Massage Hack #1

Massage Hack #1 Lower Leg Congestion and the Mobility of the Fibular Head

 

 

As a massage therapist, there is nothing more frustrating than working on a person’s body and not being able to make a difference in the tissue.

  • Maybe it’s because the joint isn’t as neutral as it could be, making the soft tissue have to stabilize instead of mobilize.
  • Maybe something on the opposite side of the body or joint is pulling making a tug of war situation limiting mobilization of a joint.
  • Maybe the person is holding on to an emotional pattern which won’t allow a shift in soft tissue or causing chronic lymphatic congestion.

There could be dozens of reasons why a person’s body isn’t responding to treatment.  Over thousands of clinical hours and two decades studying human movement and bodywork, I have developed certain protocols in dealing with acute and chronic musculoskeletal dysfunctions in the body.

In this series, I will provide you with quick, concise, and accurate information on how I have successfully treated certain conditions in the body over and over.  I am making this intellectual information available free of charge because I believe in inclusivity instead of exclusivity, and I want the most number of people on this earth to be able to be helped with this knowledge.

Disclaimer: It is YOUR responsibility to adapt this information to the training you have received and are qualified to do, and work within your scope of practice and laws in your area.

Problem: Massaging lateral half of lower leg prone or supine, distal to proximal, perhaps a deep stripping effleurage, and when you get to the upper 2/3 of the leg, just below the knee a few inches you run into a wall of congestion that can’t get out of the way. Perhaps it’s a ball of stagnant lymph, or it’s short, dehydrated, immobilized fascia, or it’s that the fibular head can’t get out of the way…Or all three and more… It’s painful to the client if you just bulldoze your way through so what do we do?

 

Treatment: Mobilize the fibular head by whatever scope of training you have had and available techniques in your ‘toolbox’. My training is in Ortho-Bionomy (O-B), positional release of joints, and neuromuscular re-education. So my first technique is the least invasive O-B/positional release to help the fibular head’s reflexes to self-correct, move into neutral, and start to mobilize in both directions equally and easily in relationship to the tibia.

 

Re-Check: Go back to the original massage technique and check to see if the congestion now has a place to go, the fibula will get out of the way and there will be a clear channel for lymphatic drainage to occur as well as allowing the fascia to stretch into more space. Now there should be less intensity for the client when you repeat the original massage strokes and a shift in tissue can occur.

For massage/career training and CE’s in Indiana visit http://www.carmelschoolofmassage.com

For Ortho-Bionomy training near you , visit http://www.ortho-bionomy.org

 

Got Pain? Re-Pattern your Body!

pain photo

 

It has occurred to me that I need to hire a ‘Title Writer” for my blogs.   I seem to be missing the creativity gene that others in my family have. (smile)

This article is about my personal experience living with, and treating people with dysfunctional musculoskeletal patterns in their bodies that cause pain and discomfort.

If you ask people in the massage and bodywork profession why they chose to work in this field, many will say it is because of their own journey toward healing. This is also my story. As a high school freshman high-jumper on the track and field team, I landed with my lower back directly on the bar during a practice jump. It was a traumatic injury that took many years to heal from.  Because I felt almost constant pain in my back, I moved my body into the most comfortable position comfortable to go about daily activities. This position was NOT in neutral alignment, and therefore I compensated with the less painful muscles, tendons, fascia, and ultimately ligaments (which led to joint misalignment) to do the work of the injured ones. This injury became my starting point on a path to find relief.

Fast forward 25 years and I am a deep tissue massage therapist that studied many different modalities of bodywork on my path to find relief. I leaned toward deep tissue therapies because that is what gave my body the relief it needed. I developed a physical strength and an applied working knowledge of structure and function of the body and my strength lies in helping bodies move toward a more neutral, less painful functional pattern.

What I have found in my clinical experience is that many people have dysfunctional patterns in their bodies because of physical trauma, emotional trauma, bad posture, and many other reasons.

I am continuously fascinated by how releasing restrictions in the tissues that are holding patterns can INSTANTLY help to relieve this kind of pain. For years, my clients have been grateful for this gift of healing.

And it lasted…for various amounts of time for each person. Some people never had pain again, for some the relief lasted weeks, and for some just a few days. This intrigued me and I wanted to study this and see what I could do to help make it last longer.

Enter Wendy Cooper, MS, Co-Owner of The Hub by ProMotion Fitness, home of the BioCored Corrective Suspension Training system. (BioCored™ incorporates visual, vestibular and proprioceptive nervous systems to influence pain and performance patterns in the body.) I’ve known Wendy for 18 years, and she is a leader in this community for health and fitness. She has also known me and helped me with my physical struggles for much of that time.

I have been training with Wendy for over a year on the BioCored system and I am extremely pleased with the balance and neutrality it has given my body.   It is what I call “prescriptive exercise”. When you get a private training appointment, it’s all about YOUR body, YOUR pattern and waking up muscles, tendons, fascia that have ‘been asleep’ for a period of time so they can DO THEIR JOB, and help bring the body back to a more neutral state.

I started recommending it to my clients to help support the bodywork they were receiving at my office for the second half of this equation that worked for me. Then Wendy started sending her clients to me for the adhesion release piece. This equation seemed to be working… really, really well. Actually, the results were nothing short of MIRACULOUS… See the before and after picture of two of our clients.

The female as you can see suffered from scoliosis of the lower back, which impaired her ability to stand for long periods of time and walk for exercise without extreme pain. While the pattern is still in her body, because it takes more time for the harder structures of the body to shift (bones), her body is more NEUTRAL and less painful by a huge amount.

SW2*17*14-presession[6]SWafter2*17*14[6]

(pictures used with permission) 

The male started with BioCored™ and after six weeks made this HUGE postural shift that required deep tissue/adhesion work in order to be able to tolerate the new pattern without suffering from headaches and other body pains. After his first deep tissue session he felt the relief his body needed to support the rapid change. Before picture is on the bottom, note his forward head posture.

 

Dan Before and After Overlay

As you can see, this is VERY EXCITING NEWS for those of us in this field who so badly want to see all of their clients holding the bodywork longer and feeling pain-free longer.

We have seen that this combination of adhesion release and re-patterning the body through corrective exercise is the key to gaining relief of musculo-skeletal dysfunction causing pain.

Both clients have reported feeling MUCH RELIEF from the combination and continue to receive treatments from both of us regularly.

I also found relief through this kind of therapy in my body.  For me, I had to incorporate one more missing piece, and that’s the modality of Ortho-Bionomy® .  That’s a whole other blog post!

On a side note, Wendy and I have recently been experimenting with working ‘in tandem’ with each other on our clients (in the same hour). It just makes sense to catch the body when it’s trying to do an exercise but can’t do the form properly due to restriction to treat it right away, give the joint a chance to do the exercise properly (in alignment) then immediately re-pattern the neuro-muscular pathways to support the new pattern. Right now this kind of treatment is making waves in the local competitive cycling community, and it is SO exciting to see the results in athletes too!

The Hub Indy is located at 620 S. Rangeline Rd Unit H Carmel, IN  46032.

Phone: (317) 914-4316  Web: http://www.thehubindy.com