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The Chassé This step is useful when strokes are pushing and pulling up and down the length of a body region, such as applying effl eurage to the back, arms, or legs. Begin in bow stance (also known as lunge or warrior stance). Imagine you are working on the client's right leg in supine position. Your hips and torso face the head of the table as you work from ankle to thigh. In order to keep your body open to the table and the stroke, place your left foot forward and right foot back. Push the stroke forward by pressing your right foot into the ground and shifting your weight onto your left foot. Once the weight is over your left foot, step your right foot close to your left. As you pull back, press into your left foot to shift the weight back over the right foot. The right foot is now prepared to push the weight back onto the left as it steps forward. You have now traveled far enough to apply the stroke from ankle to thigh without reaching from the end of the table (which would be a surefi re way to strain your low back, shoulders, and neck). To travel back, simply repeat in the opposite direction. The Rock Step This step works great for short, narrow strokes that require a unidirectional force, such as local cross-fi ber and linear friction. Begin in a shorter bow stance with feet closer together, since the movement is smaller. The same principle of alternating weight back and forth between your feet still applies, but more force comes from your back foot as the pressure forward is more prominent. Imagine you are applying cross-fi ber friction to the spinalis muscle. Face the client's back from the side of the table, one foot in front of the other. If your right foot is in front, your left foot will push into the fl oor as you stroke forward across the muscle fi bers. Return and prepare for the next stroke by using the right foot to spring you back onto the left. Again, the left (or back) foot will do the pushing, and the right (or front) foot will rock you back. LET THE RHYTHM MOVE YOU As you perform a full-body massage, transition between these stances and steps just like you transition between strokes. Practice these movements outside the massage session so they become embodied and natural. Turn on some music and move! As you begin to enjoy uninterrupted Ta k e 5 a n d t r y A B M P F i v e - M i n u t e M u s c l e s a t w w w. a b m p . c o m / f i v e - m i n u t e - m u s c l e s . 33 energy fl owing from your feet through your body, you will notice when you become static during a massage session. Your work will become fl uid, rhythmic, and soothing to both you and your clients. Since 2000, Cindy Williams, LMT, has been actively involved in the massage profession as a practitioner, school administrator, instructor, curriculum developer, and mentor. She maintains a private practice as a massage and yoga instructor. Contact her at The Step Touch The Travel Step Touch The Chassé Watch "Dance Moves for Better Body Mechanics"

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