Jeffrey Forman, Ph.D. is professor emeritus after 36 years of teaching and was the massage therapy program coordinator at De Anza College for 23 years. Jeffrey is also a speaker, author, consultant and researcher. He is a presenter at the AMTA 2018 National Convention on the topic of balance and postural stability training. Learn more about him, why he thinks volunteering is important, and why you should attend his convention session.
Tell us about your background in massage therapy. How long have you been practicing?
My instructors in the Springfield College Corrective Therapy/Adapted Physical Education masters degree program taught us to perform massage to treat a variety of physical limitations. After I graduated in 1976, I was immediately hired to run a Physical Restoration clinic at the VA Hospital in Palo Alto, CA. Among my other duties, I performed massage on the stumps of amputees.
In 1978, I left the VA to become head of the De Anza College Adapted Physical Education Program. At De Anza, I ran a class called hydrokinetics where we used hot water, hydrocollators, ice and massage treatments to relieve the pain and improve flexibility of individuals with a variety of physical conditions. We also used massage treatments in our individualized exercise classes for the physically limited. I went on to found a professional massage therapy training program at De Anza, the first program at a Community College in California. Eventually I created the first Massage Therapy AA degree program at a community college in California. In 1980, I started my private practice in massage.
What is your current work setting?
I travel around the country and internationally doing lectures based upon my research on active muscle therapy (combining load and or movement with massage), balance and postural stability training for massage therapists, and using Kinesiology tape to relieve pain. I am also vice chair of the California Massage Therapy Council (CAMTC) board of directors and chair of the CAMTC schools advisory board. Due to my extensive travel schedule, I only practice on friends and family now.
How has AMTA impacted your career?
I'm proud to have been associated with AMTA for the past 20 years. I have learned so much from the presenters at the educational conferences and the national convention. The best thing I ever did for my career was to volunteer for the Council of Schools Board. I got to meet and become friends with people from all over the U.S. and Canada, and it opened doors for me professionally that never would have happened if I didn't take the step to get involved. My advice to young therapists is to volunteer to help your local chapter and then get involved nationally.
Why should massage therapists attend your session at the AMTA 2018 National Convention?
Attendees will gain a better understanding of the physiology of balance. This includes the relationship between the musculoskeletal system, central nervous system, and visual and vestibular systems and how massage can improve balance. There will also be lots of hands on practice time including techniques to improve proprioception to the big toe and intrinsic muscles of the foot as well as balance-influencing massage techniques for the feet, ankles, lower leg, hip and gluteals. They will also experience sensory motor training - a progressive series of balance-improving activities.
What are some takeaways from your session that attendees won't read in the session description?
Participants will feel how the techniques presented will stimulate the different receptors and improve the proprioceptive connection between the sensory system and the motor system and how these techniques will improve balance.
Read more about Dr. Forman's session »
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