Keeping your dancin’ boy dancin’ isn’t always easy, especially as he gets older. The older he gets, the more he likely will dance, especially if he is in a studio with few boys, which is pretty typical. Overuse injuries, tendonitis, shin splints, growing pains, sprains, strains, and any number of other ailments can plague your son—and stop him from doing what he loves best—dancing.
As you may know, we’ve tried just about every type of therapy for Julian: physical therapy, acupuncture, chiropractic treatment, massage, herbs, vitamins…Everything has worked to some extent. One of the therapies that has worked the best, however, has been Releasology. For this reason, I wanted to tell you about this treatment option today, as well as to introduce you to its founder, Royal Jacobs.
I also want you to know that you can get trained to become a Releasology practitioner, so you can help your son, or, if you are a dancer, yourself and other dancers. Julian has been using this technique on himself—and he’s not yet trained! But this summer while he is home he will be taking a certification course, so he can actually begin working on other dancers as well. (He hopes one day when he can no longer dance to combine this treatment with skills as a chiropractor, and to specialize in treating dancers.) What a great way to help your son relax tight muscles, ease pain or heal injuries! Read on to find out more…and if you are interested in joining Julian at the upcoming August 3 Releasology certification workshop, check out the information at the end of the post to find out how to register.
NA: What is the basic principle of “Releasology?”
RJ: Releasology is the practice, and study, of “releasing” muscles from spasm. Spasm is the state muscles degrade into when they are fatigued or strained. One may think muscles lose their ability to contract when weakness is experienced at the end of a vigorous workout, but they actually lose their ability to relax. Physiologically, the reason muscles lose their ability to relax is because their supply of electrolytes is interrupted. When muscles spasm, they restrict their own supply of blood; their capillary volume capacity is reduced by 2,000 times. So, their supply of electrolytes, which ultimately comes from the blood supply, can become interrupted for the long-term. Muscles can spasm for decades… Spasm is not a twitch, or a convulsion; it is a long-term, involuntary contraction.
Muscle spasms are the rudimentary cause of most forms of chronic pain. The problems that almost always go away—long-term—when the muscles causing them are released from spasm include: migraines, headaches, TMJ syndrome, carpal tunnel syndrome, frozen shoulders, tennis elbow, back pain, low back pain, sciatica, tailbone pain, hip pain, knee pain, thigh pain, restless leg syndrome, shin-splints, foot pain, infertility, indigestion, constipation, and even problems like chronic fatigue, insomnia and depression.
The good news is, any muscle can be “released from spasm.” All muscles have pressure points that are palpable when they spasm. With the right techniques, any muscle can be released by manipulating these points in the right way. This is the basic principle of Releasology. With Releasology techniques, any muscle in the body can be released and the knowledge of which muscles need to be released to resolve most forms of pain is in hand.
NA: You are a former dancer. Did this experience have any affect on the development of this treatment?
RJ: I am a former dancer. I attended a performing arts magnet high school, Independence High School. There, I ended up studying jazz and ballet and was introduced to “popping.” From there I studied ballet for a total of 10 years. Before ballet, I studied Shao Lin Kung Fu for about 10 years. There I was introduced to the way I perform acupressure to this day. Also, I was a gymnast from 5 to about 14 years old.
In these disciplines, I learned what pain feels like. I know what it feels like to tear a hamstring from kicking too high or when not warmed up. I know what it feels like to have to perform when one’s body is in pain. I began my career as a sports massage therapist when I was 18, but it really started in rehearsals. What a great use of time! What else should dancers be doing when they are sitting around for hours on end at rehearsals? My old Kung Fu master would grab us by the shoulder when our arms where sore and hold a pressure point. In Kung Fu the use of “Subtle Energy” is innate, and I would feel my shoulder pain disappear and strength would return. I would use this same feeling during rehearsals and work on other dancers. I’d probably worked on releasing pressure points on dancers’ legs, ankles, feet, etc., 1,000 times before I ever became a professional massage therapist. So, yes, I would say my experience as a dancer had a huge affect on the development of Releasology.
NA: Dancers are always stretching and trying to loosen muscles. How does Releasology work to help improve a dancer’s performance?
RJ: That is a great question! The bottom-line is, a muscles strength is equal to how much it relaxed before it attempts to contract. If a muscle is only relaxing 50 percent of the way, its strength is only 50 percent. If it only relaxes 25 percent, its strength in the contraction to follow will only be 25 percent. Basically, if your gluteus maximus is in spasm, and only relaxing 50 percent of the way, your leaps will only be 50 percent as high, and your landing will be terrible! Releasology promises, and will deliver, 100 percent release, although it may require from 3 to 10 treatments. If the glut’s are released, and they can again relax 100 percent of the way, leaps will return to 100 percent height. To keep muscles released, stretching is a key practice and Releasology takes care of the rest.
There are many healers who practice hands-on therapy that achieves release. Dancers, or any elite athletes, who can get help from these people will always recover like magic. Everyone else falls by the way side eventually!
NA: How does Releasology help prevent injury?
RJ: That is another great question! Releasology reverses and prevents muscles from spasm. When muscles are in spasm, they position the bones of the skeleton in ways that stretch ligaments into compromised positions. Imagine using one finger to break a thread that is held tightly compared to a thread that is limp. Let me provide an anatomical example: When the gluteal muscles are in spasm, the iliotibial band is drawn tight, which laterally rotates the tibia, thereby misaligning the knee and stretching the anterior cruciate into a position that makes it as vulnerable as a tightly stretched thread. A small blow to the knee is all it takes to cause a severe tear of the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL).
