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 googling for answers than it did learning the lessons. After a short dabbling 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 consciousness of life throughout the body," pulled him well into the valuable world of gentle touch modalities.
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 life to the living tissue. From then on, it seemed the body work 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 responded 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 but allowing the body to find its balance with simple encouragement-- his patients went beyond relief, they were getting better.
Strangely enough, the body no longer seemed like individual muscles and components held together at the joints, it became a continuum which seemed to have 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, and while learning the concepts of interrelationships of the organs and systems of the body giving rise to the health of the individual, he was able to feel those concepts come to life with myofascial release. Each area of the body connected to a deeper system via the internal pathways of the meridians. Adding acupuncture an herbal medicine to his toolbag, 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 in the body has proven adaptable throughout, when combined with Myofascial Release they form a rather potent style of bodywork, and dovetail beautifully with acupuncture to provide a multiple modality approach applicable to many bodies.
Derrick is currently studying to finish his Master's Degree at AAAOM, and intends to continue taking CEUs as time goes forward. So far this endeavor has included the following CEUs:
John Barnes' Myofascial Release:
MFR 1, 2, Unwinding, Advanced Unwinding, Rebounding, Cervical Thoracic, Fascial Pelvis, Fascial Mobilization, and a 40 hour Skill Enhancement Seminar, working with the pros at the Myofascial Release Treatment "Sanctuary" in Melvern PA.
Looking forward to future seminars, including Subtle Energy, Fascial Cranium, MFR3, and Quantum Leap
Visceral Manipulation Abdomen(1, 2), Pelvis (3)
Neural Manipulation 1- An integrative Approach to Treating Trauma, 2- The Upper Extremities
Looking forward to taking VM4- Thoracic, 5- Manual Thermal Evaluation and Introduction to VisercoEmotional Relationships, and VM6 - VisceroEmotional Relationships, also excited to continue with the neural courses going forward.
CranioSacral Therapy 1, 2
Derrick sees CST as more an evaluation approach, than a treatment approach. MFR tends to approach the body in a similar manner, but provides a more thorough treatment.
Going forward, he will likely take SomatoEmotional Release and CST Pediatrics, but they are lower on the priority list.