The Wikiwalker - adventures on foot & online
Ken Richards massage therapy
Written by Administrator   
Tuesday, 28 September 2010 10:38

The proprietor of a health food store in Farmington, Maine recommended that I talk to Ken Richards about my sore hamstring.  He told me that whiplash from a car accident had nagged him for 15 years, and that Ken had fixed the problem with one treatment.

As I was travelling through Farmington on a Friday for a long weekend, it was lucky that I got an appointment the same day, if I would wait few hours.

I told Ken that I had played tennis on a cramped left leg and yanked the hamstring muscle.  Although an MRI assured no tear or arthritis, I still experienced some spasms and slow recovery.

Ken noticed when I lay down on the massage table that tightness in my lower back probably worsened my problem.  Then, and only then, did I remember to tell Ken that I had strained my back two days before my injury by lifting an outboard motor engine out of the water.

Ken said he could tell, because the muscle tension in my lower back and hip had pulled my legs out of alignment.  He pressed the tight muscles with his thumb, and had me gently wiggle my foot.  Then the tight muscles relaxed and my leg had more range of movement.

We repeated this process multiple times during the massage, so that my lower body came into alignment.  He seemed to have a natural "feel" for the interaction of muscles and bones.  After releasing muscle tension near a joint, he would say, "We just unlocked that.."

Ken calls this technique neuromuscular massage therapy.  I asked, is that also called acupressure?  He said some people call it that.  It's just one of the tools in his toolbox.

The contact information for Ken can be found below.  You can also find more information at: this link.


Kenneth W. Richards, B.S., L.M.T.
236 Broadway
Farmington, ME 04938

phone:  207 778-4990


Huber Associates, P.A.
637 Minot Avenue
Auburn, ME  04210

phone:  207 783-3393



Last Updated on Tuesday, 28 September 2010 11:17
My Racewalk Failure
Written by Administrator   
Monday, 02 August 2010 14:04
Little Rocky & Charlie Duane

Is racewalking for everyone?

This short critique holds that present racewalk competition rules promote a stylized form of running to the exclusion of valid kinds of walking. If genuine walking competition be the object, then clearly state that one foot or other MUST always be ON the ground, and that both feet MUST NOT be OFF the ground together.  Additional qualifications governing a straight leg or bent knee won't be necessary.

My friends in the racewalk community need not take this critique as a slam. They know that I have volunteered for and promoted racewalking. This critique is simply a way of clarifying a healthy question. Are racewalk competition rules suitable for everyone? I think the answer is "yes" for people in the racewalk community because they walk naturally with a straight leg.

The answer may vary for others. Exercisers who naturally transfer weight in their stride without a fully straightened leg should read the fine print about racewalking. If you can adapt to the racewalk style almost immediately, then enjoy yourself.  Otherwise, watch your step.  See photo analysis of elite racewalking below.

Last Updated on Saturday, 04 September 2010 07:11
Getting real with racewalking
Written by Administrator   
Friday, 16 October 2009 10:32

Recent articles and photos on The Walker's View reflect my exploration of the world of racewalking.  At elite levels, racewalking is a sophisticated, specialized sport - quite different from casual walking for health.

In August, veteran coach Tom Eastler favored me with a lesson (link here).  I have been watching video (link here), reading books (link here), training daily, and picking up tips where I could.  It hasn't been easy to convert my leg muscles to the rules of this track & field sport.

Apparently, after my years of distance hiking, my legs don't fully straighten out.  Straightening my leg hyper-extends the knee causing both discomfort and injury.  Apparently some people can easily straighten their legs past 180 degrees, so their "slightly bent" knee is still straighter than my hyper-extended knee.

Last Updated on Friday, 16 October 2009 15:52
Stepping on a bees' nest
Written by Administrator   
Sunday, 27 September 2009 09:03

My wife and I dream about owning some land in Maine.  We went to one place on a hill to admire the view.  Trees had been felled all around.

I stood on a little bare spot, waiting for my wife Tricia and our two dogs, Rocky and Serena to join me.  As I looked at the view, I reflexively swatted the back of my head.  "Boy, that's a pesky horsefly!" I commented.

An instant later I bolted and  we all ran fast as we could, through and over the timber slash.  Just when we had created some separation and started walking, the bees continued to pursue us.  That's when Tricia got bitten on the forearm, and another got to my inner thigh through dungaree pants.

Last Updated on Friday, 16 October 2009 15:43
More on the no-style of walking
Written by Administrator   
Wednesday, 09 September 2009 12:08

The style of no-style. No rules.

Just try to walk continuously for 45 minutes or more daily. Have fun - explore the world on foot.

Make walking a gift to yourself that you accept happily.

There are no requirements for style. Just do what comes naturally. Cover up if you're cold. Warm your hands under your arms or in your pockets if you like. Bring mittens another time.

Slow down if you must, and speed up if you want to. In other words, adapt to the landscape easily, casually, and without tension.

All the challenges you face, the discomforts... the obstacles... can be taken in stride when you listen to your body and the world around you.

Maintain the idea of continual movement, steady effort, or finding a rhythm. But there are no requirements for how far you must go.

If it pleases you to walk the same route at the same time at the same pace daily, then do so! If you like to walk with a friend, a dog, or in a group, then do so!

Keep in mind a couple ingredients of success when unexpected or disruptive events occur - commitment and habit.

Suppose your friend doesn't show, or your dog must go to the vet, or your appointment with walking may get broken. At this time the force of habit kicks in.

Your body misses the exercise because the habit has become natural as breathing.


Last Updated on Wednesday, 09 September 2009 12:10

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