Massage & Bodywork

SEPTEMBER | OCTOBER 2019

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28 m a s s a g e & b o d y w o r k s e p t e m b e r / o c t o b e r 2 0 1 9 CLASSROOM TO CLIENT education Side-Lying Don't Leave it on the Sidelines By Cindy Williams massage therapist has to effectively guide a sheet between the client's legs without causing exposure or even a sense of exposure (sometimes there is no exposure, but it feels like it to the client). Try the side-lying leg drape technique to keep your client feeling comfortable and safe. Side-Lying Leg Drape 1. From supine position, undrape the anterior leg using a diaper drape method. 2. As you pull the drape underneath the client's leg, guide it all the way up to the low back and ask the client to anchor it against their body along with the anterior portion of the drape. 3. Hold the long edges of the drape and guide it alongside and up the table as you instruct the client to roll away from you onto their side. 4. Tuck the drape beneath the low back and hip. 5. Voila! The client is draped in side-lying position. 6. To re-drape, simply untuck the drape from beneath the low back and hip and hold the long edges of the drape as the client rolls back to supine. Undraping the back is even easier. Side-Lying Back Drape 1. From a fully draped side-lying position, pull some excess drape up to the waist to ensure you have plenty to work with. 2. Tuck the drape beneath the hip and pelvis to the height of the iliac crest. 3. Begin to undrape at the low back, arranging the drape in an L-shape along the waistline and lateral side of the torso. OBSTACLE #2: I DON'T WANT TO MAKE MY CLIENT CHANGE POSITIONS MULTIPLE TIMES I get it. In general, clients like to check out and go into a quiet, inward zone during massage. Asking them to flip from supine to prone, or vice versa, is a disturbance to the zone. Adding side- lying could keep them from remaining When is the last time you gave or received a massage that incorporated side-lying position? Can't remember? You aren't alone. This often-underutilized position has so many uses and benefits, it's curious why many massage therapists tend to leave it on the sidelines instead of highlighting it as a star player in their massage practice. Let's up our game by first exploring the obstacles that might be hindering the choice to use side-lying position. Then, we'll recall a few of the abundant reasons side-lying can be an integral player in the success of our work. THE OBSTACLES A few conversations with fellow massage therapists shows there are three primary reasons why side-lying gets benched. While they are valid reasons, a little coaching and training can remove these obstacles. OBSTACLE #1: SIDE-LYING DRAPING IS SCARY Well, it can be. But it doesn't have to be! There is a very simple side- lying leg drape approach that only recently came to my attention, and now it's the only approach I take. The key to side-lying draping is maintaining a client's sense of comfort, safety, and modesty while undraping their lower extremity. This can be tricky when they are lying on their side, because the

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