Derrick was first introduced to the idea of being a massage therapist as a young child, working on family members who encouraged him to pursue this as a career, through grade school a lot of that encouragement had been forgotten until the latter half of his college education.
Computer Science had grown uninteresting, and pursuing the education felt like a lot more about googling for answers than it did about learning the lessons. After a short dabble in different fields, he began to find himself rubbing the backs of friends and the idea of becoming a chiropractor brought him back to the cities.
Imagining massage therapy as a temporary endeavor until chiropractic became a viable effort, Derrick started his education at The Aveda Institute in Minneapolis. It wasn't long before he had fallen in love with the work, and by the time he had gotten his first job, (at Massage Envy) his trainer recognized he was already beginning to practice John Barnes' Myofascial Release. With that suggestion, the journey down the rabbit hole commenced.
John Barnes helped him to see what he felt was true, it was never just one muscle that was to blame, it was generally where the pieces came together that the body seems to bind. Watching living fascia change and adapt to stressors placed upon the body was immediately fascinating, but the message that set the hook, "The fascia carries the signal of life, consciousness," pulled him well into the valuable world of manual therapies.
Until then, he had realized that with a slower approach the muscles would seem to melt as the tension left. With John's words it became apparent that what was happening was the return of consciousness to the living tissue. From then on, it seemed the bodywork really came to life. No longer was he rubbing the surface of the body expecting to match the two-dimensional body maps studied in school. He was now working with a living system, one which had reacted to the conditions of the life the person had been living, and which responds in real-time to the dextrous application of pressure and distortion, and with gentle patience the body adapted-- no longer trying to dub the values of the fascial matrix, but rather allowing the body to balance the matrix with simple encouragement-- his patients went beyond relief, they were getting better!
Unsurprisingly, the body no longer seemed like individual muscles and components held together at the joints, it became a continuum weaved in the connective tissues.
During one dimly-lit arm pull, there seemed to be three adjacent channels running from finger to arm, from arm to chest, from chest to head, from head to toe, and with this it became clear: he had discovered the acupuncture channels. With this, the rabbit hole took another turn.
Derrick began studying at the American Academy of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine in May of 2015, he earned his Masters Degree while putting to practice the concepts of manual manipulations, the interrelationships of the organs and channels, and balancing them along the long-standing theories of Chinese Medicine. The health of the body began to come to life just as the five elements bring balance to the environment about us all. Adding acupuncture and herbal medicine to his repertoire, internal medicine was becoming palpable.
While studying the ancient secrets of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Derrick continued his massage education through the Barral Institute, studying Osteopathic Manual Therapies for the viscera (organs), and also the nerves. Although there is much still to be learned from the Barral Institute, learning the abdominal and pelvic organs, as well as the main branches of nerves and neural structures of the Central Nervous System, upper extremities, and sciatic nerve has proven useful time and time again in alleviating pain and dysfunction in these areas, as well as learning the skill of feeling these structures proved adaptable throughout the body, when combined with Myofascial Release they form a rather potent style of bodywork, and dovetail beautifully with acupuncture to provide a multi-modality approach applicable to any body.
Derrick's education in healthcare is continually growing in self study in development and behavioral health, but as of February 2022 it includes the following:
Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine – American Academy of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine– Master of Science in Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine including over 3000 hours of training and practice: 180 hours of doctor observation, 720+ hours clinical practice, and 2280 hours of lecture.
Myofascial Release - John F. Barnes
MFR I, II, Unwinding, Adv. Unwinding, Fascial Pelvis, Fascial Mobz, Rebounding, Cervical-Thoracic racking up over 200 hours of Group Seminars with lecture and technique practice.
Two Skill Enhancement Seminars-- 40 hour weeks of hands-on practice with the professionals in JFB clinics in both Malvern Pennsylvania and Sedona Arizona.
Therapy for the Therapist -- a 5 day Intensive Treatment from John and his Malvern team.
Local Study Groups and Shadowing with Keith Sullivan at Bodyworks Physical Therapy
Looking forward to future seminars, including Subtle Energy, Fascial Cranium, MFR3, and Quantum Leap. After MFR3 I will qualify as an Expert Level MFR Therapist
Manual Therapies from the International Alliance of Healthcare Educators
Visceral Manipulation I, II (Abdomen) & III (Pelvis) - Barral Institute
Neural Manipulation I (CNS) & II (Upper Extremities) - Barral Institute Derrick is looking forward to continuing this class track, including taking VM4- Thoracic, and further classes which tie in the viscerosomatic integration also excited to continue with the neural courses going forward as he greatly enjoys working with the brain and nervous system.
Craniosacral Therapy I & II - Upledger Institute
Derrick sees CST as more an evaluation approach, rather than a treatment approach. MFR tends to approach the body in a similar manner, but provides a more thorough treatment. He is looking forward to taking Somatic Emotional Release, and has heard good things about the pediatrics course with John Upledger.
Massage Therapy – Aveda Institute
600 hours of training and practice: learning anatomy, and massage techniques including Swedish, deep tissue, foot reflexology, aromatherapy, chair massage, prenatal, geriatrics and more as well as learning draping, ethics, and general massage practice.
Well, thank you!
I have found myself with some fun jobs to compliment my life these last couple of years since quarantine: In the summer of 2021, I worked with Twin Cities Kayaking delivering kayaks in the Twin Cities and leading adventures on The Mississippi River, The Minnesota River, The Rum River, and Lake Johanna. In the winter of 21-22, I have taken to the snow as a ski instructor at Hyland Hills! These have been great, and I have found that I love teaching people new skills and keeping them smiling to come back for more!
I'll take an outdoor adventure over a day indoors anytime. This last summer, my MFR journey found me road tripping across the US. From Minnesota, to Pennsylvania for T4T, to baling hay with family in Michigan and back home again. Then again down to Arizona for a Skill enhancement Seminar at Therapy on the Rocks, through Utah to meet a couple friends for a week at Zion and finally back again to Minnesota. I managed to do my own work on an old Ford Freestyle, and after being rear-ended I stitched her back together and called her Sally. Transforming her into my adventure mobile, she ended up being the best travel companion I could hope for!
I do enjoy mental stimulation, I usually prefer learning about things on youtube. I have greatly benefited from researching developmental health and love the work of Dr. Gabor Mate. Lately my gaming focus has shifted from competitive card games such as Magic the Gathering, to Chess. I'm still getting the hang of creating an opportunity to attack and learning my openings to set a strong foundation for a great game, but I'm looking forward to the prospects of this classic game.
At home, my cat, Papa and I have found ourselves surrounded by handy projects: building a standing island in my apartment, an herb shelf from salvaged boards, hunting and fishing to prepare my own foods, and creating a living habitat for my tropical fish. This last year, I began dabbling in aquaponics but have mostly only led to a thriving batch of wandering jew vines, while my veggies have stayed rather small; however, the fish, are happy as a clam! I currently have my first pair of successfully breeding angelfish, I only wish I would have ditched the pleco when my discus were still a pair (2010).