Allen Willette, Neuromuscular Therapist
My name is Allen Willette, (I also go by the screen name ‘Tennis Elbow Tutor’) and I created Tennis Elbow Classroom in 2008. (About Tennis Elbow Classroom)
I’m a Neuromuscular Therapist, by profession, with a practice in Marin County, California, and have 30 years of experience in Massage Therapy and other “soft tissue” and Neuromuscular therapies.
Here’s a link to my profile on my practice site Body In Balance: Allen Willette, Neuromuscular Therapist
- Certified Massage Therapist (CMT) – Vermont Institute of Massage, Burlington, VT – 1988
- Certified Looyenwork Painless Deep Tissue Therapist (Myofascial) – Mill Valley, CA – 1992
- Certified in Soft Tissue Release Therapy – Portland, OR – 1999
- Certified in Applied Motor Control, Neuromuscular Retraining – 2004
- Licensed In Corte Madera, CA
My Story: How I Ended Up So Passionately Obsessed About Tennis Elbow!
Here in this video I finally share the incredibly frustrating experience of my ‘Wrist Extensor Tenosynovitis’ injury 25+ years ago, and all my struggles and crazy attempts to recover from it…
Including my desperate foray into Bee Sting / Bee Venom Therapy – And how all of this led me to eventually specialize in treating tendon injuries myself, like Golfer’s Elbow and Tennis Elbow.
My passion for treating and teaching about Tennis Elbow began in 1990 when I developed a form of wrist/elbow Tendonitis very similar to Tennis Elbow. It was at the beginning of my career in Bodywork, shortly after starting to work at a new spa in the ski-resort town of Stowe, in Northern Vermont.
Within a year, many of us (there were over a dozen Massage Therapists initially hired) ended up with some form of tendon injury from performing too many massage sessions in too short a time frame with too little rest.
I wasn’t the only therapist who wasn’t prepared for the high-volume spa environment, having no real experience or endurance conditioning (but I was certainly one of the least prepared!)
At first I turned to the medical and Physical Therapy professionals for help, and followed the common wisdom and conventional treatments to the letter: Rest, Ice, Braces, Ultrasound, etc. – None of it helped in the slightest, and as month after month passed I grew increasing frustrated, desperate and disillusioned.
Keeping in mind there was no real Internet at that time so the only explanation (or “narrative”) available was the official medical inflammation model for “Tendonitis” (which I now refer to as the InflammaSCAM.)
My final contact with the medical system was an exam and consult with an Orthopedic Surgeon, who simply declared that I did not have enough wrist-ligament stability to be a Massage Therapist and would have no chance of lasting in this occupation.
The bleak prognosis was emotionally devastating – but fortunately I don’t give up that easily.
Here it is almost 30 years later in 2018, and I’m still at it (although with the acknowledgement that the kind of Neuromuscular Therapy I now practice is certainly easier on my wrists than basic massage.)
Eventually I did recover but not until long after many more months of struggling and taking useless forays into increasingly desperate and radical measures, the culmination of which was The BEES.
It was called “Bee Sting Therapy” and I’m not even going to waste “ink” describing the theory behind it. What it involved was getting a jar full of live honey bees and taking them out one at a time with tongs and getting them to sting me right over the tendons in question! (I know, I know – Don’t say it.)
This was not the hard part; the pain was inconsequential – And the pi$%ed-off bees were more that happy to comply with the stinging! – The hard part came later…
Itching! – On a level I had never experienced before or have ever since. It was what I imagine would be like the aftermath of having a picnic in a poison ivy patch.
And this was not a one-shot deal! Once the swelling and itching went down I was instructed to “rinse and repeat” ARRRGGGHHH!
I went through this cycle several more times with the subsequent sleepless nights of itchy misery – I even went back at one point to get more bees!!
…Before finally throwing in the towel, out of exhaustion.
Since that time I’ve built up a body of knowledge about Tennis Elbow from the perspective of: How do muscles and tendons actually heal – and what can one do to support that healing process?
In contrast to the official medical model for Tennis Elbow, which for the most part hasn’t changed (on the most basic, clinical level) in over 30 years, and is still myopically focused on chasing symptoms (Anti-inflammatories, Ice, Cortisone shots, ect.) and, believe it or not, often ignoring the well-documented principles of healing.
(Although there have been some advancements in the surgical realm and the potential of some newer, “quasi-surgical” interventions, like Platelet-Rich Plasma Injection Therapy.)
About 15 years ago I published my Tendonitis Ebook “Manifesto” called ‘Escaping The Tendonitis Triple Trap,’ revealing the three most common treatment mistakes and explaining exactly why the conventional treatment model for Tennis Elbow “Tendonitis” has been a dismal failure.
This ebook resulted in an avalanche of local sufferers of various forms of Tendonitis, (especially Tennis Elbow) into my little clinic in Corte Madera, California, and treating Tennis Elbow has been my specialty ever since.
A couple of years later I launched the first version of this site, which I called Tendon Academy (and which you may still hear me reference in some of my oldest videos here.)
Soon to be followed by Tennis Elbow Classroom.
My intention was to create video self-help programs for several other tendon problems, but since then I’ve only gotten as far as creating a second program for Golfer’s Elbow.
So, in closing, whether you’re only just finding out that you have Tennis or Golfer’s Elbow, or you’ve had a severe case you’ve been struggling with for months or years, there’s a wealth of information for you here.
To get an overview, just check out: About Tennis Elbow Classroom
One of the biggest challenges I originally faced with my injury, and what I continue to see so many Tennis Elbow sufferers face, is the fact that there’s so more to Tennis Elbow than the “common wisdom” would have you believe.
So many myths, misconceptions and potential mistakes – It’s a minefield.
Well, I hope I can help you side-step them,
Welcome to Tennis Elbow Classroom!
Allen Willette, CMT
And your Tennis Elbow Tutor