Angi is the owner of Dynamic Sports Massage Recovery. Based in Cleveland, she works with athletes of all stripes - from youth to professionals. She’s passionate about Ohio State, the Indians, and most of all the Browns. You can follow her on Instagram and Twitter.
I first heard about RPR from a massage client of mine. Completely honesty, my first response was that I had no idea what he was talking about but it didn’t sound like something for me and dismissed it. Then he comes back after going to a Level 1 clinic and says that it’s amazing and it works. He says that he can’t really explain how it works, but that I just need to feel it. Not ready to jump in, but impressed by how excited he is, I decide to look further into the RPR thing.
After reading about it on the website, it seemed interesting but I’m a massage therapist and this looks like it’s focused more on strength coaches and trainers getting their athletes ready for game day or events. I don’t know how it fits into what I’m doing but, going back and forth about it, I decide to go to Indiana for a Level 1 clinic with Chris Korfist. I figure it’s pretty simple - if I learn something, awesome. If not, well, it wasn’t too expensive.
In the clinic, it started to make sense, we’re going through the Wake Up Drills and I think back to a conversation I had with one of my clients who’s on the Cleveland Browns. We were talking about glute function and how the psoas effects that and he told me, “Ang, when I was in Jacksonville, they showed me this thing on the back of my head and jaw and I felt like I could run forever.” He couldn’t remember what it was called but as soon as Chris showed us the glute wake up drill, I realized: this was it!
At the end of the Level 1, I knew there was something to it but I still wasn’t sure how it was going to fit into my massage practice. One thing I’ve learned is that when something’s fresh, you just have to start using it, so I show a few of my clients the Wake Up drills and they think it’s magic - they feel awesome and, well, it makes my job as a massage therapist easier. They ask me why it works and it’s still fuzzy for me, so I know what I have to do - I go to Columbus for a Level 2 clinic hosted by JL.
Here’s where my 1-2-3 moment happens. We’re partnered up doing the compensation pattern tests and my partner and I are having a really hard time finding my stability. We thinking we’re doing something wrong, so we call JL over, thinking we just missed something simple. He does the tests on me and then asks if I’ll come to the front because he wants to use me as an example. Sure - why not?
“Here is a perfect example of a zero,” says JL. You can guess how I felt right then. JL goes on to explain that someone who has no neurological base of stability is a zero. “I don’t know her and I have no idea what’s going on in her life, but her sympathetic nervous system is in overdrive.”
I’m standing there, feeling like I’m naked in front of a room full of strangers, and this guy is telling everyone about me. He was right, by the way, I had a lot of stress going on in my life. All I wanted to do was sit down.
When we break for lunch, I go up to talk to him one-on-one. He asks if we can talk about what I have going on. I wanted to say no and run away but instead I looked at him and said, “Everything you said is no surprise at all to me. I just left a job that I loved. I was stressed about what people thought of me - my coworkers, and my clients. I had just started a business, which obviously brought a lot of pressure and stress. And I was dealing with it by ignoring it and just pushing forward - just plugging along.”
JL says this to me, and it really changed my perspective: “Pretending the stress isn’t there isn’t doing any good to you. And if you’re not doing right by yourself, you can’t do right for your clients.” Now, he’s telling me this because of how I tested? I feel myself getting emotional, and honestly just wanted to get out of this conversation and go home - I came here for some muscle testing stuff to help my athletes and now I’m having a therapy session? What is this?!
For the rest of the clinic, I was kind of in my own head. “How can I help myself get out of this spot?” “How can I fix this?” But as the day went on, I started to feel better. I got stronger, we did some really awesome stuff with vision and color. I went home that night resolved that I was going to take control of my 1-2-3. I was going to get my 1 in line so I could be better in 2 and then 3.
So what did I do? I started doing RPR every day (really just Zone 1). I started working out again. I did meditative yoga to give my brain a rest. I started journaling. I started taking time through the day to simply breathe and focus on that. And I can honestly say that I have never felt better.
That day gave me the confidence to really bring RPR into my life, and then into my practice. My practice has always been about educating my clients, and RPR fits right into that. And it’s not just my athletes who love it (and they do), but my regular everyday clients are seeing such success with it that they use it first whenever something comes up.
That day showed me that RPR truly is a game-changer. Not to sound dramatic, but RPR really did change my life and helped me learn how to thrive in my body. I’ve said it before and will say it again (I’ll say it until I’m blue in the face!): RPR was one of the most influential clinics I’ve ever been to and the 1-2-3 lens is something that I try to bring to every one of my clients.