Don Sylvester, ABMP Certified
Basic Training: Kirtland Community College
- Certificate 12/2000
- A.A.S.-Applied Science 12/2001
Waldoboro School of Massage - Waldoboro, Maine
- Wellness Breast Massage 6/2006
Soverneign Seminars - Michigan
- Trade Secrets of the Low Back - Grand Rapids 10/2006
- Low Back and Sciatic Pain - Grand Rapids 4/2007
- Trade Secrets of the Neck - Romulus 7/2008
CrossCountry Education - Michigan
- Migraine Headache - Bay City
- Stretching - Saginaw
- Deep Tissue - Lansing
- Neck and Shoulders -East Lansing
Erik Dalton Seminars - Illinois
- Intro to Orthopedic style massage 8/2011
Why I do what I do
I had been in the lawn care business for 18 years serving the northwest suburbs of Detroit. Performing a task improperly, I developed carpal tunnel. My wife being so ever helpful, gave me a certificate for massage. The massage therapist eliminated my carpal tunnel during the very first visit; I knew at that point, there was something special about massage. The wife and I traded massage certificates back and forth until moving up north from the Detroit area.
I needed a job that was portable and could transfer to another location. My wife pointed out the massage program in the Kirtland catalog. I had a couple of years receiving massage under my belt before entering the program, so I knew what we were suppose to accomplish. I took the Intro to massage weekend class, passed and thoroughly enjoyed the hands on work with a variety of people.
My massage career started out in a chiropractor's office where I had a taste of medical massage and insurance billing. Next was a hair salon where I stayed for a little over 2 years. The salon was up for sale, so my next location was at a metaphysical gift shop. Great place for learning and a very relaxing atmosphere. Had no intention of leaving, but...my arm was twisted to set up a joint venture with a parent. The up side is I have two rooms dedicated to massage and business has grown every year.
I used to travel in my line of work for a local company and would find therapists in different locations to trade massage with. I had one session in Holland, Michigan that is now used as my goal for relaxation massages. It felt like my body was floating 2 feet above the table, pure relaxation. I have never experienced that again, however quite a few of my clients do experience a similar feeling of pure relaxation.
May 24, 2011 finds me back in the salon environment. I have formed an alliance with Roscommon's Fifth Street Salon. The goal is to develop a world class day spa and this alliance moves a little closer to reality. Slapping "Spa" on a regular hair salon has been done in Houghton Lake numerous times. Think Big and think Las Vegas as our vision to guide us in creating a must visit Spa destination.
Roscommon Salon chapter 2: ownership change on December 1st. Same personnel, new equipment and products. The tanner is gone and will not be replaced. Grand plans for a spa have dimmed once again and have finally been extinguished. Good experiment but the timing is not right with the new salon business.
New - old adventure: Time to move back into the nuturing environment of a metaphysical enterprise. Great owners and plenty of positive energy to share. Time to explore and learn more about the energy aspect of massage and bodywork. Maybe even explore a bit of Reiki.
The last few years has found the focus shift back to a more medical style massage. The number one complaint in my office is low back pain. Neck and shoulders come in second. The additional training in those areas allow me to provide a good deal of relief. Maybe the instructor was right? Massage just might be the best alternative care for low back pain. That needs to be shared with anyone seeking relief.
There have been some requests to take a peek inside the massage room in Houghton Lake. You can see a few more pictures on facebook, what you dont see is the electric lift, chest comfort cut-outs or the extra padding on the table.
My philosophy: You are in charge of your massage session. You determine what you want to accomplish and areas to be worked. To receive a good massage, you must actively participate. Notify the therapist about temperature or pressure, if something doesn't feel right, tender or feels good. Tell the therapist to quit working on an area if you feel it is being over done. You are teaching the therapist your tolerances and preferences.
Massage should be painless and enjoyable. There may be a little tenderness when a sore muscle is being worked, but there should be no "pain."
"Deep Tissue" what does that mean? That term has only been around for 50 years. I get a lot of requests for "deep tissue" after people hear it in a television program. My regular pressure is heavier than a lot of therapist's "deep tissue." You must provide constant feedback for the session to go smoothly. After the second "ouch" from someone that has requested "deep tissue," I back off the pressure and finish the session with a light touch. Besides...it is easier to convince a stubborn person to make them think it is their idea to conform to what you want to accomplish. When forcing someone stubborn to do something against their wishes, you will have a fight on your hands. Muscles act the same way. Tell the therapist what your goal is and forget about driving the bus.