Ok let’s finish this series up. Again, I want to reiterate that there may be newer information about stretching that will contradict what I am about to share. My suggestion is to try this out for awhile an always err on the side of caution, don’t push without mindful attention. There is potential for injury in any form of stretching. So we have discussed dynamic stretching and passive stretching I would now like to wrap this up with isometric type stretching and see if you gain more flexibility by doing it. There are 3 methods one can look at and try then evaluate. The first method is to stretch the muscles but not maximally. So, take it to the edge and back off. Wait for a few seconds or more and then increase the stretch. Wait for a period of time and increase the stretch again. What that entails is waiting for the mechanism to adjust and applying a bit more pressure to the stretch carefully. When you have reached a point where you have achieved what you believe to be the maximum stretch, apply short strong tensions, followed by quick relaxations and within a second or two another tension. You’ll get it, just play with the concept, its a type of undulating movement. The amount of force used is between 50-100% of your maximum. Then hold the last tension for about 30 seconds. This is a very different approach to yoga type workouts. [Read more…]
The Importance of Stretching Knowledge in our Bodywork Practices: Part 2
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…]
The Importance of Stretching Knowledge in our Bodywork Practices: Part 1
Have you ever noticed that many of the patterns of dysfunction that are brought to our practices repeat themselves regardless of how many sessions we might perform with them? I am going to propose how using stretching, in its many approaches, can change that pattern and create lasting healing in our clients.
I don’t care if someone has come to you for Cranial Sacral therapy, Rolfing, Feldenkrais, Alexander technique, myofascial release, acupuncture, chiropractic and on and on. Most have come because they are suffering a painful condition. In many or even most cases, stretching in some form would have either helped to prevent the condition or accelerated its healing. [Read more…]
Scoliosis, Can Massage Help? – Part 3
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.
Scoliosis, Can Massage Help? – Part 2
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.
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