Ms. Montinez, could you explain a little
bit of your background in massage therapy and how you got to become
a licensed N.Y. state massage therapist.
graduated in 1988, I went to the Swedish Institute in Manhattan.
I got into massage therapy I had severe headaches and neck pain
and I went to a lot of doctors and TMJ specialists and nothing worked.
Then I started getting massage and it made a really big difference.
That's how I saw the results for massage and that's how I got introduced
to it and wanted to do it.
Montinez, I'd like to know some of your experiences or your opinions
on things that you've learned to practice being a massage therapist,
one of the therapies of alternative medicine.
somebody can tell me it's the right side of their neck that hurts
really bad and they think that that's the only part that should
be worked on or spent the most time on. I'll find that the left
side is worse. Also at times, you can just be doing a massage and
you get a feeling this person, it's almost like somebody died, and
you'll find that they tell you a few minutes later that so and so
just passed away. It's just very natural, it's like an instinct.
And sometimes the way I approach my treatment isn't the way I would
approach it for the same person tomorrow or two days, the body is
always changing. They change from the morning that they and whatever
their experiences are in the day...
I'll include therapeutic touch in the treatment more frequently
or less frequently. It just depends on what I feel with the energy.
Sometimes I feel one area that's totally blocked and they don't
even think it bothers them or hurts them. And then later on they'll
say, "Thank god what a difference I fee." Or I'll be working on
one part of their body and they say, "Something went down on my
left leg. My god something is different!" Sometimes it's something
spontaneous. And sometimes it could be a patient calling you up
three days later and say, "I couldn't believe how much better this
felt or that felt, or something was sore and went away, or something
became sore that didn't even bother them.
do you believe those blockages are caused by-the blockages that
you can feel the restrictions or something in the body-muscles,
muscle groups, or anything like that?
I think that we're holding our body...almost holding our breath
is the most thing I find that people are doing and not even realizing
it. We're not even breathing and the body is like almost in a constant
contraction, and there is not enough oxygen going to different parts
of the body.
proper breathing like they practice in yoga is another important
thing in massage therapy. Improper breathing can lead to certain
A lot of illnesses, a lot of pains that we have...almost all of
them can go back to the breathing. There is definitely a link between
the breathing. Also I think that some of it is just abuse of different
experiences that people have and they will hold in different parts
of their body without being aware.
emotions. So, to what extent do you value the combination of alternative
medicine and conventional medicine working together to form a complementary
healing establishment, cause this is occurring in a lot of the New
York City institutions such as Beth Israel hospital? They are opening
up alternative medicine clinics. Universities such as Duke University
and Harvard are also beginning studies in alternative medicine and
opening up their own clinics.
one in Miami too.
Comments>: Oh really.
think it's a great combination, and I think that some of symptoms
that we see with people after a surgery or illnesses and so forth,
that if they include these alternative methods, we are not going
to see the depression. We won't see different symptoms that we see
occur with illnesses, and I think you are going to see speedier
health recoveries. People overall are going to be healthier. It's
going to improve every way of their life.
you think that lifestyle studies that show how an individual's life
is improved by alternative medicine are beneficial (are they worthwhile)?
I think definitely there is a general...even if the illness doesn't
get better or their isn't a cure, there is a general feeling of
feeling better. And people are more professionally, personally when
they include these modalities in their life. Just to know, there
is a rumor that Bob Hope gets massaged once a day...if that's not
anything to make you feel like, look at him and he's almost 100
it improve longevity do you believe?
think so. I think so.
their something about how it...what certain things has it <massage
therapy> been proven to work well for like fractures, or bones?
speeds healing and recovery on any broken bones, fractures, sprains,
headaches. With premature babies, their is proven fact with massage
therapy. Therapeutic touch causes speedier healing, gaining weight
more (premature babies). Older people with Alzheimer's, they find
it calms them down.
use therapeutic touch in your practice, obviously. That's another
alternative medicine modality. Are there any other therapies that
you utilize in massaging.
I use chakra therapy where it's just aligning the body, aligning
the different sites of the body. Aromatherapy I use. It's different
for each person that you're doing.
you have to examine them first to determine what their treatment
is going to be, your treatment plan because it changes from person
I'll speak to them and it depends if it's at the spa or if it's
at the office, it's how they're feeling if this is going on that's
going on. Once, a lot of times, by the time you put your hands on
them you get just instinctively what to do for them. Sometimes as
the treatment continues, they'll starting telling you well this
hurts, that hurts, and they start remembering different things that
were hurting them at the time. I'm always sensing from the minute
I meet them; it comes to you.
a general feeling?
do you account for the recent upsurge in popularity of alternative
medicine techniques and the credibility that some therapies are
now finally receiving?
think with the Western it just wasn't enough, and people were looking
for something more. And finally, I think it's coming out of the
closet and people are really seeing the results of it.
seems to be an increase in the number of alternative medicine research
studies such as acupuncture, homeopathy. Are these studies maybe
the product of the emergence of alternative medicine.
think that the Western part finally had to acknowledge that it does
exist. Too many people are interested in it, and I think that more
and more people wanted a background and some real scientific proof
and a lot of these modalities go back to a long time ago. They said
in the 40s or something that when you used to go to a doctor for
a cold, he used to do massage on you, and they used to combine the
two. And you never walked out without there being some massage with
whatever you walked in for.
you believe western medicine has lost sight of the patient as a
whole in its attempt to treat the specialized tissues and organ
systems of the body.
definitely. There is no time. And also they are just at one direction,
it's just a remote... just one channel and that's it, and there
are all these channels.
