Advanced Bodywork Helps Physical Therapist

By Suzanne M. Valentine, PT

As a licensed physical therapist with 20 years experience, I found myself in a quandary about where to go for my own treatment. After a serious car accident, I was left with a great deal of pain and inflammation. From my own personal experience, I knew that holistic “hands on therapy” would be most effective to address these issues. I wasn’t sure where to turn for this treatment, and even considered travelling to Chicago to receive treatment from a colleague specializing in “hands on therapy”.

During a conversation with one of my patients, I discovered one of the best kept secrets in Northeast Ohio: Advanced Bodywork & Massage Institute. I received “hands on therapy” from the owner, Jeff Kates, a Licensed Massage Therapist with 28 years of experience. Kates uses a highly effective combination of comprehensive hands-on techniques with the goal of reducing pain and muscular imbalance by restoring motion to the entire body. His approach to treatment has several advantages.

1. All treatments are systemic, meaning the body is treated as a whole. Working on specific areas is ineffective since the human body is connected continuously to toe by a thin sheath of connective tissue called fascia, which connects to muscles, tendons, ligaments, bones, etc. The place people feel pain the most is often only “the tip of the iceberg.” The fascia must be released or “unwound” for complete pain relief. This can often be done with the client completely clothed.

2. The treatments are painless. Kates’ treatments are gentle in nature, and work with the body in reducing pain and restoring balance by restoring normal range of motion. This painless approach is in contrast to what most people and therapists believe is effective; that is the no pain, no gain approach to treatment.

3. Most people think they cannot move well because they are in pain. On the contrary, Kates believes they are in pain because they cannot move well. Lack of movement hinders circulation, which causes inflammation and pain. Kates works to restore motion, which improves circulation, which erases pain. Clients also receive education on stretches, etc. they do at home, and things they may be doing habitually to cause their pain, like holding a cell phone to the ear by hunching up one shoulder.

4. In most cases, treatments can be given with the patient fully clothed, instead of undressed as in “massage therapy.” Usually a series of two to five treatments one to two weeks apart is necessary for restoration of motion and pain relief, although almost everyone feels much better after their very first treatment. The number of visits will vary depending on the limitations and problems presented by each patient.

Kates is currently in private practice. He also teaches and is the Director of the Advanced Bodywork & Massage Institute in Solon. The school offers a variety of courses including their four month, one day a week Ethical Massage Practitioner Certificate program and their Advanced Bodywork Certificate program. Both of these certificates programs are registered and authorized by the State Board of Career Colleges and Schools in Columbus.

Kates also teaches the Kates Method, an easily learned method to restore motion to the entire body, thus reducing pain. Kates also teaches other classes for couples who would like to learn techniques to help each other.

As a physical therapist, I was truly impressed by the effectiveness of Kates’ combination of treatment techniques, which are markedly different from what we know of as traditional massage. He is a season practitioner with excellent hands-on skills.

Since last June, I have attended multiple classes at the Advanced Bodywork & Massage Institute. I have found these skills to be extremely helpful and effective in treating my own physical therapy patients.

To schedule an appointment or learn more about the Advanced Bodywork & Massage Institute, call Jeff Kates at 330.405.1933. You can learn more about the Kates Method by visiting or learn more about the school by visiting