Unfortunately, Western medicine only looks at the symptoms and only addresses the ACL without considering the mechanics of the iliotibial band and the knee joint. The iliotibial band commonly spasms, but it can always be released, thereby preventing ACL sprains.
This scenario has hundreds of renditions throughout the body. So, yes, Releasology does prevent injuries of connective tissues, as well as restraining of muscles in a big way.
NA: I know Releasology has worked well for Julian and other dancers when they actually are injured. How does Releasology help with some common dancers’ ailments, like tendonitis?
RJ: “itis” means inflammation, and tendonitis means inflammation of a tendon. Tendons are the ends of muscles. When muscles spasm, or contract involuntarily, the tension can cause micro, or macro, tears of the muscles tendons. By releasing a muscle from spasm, the cause of tearing, and tendonitis, completely goes away. Basically, muscles in spasm wreak havoc on all tissues of the body. They tear their own tendons, they pull bones out of alignment, causing all forms of “subluxations.” They pinch blood vessels, lymphatic channels, nerves and compress endocrine glands and organs. Virtually all dancer injuries can be healed in record time by releasing the associated muscles spasms.
NA: You’ve been certifying more and more practitioners; tell me about this…
RJ: Well, I started teaching sports massage when I was 19, so I have been training people for a long time. In my twenties, my approach was more of a hybrid between massage and acupressure. With age, we learn to become more effective with less effort, so now I use basically a form of acupressure with the body held in very specific positions and my pressure is applied in very specific angles, etc. My old approach was called, “The Royal Touch,” which may sound like a funny play on words, but over 500 people were trained in “The Royal Touch.” My work has become much more specific recently, and I have rearranged the way I teach now.
I recently wrote a textbook on muscular anatomy called, Royal’s Guide to Muscular Anatomy. After finishing this project, I gained a whole new genre of anatomy illustrations and more depth to my understanding of why my approach has been effective, and a new name was warranted. After thinking long and hard, I came up with “Releasology” as the new name of my method. My vision is for this approach to healing to go far beyond me, though. I hope the practice and study of the best ways to release muscles from spasm will continue far beyond my contributions. I also hope for Releasology to be a segway between Western Medicine, Ancient Medicine and the many branches of Alternative medicine. Releasology is based on undeniable fundamentals, and builds from there. The benefits that come from releasing the points can be verified in any textbook on Chinese medicine or Ayurveda. Also, Releasology is based on plain old human anatomy, physiology and kinesiology. It is hard to deny the empirical knowledge of Ancient Medicine, and it’s hard to deny the science of human anatomy.
My current approach to teaching is to have students attend an Initial Intensive workshop. In this workshop students learn how to find muscles in spasm, they learn how to release muscles in spasm, and they are given enough instruction to begin their Releasology practice. From there, students need to practice. On my website, www.releasology.com, there is a list of common physical ailments. Students need to find people with each problem on that list and attempt to relieve them. Each time success is achieve, students make a note of their success on the website page for that problem under “comments.” When each ailment has been relieved, by hand, a student is ready for a final exam, scheduled with me, personally.
This program has been in place for about a year. My most recent class of students was last spring. Most of the students were from Palmar Chiropractic College, and there were massage therapists and physical therapy Ph.D. students. In the future, I hope to have chiropractors, physical therapist, massage therapists, yoga Instructors, dancers, and any athlete who could benefit from knowing Releasology coming to learn. To support this process, I have a Releasology Team training format [in the San Francisco Bay area], where people can receive free treatments while the Releasology students knock out their issues. This provides a fast way to work through the list of ailments, and it’s supervised by me.
I believe that the Releasology program is primed to become a well-known modality. At this point, we just need help from people like you who want to spread the word. I think Julian will be incredibly happy about learning Releasology, as ballet careers generally slow down at some point, and it could be a natural second career. While he’s learning and practicing on dancers he will be sure to endear his friends even more than he already does. At some point they will insist on giving him cash for some help with their body issues. I look forward to seeing Julian at my Releasology workshop on August 3rd.
About Royal C. Jacobs
Royal Jacobs is the founder of the groundbreaking Releasology technique, formerly called “The Royal Touch,” and the author of Royal’s Guide to Muscular Anatomy. Jacobs was voted “best massage therapist” and his clinic was voted “best place to rejuvenate” by the Los Gatos Weekly Times (Los Gatos, CA). Additionally, he was featured in an article published by the Massage Therapy Journal.
Jacobs has training as a massage therapist and used this, as well as what he learned about pressure points, to become a specialist in pressure point therapy. He studied Shao Lin Kung Fu for many years, which influenced him and his methodology greatly. Additionally, he was a dancer with South Bay Ballet Academy, the Maureen Haley Dance Company, and Evergreen Valley College, and San Jose Dance Theatre. He also performed with a street-dance troop called the “Puppetrons.” www.releasology.com
Become a Releasology Practioner! Attend the Next Releasology Workshop
August 3, 2013
12 a.m.-4 p.m.
Los Gatos Squash Club
15445 Los Gatos Blvd.
Los Gatos, CA
Cost: $300 per student.
If you are interested in learning Releasology, the next Releasology certification workshop will be held in the San Jose, CA, area (near Los Gatos) on August 3 from 9a.m.-12p.m. Although this training is open to anyone interested in learning the method, it will be especially focused on dancers. You will learn:
- What Releasology really is.
- The fundamental Releasology technique.
- How to release muscle.
- how to resolve pain with your own hands.