Massage & Bodywork

SEPTEMBER | OCTOBER 2019

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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 . 91 with them is over. This psycho- (internal experience) social (interpersonal) approach might be phrased as, "If you check in with your body, is there anything else that would help you feel complete for now?" This question is very different than a question like, "Is your pain still there?" which potentially opens a new chapter, rather than closing the existing one. Dr. Rolf ended most all of her sessions with neck work 1 and a pelvic lift technique. 2 Her consistent use of this two-part closing ritual (probably rooted in her osteopathic influences) has been interpreted in many different ways. Explanations include ensuring adaptability at each end of the spine to prevent later discomfort; working the midline of the body after working each side; and quieting the nervous system by working the cranial and caudal ends of the spine, which were thought to be the two main areas of parasympathetic concentration (though more recent evidence strongly suggests that sacral plexus is not parasympathetic). 3 But, whatever the explanation (and even though we have evolved or diverged in many ways from Rolf's original protocols in our Advanced Myofascial Techniques approach), we typically honor this closing custom by including some sort of neck and sacrum work at the end of our Advanced Myofascial Techniques session sequences. At the end of a technique, session, or series, our intention switches from separating, freeing, and differentiating distinct parts to emphasizing a broader awareness of larger connections and relationships between those parts. Sometimes this is done physically, with direct touch or pressure (Image 2). 4 Other times, we use the client's inner experience (the middle part of "biopsychosocial") through guided awareness and sensory exploration (Image 3). 5 Typically, in the integration phase of a technique or session, our touch style becomes receptive rather than active, or listening and sensing rather than differentiating or manipulating. This allows the client's own proprioceptive awareness to come to the fore and builds in a resting phase after more active work. Social Aspects The final, "social" aspect of our integration phase refers to the client's ability to integrate or incorporate any new awareness and changes from the session or series into actual interactions and daily life. This can be thought of as a social-level consideration in at least two ways. Review of the Three-Part Sequencing Cycle Preparation, Differentiation, and Integration In the earlier preparation phase of our three-part sequencing cycle, 1 we reversed the ordering of "biopsychosocial," emphasizing the establishment of a helpful inter- and intrapersonal (i.e., psychosocial) context, before working on the biological (or structural) level. The middle phase, differentiation, is often the bulk of a session, and refers to work that helps refine, define, or distinguish individual anatomical structures, movements, or sensations from one another. 2 In the final integration phase, we return to the original ordering of "biopsychosocial." Notes 1. For more information, see "The Many Meanings of Preparation" in Massage & Bodywork (July/August 2019, page 90). 2. For more about this three-part cycle, see "Sequencing Your Techniques" in Massage & Bodywork (January/ February 2016, page 108). At the end of a technique, session, or series, our intention switches from separating, freeing, and differentiating distinct parts to emphasizing a broader awareness of large connections and relationships between those parts, as in the Core Point Technique (see "Working with Bone," Massage & Bodywork, November/December 2013, page 114). 2 1. New somatic patterns and awareness can be more challenging to recall and revisit when in relationship with other people and things, than when they are in the quiet, internal focus of the practice room. Our interactions with clients as they rise, reschedule, and depart are valuable opportunities to tactfully invite clients to continue the proprioceptive awareness that will help carry the practice- room experience out into their lives. 2. Many modalities include client "homework," such as awareness practices or physical exercises, to help integrate and continue the work of the session. While such homework is undoubtedly useful (some would say indispensable), clients are notoriously inconsistent in their between-session practice.

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