Meet Your Therapist – Ryan Saldivar

Posted by on Jul 9, 2014 in Health and Wellness

Ryan SaldivarRyan joined Psoas last December, and has been practicing for 10 years. He has extensive experience helping people heal from acute injuries, and his yoga teachings allow him to view the body as a whole, interconnected structure. We’re thrilled to have him in our studio.

Q. What got you into therapy?

A. Many people in my family pursued careers in medical fields. Our grandfather was a herbalist and never believed in going to the hospital outside of emergency. Our mother had chronic migraines and reflexology was the only thing that would help relieve the pain. So at about ten years old I began studying reflexology from books I borrowed from the library, and we figured out that her thyroid caused the migraines about thirty years before the medical doctors diagnosed the cause. After my spinal injury at 16 years old massage and yoga were the only things that brought me relief at a time when I lived in debilitating pain.

Q. How long have you been a massage therapist?

A. I started practicing in 1999 when I was 19 years old. In Oakland at that time we only needed 100 hours of study to practice, so I underwent an apprenticeship with a chiropractor and began working with him. Then in 2004 I decided I take my education up to formal training at NHI.

Q. What’s your goal with a client? What do you want to achieve?

A. To help people return to the activities that they love, but felt they had to stop due to pain. To make them feel secure in taking control of their own healing process through clear education of the exercises which will help speed up the recovery. As well as being clear on what can hinder the healing process. I call it the list of do’s and don’ts.

Q. What techniques do you use and why?

A. I use acupressure, Chinese & Japanese shiatsu with passive stretching because I find that the 365 points mapped out on the 12 meridians give me exact locations of the root cause behind most painful conditions, while the strain counter strain retrains the proprioceptive nervous system. Combined with deep myofacial release i can effect the neuromuscular system, as well as the musculoskeletal system symbiotically. With the addition of yoga therapy I can give every person a set of asunas to empower them to further take the healing process into their own hands.

Q. What type of person or types of people would your style suit best?

A. My favorite client is interested in learning about and taking an active role in their healing process. I love working with athletic people because they tend to be very proactive.

Q. What’s your favorite body part? Least favorite from a therapist viewpoint (most problematic, tight, etc.)

A. I love helping people that suffer from spinal pain, because through the combination of massage and yoga techniques I have seen peoples lives change when this pain is alleviated. I love working with knee sprains, strains, phantom pains, because it allows people to return to their activities of daily living.

Q. What do you do when you’re not doing massage?

A. I practice yoga 2-3 hours per day on average for my personal practice, and teach as well. I prefer skateboarding over walking.
I have the most fun writing, recording, and performing melodic music that people can dance or practice yoga to! My favorite instruments to play are percussion, dijirido, Japanese shakahachi, bass guitar, keyboards, and abelton live!

Q. What are you reading?

A. Brazilian portugese poetry. It’s such an incredibly beautiful language to take in poetic forms.  My favorite topics are the human condition of overcoming challenge, the science of nature, and love.

Q. Best massage therapy memory?

A. Helping professional boxer Joaquin Zamora come of out retirement. After a ten year professional career, being multiple time national champion, and once ranked fifth in the world he had retired due to conditions that I was able to bring to balance. Seeing him back in the ring for the first time brought years to my eyes because I was so proud to see him push past his boundaries.

Q. Where are you from? How long have you been in San Francisco?

A. I am from Oakland.  I just returned from 10 years in Northern New Mexico where I underwent many apprenticeships under chiropractors physical therapist and acupuncturist and attended premed education.

Q. What’s one piece of advice you would give people to stay loose and limber, healthier?

A. Study yoga with me!