John Power is full of a quiet compassion that drives his work.
Trained through the Stillpoint Massage Program in Hatfield, John worked as a massage therapist in the health care industry for many years, supporting patients with comprehensive – and often chronic – injuries and issues. It became clear to John that he could best affect change by applying an integrated approach that includes massage in combination with movement education, wellness and fitness. So he expanded his focus and approach and developed Integrated Muscular Therapy.
John was certified as a personal trainer in 2001 through the National Strength and Conditioning Association, and this education pairs with his background in massage to inform his unique fusion of massage with movement education and fitness training.
In 2011, John was certified as a corrective exercise specialist through the National Academy of Sports Medicine.
His ability to problem-solve is informed in part by his first career as a carpenter and furniture maker for 16 years. John loved the process of figuring out how things worked and fit together as a whole. In this way, he sees the human body as a work of art that can likewise be refined, refinished and restored.
John comes at his work through each individual relationship with his clients. They work in partnership, honoring goals they outline as a team.
Integrated Muscular Therapy
I started Integrated Muscular Therapy in the spring of 2000 after graduating from the Stillpoint/GCC School of Massage Therapy in Greenfield, MA. While attending massage school I enrolled in the St. John Neuromuscular Therapy training and was a certified neuromuscular therapist soon after graduating from massage school. The concept of integration, of combining parts into a whole has a broad conceptual application. My work involves the integration of various techniques like massage, exercise and movement awareness. The therapeutic process can also viewed as a form of integration since injuries and pain often fragment how the body functions.
Exercise & Fitness
I have always enjoyed exercise and mind-body disciplines such as yoga, cycling, running, weight training, outdoor recreation and fitness. Regular exercise has helped me overcome occupational and sports injuries while providing a disciplined mental environment conducive to personal growth. In June of 2001 I became a certified personal trainer through the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) so that I could combine my interests in sports and fitness with my therapeutic skills. Exercise is active therapy for the whole person. It mobilizes personal resources and engages one’s will power for self healing. It can also have a profound, positive impact on our outlook about ourselves and life in general. Personal training also reinforces my role as coach, educator and motivator for positive lifestyle changes.
Presently in the exercise and fitness field there is a merging and cross pollination of sport performance training, sports medicine, mind-body disciplines and injury rehabilitation information. Functional exercise, stability balls and balance training devices are available in most gyms now when several years ago they were used only by a handful of physical therapists. This merging of ideas and techniques represents a dramatic shift in health maintenance, injury prevention, rehabilitation and sport performance training.
These ideas and techniques have dramatically changed my approach and scope of practice. Instead of focusing solely on symptom alleviation (which is the primary focus of many therapeutic modalities) I try to see the bigger picture and address why the symptoms are being presented. Healthy joints need healthy muscles capable of maintaining posture and performing appropriately when asked to move the body. Understanding how the body works through functional anatomy, kinesiology and biomechanics plays a central role in my treatment process.
In 2002 my son Jack was born. Beginning with the first moments of his life onward I’ve witnessed how a child breathes, grows, moves, reaches, crawls, walks, throws a ball and runs. He became a living experiment for me in how a child learns to organize their body and psyche in the physical world. As an infant I gave him massages, pulled on his legs and arms, while he pushed and pulled back (muscle activation techniques). I would position toys so he would have to crawl or reach to get them. When he could sit I would toss him a ball to the front and side, first slow then faster, sometimes bouncing the ball then rolling it straight – testing eye hand coordination and reaction ability. We played games that included balance and coordination of right/left sides of the body. The same techniques used with adult athletes to improve athletic performance I employed with Jack in a very playful, age appropriate manner. As a result of this “play” Jack has developed a strong connection to his body, becoming a kinesthetic learner – he can watch an athlete or dancer and mimic their posture and movement style. To him (and most children) thinking, feeling and moving are all one activity. Often movement and athletics are taught from the outside in. Through our play time together Jack has learned to move from the inside out . “Finding the groove” is a term he and I use to describe the process of finding the grace, flow and rhythm of an athletic activity.