How I work

When I first looked into natural healing more than 35 years ago, I had no idea that touch therapy was my true calling. It is not just as a way of making a living for me, but rather a way being in the world.   I just wanted to study something that would keep my interest long enough to finish a program!  After working in the field for a few years, I soon became unsatisfied with doing general relaxation massage, particularly the standardized “fluff ‘n buff” treatments common in spas.  I wasn’t given these gifts to pamper the rich.  Rather, I believe that I am here to relieve suffering in the world however I can.

As it turns out, I’m really talented at easing pain and trauma using my hands.  I soon got a reputation in the hotel I worked at in Santa Fe as the “go-to guy” for guests with specific complaints, and I gained experience treating clients with debilitating injuries.  After being in a serious car wreck, I developed great empathy for people who have experienced trauma, and I began to learn what works for treating traumatic injuries.

Similarly, I have suffered from headaches since I was a child.  Naturally I learned effective techniques to treat them right off the bat.  Now I have great success ameliorating even full-blown migraines.  When I had an overuse tendinitis injury, I learned how to treat tendinitis and repetitive strain injuries. Every time I get hurt I learn something new!  Of course, injuring myself is not the only way I learn.  I’ve taken many excellent classes, and I learn something from every client I treat.

I am an intuitive therapist.  My hands know what to do, and after all this time I’ve learned to get my head out of the way. I also have a wealth of knowledge and experience to inform my intuition, together with a wide variety of techniques I’ve accumulated in my journey.  There is no one path to healing; different things work for different people at different times.  I do know a few things, though.  Gentleness and sensitivity to my clients’ needs are fundamental to the healing process.  Locating the precise source of your pain allows me to eliminate it more quickly, with less discomfort during the process.

More trauma does not heal trauma, and you know your body far better than I do.  If the massage hurts too much I am probably working too deeply, too rapidly, or both. I believe that resistance is not only futile, it is counterproductive. If you are resisting, I need to change what I’m doing right away.  If I don’t respond to your distress, do not hesitate to tell me.  I do the work for your benefit, not for my ego. I rely on your feedback to give you what you need. Together we will find the right blend of technique, pressure, and pace to best suit your needs at any given moment.

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Donald F. Schiff, BS, CAMT, OR LMT #23463, NM LMT #8 is a licensed massage therapist certified in advanced myofascial techniques, in Beaverton, OR.

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