In 2016, Bailey started out as a clinical massage therapist. Although she is trained in a wide variety of massage modalities, Bailey was frustrated that her clients were not experiencing lasting results with massage and stretching alone. She began looking for more resources. In a “Couch to CrossFit” class, Bailey realized that her own hypermobility and lack of stability made many movements difficult. She couldn’t increase the weight on the barbell until she stabilized her joints. As she began developing the necessary stability, she noticed lifting weight became easier.
Then she started regularly weight training. Bailey began noticing the subtle changes in her body. Daily pain from a physical job disappeared. She was had more energy. She slept better. And she moved better.
That’s when Bailey began advocating exercise to clients. In addition to clients stretching, they were now strengthening and stabilizing muscles. These exercises helped to correct systemic dysfunctions. As they did their bodyweight and lightweight exercises, they noticed the same changes Bailey did. Their back pain disappeared. Their chronic headaches decreased. They felt stronger. As clients reported back, Bailey began finding more movements to add to their daily routines, not only strength and stability but functionality.
Nearly all clients are given burpees and squats modified to their ability and reevaluated at each session. “I use to think burpees were awful but then it hit me why they’re important. It’s the movement that you need if you fall in order to get up. This is especially important to our aging population. I also recommend squats so that clients can continue to use the bathroom in privacy. If you can’t perform a bodyweight squat, eventually you will need someone to help you get on and off the toilet.”
Although personal training is not regulated in South Carolina, Bailey is working with the National Academy of Sports Medicine to become certified. “When we do movement assessment and I see that the posterior chain is weak, I start them doing deadlifts. As their needs grow, I want to grow with them. It’s incredibly rewarding to have 70+ year old clients deadlifting regularly because they’re no longer in pain. They see the benefits of what we are doing.”
While Bailey is advocating functional wellness to clients, she is also leading by example. She takes time every week to train her own body’s weaknesses and develop endurance. Her favorite movements are deadlifts, cleans, squats, and anything on the Assault Bike. One of her 2020 goals is to bike 26,000 calories along with several athletes.
In addition to promoting functional fitness locally, Bailey has joined the Atlantic Grid League to make functional fitness a team sport.
Libby Huskey says
What do you know about lipedemia and massage. Thank you in advance.
As a Certified Lymphedema Therapist, I understand the impact of having lipedema. With lipedema, it’s often hard to get a diagnosis. It can be years of frustration because diet, exercise, and lifestyle changes have little effect on the fat. Since lipedema often becomes worse with hormone changes, like puberty or pregnancy, a doctor may not be willing to look at lipedema as a first option for diagnoses. It is often the patient who does their own research and asks the doctor specifically about lipedema.
Because the fat makes it hard for the lymphatic system to work efficiently, there is often swelling. While the lymphatic system is not damaged in lipedema, it’s important to manage swelling. Swelling can be managed with Manual Lymphatic Drainage (MLD) and compression garments. Some people find pneumatic compression pumps to be a helpful aid, especially when the swelling makes it difficult to reach lower legs to perform self MLD. When the swelling is not managed, the lymphatic system becomes chronically strained. This leads to the lympahtic system can become damaged. That’s when lipedema can evolve into lipo-lymphedema.
Manual lymphatic drainage is part of the gold standard of care for both lipedema and lipo-lymphedema because it helps the vessels within the lymphatic system to contract and move lymph fluid. While many massage therapists are trained in MLD, MLD is not massage. Massage is kneading of the muscles, while MLD stretches just the skin. Traditional massage is too much pressure. The difference in pressure is the difference between making bread and stroking a newborn’s head.
MLD requires special training to be done properly. There are both online and hands-on training for therapists to learn MLD. Some classes are as little as 18 hours of training. The standard MLD course is 40 hours of hands-on training to ensure that therapists know the pressure and technique. Basic MLD courses do not equip therapists to work with lipedema or lymphedema. The standard course for therapists to learn to work safely with lipedema and lymphedema is 135 hours. When you are looking for a MLD therapist for lipedema, ask what the therapist’s credentials are. It’s important to work with a therapist knowledgable about your condition.