Massage & Bodywork

JANUARY | FEBRUARY 2019

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3 4 5 Facet joints glide open during forward bending and back on extension. Intertransversarii muscle spasm prevents facets on the right from gliding open during forward bending. Facet opening technique for "between-the-blade" pain. Lumbar spine facet opening technique. the dysfunctional segment. Instead, we must isolate down to the stiff area with the client first in flexion (facet opening), then extension (facet closing) as we assess the movement of the spine's transverse processes. ADDRESSING THORACIC (BETWEEN- THE-BLADE) STIFFNESS AND PAIN Notice in Image 4 how I position the client in flexion to assess for areas of transversospinalis spasm that may be preventing the superior vertebra from gliding open on its inferior neighbor. With my thumbs meeting in the lamina groove at about T7, I ask the client to tuck his chin to his chest as I slowly scan the transverse processes on his right. If my thumbs palpate a transverse process pushing posteriorly as the client's neck and head go into flexion, I apply a sustained anterior and superior pressure, awaiting a Golgi tendon organ release in the deep spinal groove muscles. Once my thumbs palpate normal movement, I continue up each segment to T1. ADDRESSING LOW-BACK STIFFNESS AND PAIN With the client's hip and torso flexed, the fingers of my right hand work into the lamina groove at L5 while my left hand controls the amount of hip flexion (Image 5). The goal here is to drag the sacrum inferiorly during flexion while palpating for a transverse process pushing posteriorly. This indicates that the joint is not gliding open as it should. To ease the transversospinalis muscle stiffness that's preventing the joint from opening, my fingers pin the motion-restricted transverse process as my left hand introduces more hip flexion to the first restrictive barrier. To enhance this release, I ask the client to gently push his foot against my resistance to a count of five, then relax. I take it to the next restrictive barrier and repeat 3–5 times. Try these bones-as-levers myoskeletal techniques to help reduce spasm, enhance mobility, and optimize nervous system functioning. Erik Dalton, PhD, is the executive director of the Freedom from Pain Institute. Educated in massage, osteopathy, and Rolfing, he has maintained a practice in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, for more than three decades. For more information, visit www.erikdalton.com. Yo u r M & B i s w o r t h 2 C E s ! G o t o w w w. a b m p . c o m / c e t o l e a r n m o r e . 95 2

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