6 Questions to Joe Muscolino

1. When and how did you decide to become a bodyworker?

I knew that I wanted to be a bodyworker when I was very young because I was influenced by three of my uncles and a brother-in-law who were all chiropractors, as well as my mother was a medical technician and nutritional consultant and my sister was an intensive care nurse. I grew up with the health field all around me.

2. What do you find most exciting about bodywork therapy?

Hmm… I have to pick just one thing? I will cheat and pick two. First, it is a wonderful thing to help a patient/client return to good health. Good health is something that is so often taken for granted, but when someone is in pain, especially chronic pain, it is so hard to enjoy life. So, when I have the chance to help someone ‘regain their life,’ it is so very gratifying. The second thing I will mention is that writing textbooks on kinesiology affords me the opportunity to constantly read about and study the anatomy, physiology, and kinesiology of the human body. And, to an anatomy geek like me, that is so exciting. The human body is such a marvel!

3. What is your most favourite bodywork book?

If I am allowed to pick one of my own, it would be either my Muscle and Bone Palpation Manual or my Kinesiology Textbook. 🙂 To choose someone else’s??? I would go with either Don Neumann’s Kinesiology textbook or Thieme’s Atlas. Both are brilliant!!

4. What is the most challenging part of your work?

Finding the time to read, write, and teach as much as I would like.

5. What advise you can give to fresh massage therapists who wish to make a career out of it?

I remember something one of my instructors in chiropractic school once told us: “Take care of the people you have.” If you do the very best job you can with them, they will refer others to you and your practice will flourish. That was the best “marketing” advice I ever heard. I will add one other thing. Massage is largely about loosening taut soft tissues. The other side of the coin is strengthening musculature. The best long-lasting relief your clients will find is balancing strength with flexibility. If you train to become either a Pilates instructor, athletic trainer, or perhaps even a yoga instructor, then you will be equipped to take care of both of your clients’ needs for strength and flexibility. Having a second skill set such as this will also distinguish you from the other MTs in your area.

6. How do you see the future of massage therapy?

I have been involved with massage therapy education for over 23 years now and have seen the profession blossom and explode. This is wonderful because it shows how the world is awakening to the power of caring and therapeutic touch. What is personally most exciting to me is the opportunity for massage to be fully embraced into the health field. That opens the door for people who are motivated to learn about and integrate kinesiology into their practice, enabling them to critically think through the case studies that their clients present to them, so that they can be excellent clinical therapists!