Let’s continue this discussion about stretching with the concept of “partner” stretching. As a therapist we are our clients’ partners and we have schools now available for training or CDs to teach the nuances. I know that many therapists are in fact stretching their clients with great success. For those of you who haven’t started yet and are considering it as an additional tool, one word of caution, you can’t feel what they are feeling, and the moment that you have caused pain and gone too far it might be too late. So, if you begin to stretch your clients, just always make sure to be very aware of the “end point” as I call it, either of muscular tension or bone structure. [Read more…]
We left off on the last part of this series talking about the need to deal with the obturator internus. As we mentioned I believe it will also be short on the site of the out-flare. We have them open the leg where there is an in flare in the iliac crest and have the client on their back and bend that leg and then open it outward. Then we ask them to push against our hand and then one more after holding against their movement. Its essentially like doing a PNF stretch. We repeat 3 or four times. The opposite hand is holding down the opposite iliac crest.
Then we move on to further stabilization by having the client bring both feet up on the table, knees bent. We will do this next move to release any tension in the pubic symphysis area. We place our hands on the outside of the knees and resist the opening of their legs. Do that three or four times. Then, cross your hands and place the heels of your hands on the inside of their legs and repeat by resisting inside movement three or four times. If there is a noticeable rotation in the horizontal plane of the pelvis, have your client sit on a bench, table or chair. Place your hands on the illiopsoas tendon and resist their movement into the pattern of ease.
In a true scoliosis the shoulder girdle will be obviously lower on one side than the other. The best observation point to this reference are the clavicles. If they are slanting, but in line with each other it is due to a scoliosis. If only one side is inclined, it can be from other factors like carrying a bag, some former trauma, etc. The ribs will be fixed open where there is convexity of the curvature, that is where the gibbus will be noticed. The ribs are closer together on the concave side. You should notice the scapula being pulled medially by the rhomboids. As the scapula is sliding laterally on the convex side, the serratus anterior and the muscles between the arm will shorten. There will also be a compensatory pattern in the cervical vertebrae at the AO joint with a notable compression.
I think its important to realize there are some degrees of scoliosis and age factors that will only allow a client to feel more comfortable from our work. Once the bones have changed their structure due to the forces paced upon them over long periods of time, there is only so much that we can do.
So the question begs, what can we accomplish as therapists? First of all it depends on the degree of the pattern. It’s a core issue and we must never lose sight of this fact, nor the need to integrate our work throughout the body. There is value to working with the client lying down, sitting and standing as well.
Helping Our Clients with Scoliosis
If you have being involved in bodywork for any length of time you have had your hands on more than a few clients who were scoliotic and offered you quite a challenge!
In my training at the Rolf Institute there was one axiom that I was taught that made the work very simple to understand. Our work is involved in the lengthening process. It is the only way you can straighten a body.
So, if we can lengthen the body, we can give support to our clients whose scoliosis creates often constant painful conditions in their bodies. Given enough time, we can assist in making some wonderful changes in this idiopathic condition (a condition of unknown origin). You will definitely need to sharpen your body reading skills, and allow yourself enough time to make these changes in your client’s body.
I am often asked by students, what is Craniosacral Biodynamics and how does it differ from the “mechanical” approach? My answer is that one is the path of the Shaman, and the other is that of the mechanic. Both are very rewarding and effective, but the Biodynamic model will change who you are as a human being and how you walk on this water planet.
I know because I practiced the mechanical approach for ten years, and then the Biodynamic aproach for the last 13. Of all the disciplines whose knowledge I have drunk from, including my start at the Rolf Institute in 1989, the Biodynamic model of craniosacral therapy has been the greatest gift and the most transformative and magical of all the disciplines I have learned.