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Problem Solving Through Massage -

by Lisa Stein

Steve Albertson’s passion for physiology, anatomy and healthcare grew during the years he worked as a fire department paramedic and healthcare-product researcher. But it wasn’t until he experienced an injury that didn’t respond to conventional treatment that he decided to turn that knowledge and interest into a career in massage therapy.

Back in the 1990s, Albertson hurt his elbow and shoulder, which caused him excruciating pain. He went to his doctor, who referred him to an orthopedic specialist. The specialist gave Albertson a steroid shot in the arm, which gave him immediate relief but wore off quickly.

“In a month I was in worse shape than before,” Albertson recalled.

He returned to his doctor and together they decided to come up with a different, holistic approach combining physical therapy, massage therapy and exercise with a personal trainer.

“I got all the different people who were treating me together and working as a team,” he said. “That experience became my model for how I wanted to pursue treatment and what I wanted to do as a career.”

With that goal in mind, Albertson enrolled in the Chicago School of Massage Therapy, the Chicago area’s oldest massage school, where he received extensive training in various massage techniques.  He graduated in 1998 and soon after the school hired him to teach in its highly recognized diploma program.

He worked on staff in several clinics and health clubs before launching his own practice in Evanston. His client list includes athletes of all ages, physicians, dancers, personal trainers, daycare workers, expectant mothers and children.

Today he specializes in treatments tailored to clients’ individual needs and physical concerns, especially for those looking for relief from pain or limited mobility.

“I apply my training as a paramedic and in healthcare research to my massage therapy practice by working in a problem-solving mode. I try to get to the root of the problem by asking a lot of questions and coming up with answers. Even when I do massages for pure relaxation I don’t use a cookie-cutter approach.”

Albertson continues to expand his knowledge and application of new massage techniques with interdisciplinary study. He keeps up-to-date on advancements in neuromuscular therapy, active isolated stretching, myoskeletal technique, myofascial release, and prenatal and perinatal massage, among other treatment options.

During a session Albertson often recommends exercises to be done at home to optimize treatment. He may also use anatomical models, including a three-dimensional computer software program, to explain issues to clients and help them visualize specific muscle groups.

All of Albertson’s techniques and tools stem from his desire to heal and empower his clients to care for themselves, combined with a profound appreciation of physiology.

“The more I learn about the human body the more I am in awe of it, how all the systems work together to keep us healthy and moving.”

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