How important is it for alternative therapies
to be holistic in nature.
important for them to be holistic in nature, but in that holistic
part the Western part belongs in that holistic part. We wouldn't
be a whole without either.
massage therapy now backed by HMOs and insurance companies? Is there
any new news on that front?
with all of the research that has been going on with massage therapy
there are a lot of insurance companies that are interested in massage
therapies joining the health network. Oxford is, Blue Cross Blue
Shield, I heard Vitra is. But I think in time, the holistic field
is a billion dollar business per year and the insurance companies
have to include them, they have no choice. Insurance companies and
hospitals are losing money to alternative medicine. And they have
to...I know there are a lot of people who don't have health insurance
but they'll spend as much as they would on a policy on all these
What do you believe the future holds for massage therapy and alternative
medicine in general?
think we are going to get to the point where we are going to go
to a doctor and there is going to be a massage therapist on staff,
and that they'll send you to the therapist for treatment just as
they would for blood work, or an x-ray and urinalysis. It's going
to included as part of the treatment. It won't be used as a last
resort; it'll be used initially combined with the visit with the
I treated a lot of patients of clients with the RSI all of them
would go to the doctor, (they were getting massage therapy some
of them and physical therapy) they all preferred the massage therapy.
Maybe one out of fifty did not. They all preferred massage therapy
instead of physical therapy. They all thought that there was more
improvement with the massage therapy in their work and less pain.
The Western part is still having the biggest difficulty realizing
the benefits. They are not listening to the patient, that's what
we're saying. They have to start opening the door to alternative
medicine...they are losing a lot and it's only going to continue.
the doctor that told me that about he believes that massage therapy
should be used as the last resort, I think it was that he believed
in it, there was nothing else to do so why not give it to the person.
But I don't really believe that he believed in it as part of the
treatment. It's not part of the treatment once you have no hope.
you obviously don't feel that it should be used as a last resort
and when you have no hope. It should be something that goes along
not. It's one of the biggest hopes there is. When we stop to feel
better, even if it's a terminal illness, if you can get up and you
can do more and generally feel better with less pain, then there
is a lot of hope in that treatment. Sometimes when I'm treating
a patient I could have asked them if there was anything wrong or
if they wanted any specific areas they wanted more attention and
they could have said no I'm fine I just wanted a massage. And then
halfway through the massage or almost towards the end they burst
out hysterical crying and they could have said somebody died or
their feeling these problems or that problem at home. And then after
the treatment is over, they even look lighter; they don't even look
like the person who walked in. There whole body is much lighter.
They say they feel so much better whether it's off their mind, it's
off there body. Even their coloring is even totally different. I
find that also with anger...the people that, you'll be working on
them and the muscle won't give in. And then all of a sudden they'll
start talking to you about some kind of experience that they're
upset about and the whole body will relax. There is something different,
the body will finally give in . Sometimes I find it's not the intensity
always of what you're working or how deep. It could be the slightest
touch and somebody will have spontaneous relief which is beneficial
to their general health and they feel like a renewed person when
they get up; it's not the same person that came in. One of the main
benefits that I see with massage is just by touching somebody that
I can see that there is such a relief. And sometimes I'm massaging
and one of the things that I think is that one of the most important
things that we need is touch. And when it's the appropriate touch
and its the right touch its so healing and we need it whether we
are 150, 40...whether we are a CEO whatever, there's a feeling like
"oh finally. Nothing could ever replace that of a human being
doing it and being in that part. Massage they can get up and leave
there's something different in that their getting soothed in healing.
You now incorporate energy bounds and chakra bounds in your practice
of massage therapy. What kind of sensations or feelings as a practioner
do you get, are you in tune with when you are massaging someone
that might tell you either how this person may feel or basically
what's going on in their lives.
I feel an area that's totally no affect, like the dead affect, sometimes
I feel code, and sometimes I feels like with an iron with a lot
steam. Some of them are closed some of the steam is coming out more
rapidly, and what my approach is, I try to soothe it out, try to
balance out so that the energy is coming out evenly, as much as
possible. And sometimes with massage you will continue to get energy
effects even days later that you're suprised that you feel more
at ease. It's almost like an iron, and they're all coming out evenly
with the same intensy. You can feel the energy sometimes, that perhaps
feels too hot, almost too much intensity, and what your goal is
just balancing out the energy throughout the body, and that they're
grounded. They do feel more relaxed, and sometimes they don't know
why, but there's a general feeling that they feel much lighter.
are vibrational and they also come to you in colors. So sometimes
you're just tuning in to the colors of what someone may need or
too much of an intensity of a color. When I'm doing a massage on
somebody or doing a therapeutic touch, or I'm working on a Chakra,
sometimes I get information in different languages. Sometimes I
get a shape, sometimes I get a statement that will come to me, and
I'll find that the patient a little while later hasn't been speaking,
and they'll say this happened to me a week ago, and I'm feeling
this..., and it's exactly the information that was given to me.
The information I get on their body intuitively always comes to
me in different languages; it's never just one day. It's different
in different people; it's individualized, and it's not something
I can plan. I'm sometimes I'm not exchanging English with the person,
and it was exactly what I picked up from the body, and it even suprises
me to this day, to see how it coincides.