward touch affect us all. The way a culture understands the role of touch in human lives has a profound impact on the way its people grow, develop, and engage with their physical and social environments. Is touch a necessity or an indulgence? What impact does it have on our physical and psychological health? Is the desire for tactile contact healthy, dysfunctional, or even dangerous?

The Mystery of Low-Back Pain: Part I

Essential Skills

Pain in the back — primarily the low back — is the source of great suffering and disability for a large number of Americans. Each year, it accounts for more than 70 million visits to doctors. For such a prevalent complaint, low-back pain remains remarkably difficult to explain and treat. Many people claim to understand the root causes, but in my view the real reasons remain a mystery. A number of experts say low-back pain is strictly a mechanical phenomenon, i.e., just fatigue and strain of muscles, tendons, or ligaments.