Good Medicine
Myofascial Bodywork with Abi'l-Khayr, LMT

A Little Bit About Me

bodywork is good medicine

There is a style of massage which has been quietly earning a reputation for effectiveness across a wide range of situations and conditions. I use the term Myofascial Bodywork to describe this work. It can be thought of as a form of therapeutic massage, with an emphasis on health and wellness that takes it well beyond the realm of pampered relaxation -- as delightful and beneficial as that can be.

I trained in Massage Therapy at the Center for Natural Wellness in Albany NY, graduating in October 2010. I received my New York State license in February, 2011, and shortly thereafter established my studio within the Heartspace Yoga and Healing Arts suite on Madison Ave in Albany.

My intention when doing bodywork is to release holding patterns that restrict the free flow of energy in my client's body. The human being has a remarkable capacity for self-healing once these restrictions are removed from the system. Myofascial release is the primary technique in my work.

This form of bodywork is largely based upon the work of a Physical Therapist named John Barnes, pictured here, who has been teaching Myofascial Release for the past 40 years. He has trained over 75,000 physical therapists, massage therapists and allied healthcare providers. I have found his teaching style well beyond helpful. He not only knows what he is talking about, he understands how to guide others into knowing for themselves. His words, heard at seminars, continue to echo through my consciousness months later, as the understanding of myofascial work proceeds and unfolds. This knowledge, it is a living thing.

I have and continue to train in Myofascial Release technique, primarily with John Barnes, and have thus far completed over 180 hours of specialized training. I have also done some study of the Anatomy Trains myofascial meridian system developed by Tom Myers, which has been very helpful to me in the assessment process -- finding where clients are holding restrictions in the fascial structure of their body. My focused study of these approaches to bodywork will be continuing over time.

As my skill as a myofascial therapist continues to develop and unfold, I expect to work increasingly with clients experiencing a variety of chronic pain issues, including chronic fatigue, carpal tunnel, fibromyalgia, TMJ issues, frozen shoulder, sciatica -- and, generally, all forms of chronic pain. Myofascial bodywork also provides profound relaxation, and helps the body recover more quickly following illness, surgery, and various types of trauma.

In my bodywork practice, I am able to draw upon my years of spiritual training in the Sufi tradition to create a positive, healing atmosphere for my clients. Somewhere down the road I envision creating individualized programs that combine bodywork and meditation in a format that can move clients through their restrictions on all levels, and thereby serve as a powerful vehicle of personal growth.

My name, Abi'l-Khayr, is all one name -- not a first name/last name as is the norm in our culture.  It comes from the Sufi tradition, and was given to me as a blessing by one of my teachers along that path. A rough translation of the name would be "father of good."

There was a Sufi saint who lived 1,000 years ago who bore the name (Abu Sa'id ibn Abi'l Khayr). Among the many aspects of his life worthy of note, he personified the teaching that spiritual realization is meant to be brought "down to earth," that the whole point of the creation is to bring the awareness of the divine being into form. I do the best I can. I try to remember.

I was born in Cleveland OH when Harry Truman was President. I saw the Beatles on their first American tour. One of the many blessings that have come to me during my life were the years I lived in Tucson AZ. It was there that I connected to the Sufi path.

Before doing bodywork, I had a career in the book business, playing various roles over some 35 years. Books have also been substantial allies for me on a personal level. Center of the Cyclone by John Lilly contains some of the most meaningful lessons I have come across, and it continues to teach me 40 years after reading it for the first time. "What we believe to be true either is true or becomes true, within limits ..."

I have really enjoyed the novels of David Martin and Scott Spencer; also the wisdom and wit of Robertson Davies, and the early work of John Irving. Rilke and Jung continue to be formative influences.

These few words about me also need a reference to the words of Jelaluddin Rumi, the 13th-century poet who broke free of the Sufi tradition when Coleman Barks began his translations into American free verse in the mid-1980s. He is known as a poet of Love with a capital L, perhaps THE poet of love (Whose idea was this, to have the Lover visible, and the Beloved invisible?).

Sufism is the religion of the heart, or a heart-centered philosophy, or whatever way you want to describe the ecstatic experience of the unity of existence. And Rumi, through Barks and other translators, burns with that ecstasy. One of my favorites:

 Out beyond ideas of wrong-doing and right-doing
There is a field. I will meet you there.

When the soul lies down in that grass,
The world is too full to talk about.

Ideas, language, even the phrase “each other”
Doesn’t make any sense.

If you are interested in the poetry of Rumi, I would highly recommend that you seek out a copy of the program that Bill Moyers did with Coleman Barks as part of The Language of Life series some years ago. It is the portion of that series called Love's Confusing Joy, and it is brilliant. Educational and entertaining, some of the most meaningful television programming I have ever seen.

If you are interested in myofascial bodywork, then give me a call -- or, better yet, click this ↓ orange bar ↓ and schedule an appointment right now!

bodywork is good medicine

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