Sayers manages muscles through body mechanics

Renee Shadforth

Let’s just say Taum Sayers doesn’t give your typical massage.

And as a runner with reoccurring pain in my right hip, I didn’t care what Sayers did, as long as he made the ailment disappear.

“Miracles are an extra dollar,” he said as I lay down on his table in his feng shui’d office.

Sayers, who considers himself more mechanic than masseuse, employs The Berry Method of Corrective Massage, which is “very structurally oriented in terms of the skeleton is the tower that provides support to hold us up, and the muscle is the soft tissue that stabilizes and mobilizes us,” he says.

Sayers began my session by holding my legs straight out in front of him. Sure enough, my right leg was a half-inch shorter than my left.

This was due to increased muscle tension in my right leg, causing my limb to shrink up, said Sayers, who has been using the method since the late ’70s. When the method’s mastermind, Lauren Berry, deceased, Sayers began instructing people all over the world on how to use the process.

The method, Sayers said, has been mainly used to heal musculoskeletal problems, and he argues most ailments have a muscular component. Even breathing problems, like asthma or emphysema, can be eased by addressing intercostal muscles (between the ribs), erector spinae and overall postural balance, he said. And the list goes on.

Sayers got to work on my leg, rubbing the attachment points of my muscles and putting my unruly muscle fibers in their proper place. At times, it was “ouch”-inducing.

Sayers admits The Berry Method can be painful.

“It can be uncomfortable – fortunately I’m getting better at that – with the pain,” Sayers said.

“It’s not relaxing, but the effects can be relaxing,” he added.

However, there was one calming part of the massage: Sayers can hold a conversation while poking and prodding at your tissue, making the overall situation – an unfamiliar person grabbing at places your mother hasn’t gone in years – OK.

After all, Sayers has been doing this for years. In addition to teaching and writing numerous articles in trade publications about The Berry Method, Sayers has performed it on professional athletes, like “a football team that trains in Stockton,” he said, humbly of one of his high-profile clients: the San Francisco 49ers.

After the hour- and-15-minute session, Sayers advises I don’t run for the next couple days to give the muscles a chance to heal, and he offers a couple of self-massage techniques I can do at home.

He also scheduled a second, shorter appointment, now that he’s taken the time to “investigate” my problem areas.

When I returned two weeks later, hip-pain free, Sayers just shrugged his shoulders and said, “Coincidence?”

Although not enough time has passed to assess the aftermath of my second round with Sayers – in which he worked on the common problem areas for runners – the pain hasn’t returned.

But Sayers refuses to call it a miracle. For him, it was just another day for a mechanic in his shop.

Taum Sayers has offices in Reno, Truckee and Winston/Salem, N.C. Contact him locally at 587-6816. For more information on Sayers and The Berry Method, check out

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