Massage & Bodywork

JANUARY | FEBRUARY 2021

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L i s te n to T h e A B M P Po d c a s t a t a b m p.co m /p o d c a s t s o r w h e reve r yo u a cce s s yo u r favo r i te p o d c a s t s 55 A FINAL THOUGHT I hope this small tour has been helpful to you in helping the mothers of this world. Until there is a social revolution around how we handle motherhood, many mothers have to guide their own journey back to full function after childbirth. Your hands can be a valuable assist. Notes 1. See Anatomy Trains' "Balancing the Pelvis" program for an approach to balancing the muscle groups around all human pelves. Our "Deeper Ground" program focuses more on the issues specific to feminine life cycles. See these and other movement-positive webinars at www.anatomytrains.com/ product-category/on-demand-learning. 2. Save the Children, The Urban Disadvantage: State of the World's Mothers 2015 (Fairfield: Save the Children, 2015), www. savethechildren.org/content/dam/usa/ reports/advocacy/sowm/sowm-2015.pdf. 3. Michel Odent, Primal Health (East Sussex: Clairview Books, 2007); Michel Odent, The Scientification of Love (London: Free Association Books, 1999); or anything else by the incomparable French obstetrician Michel Odent, MD. 4. Diane Lee, The Pelvic Girdle (New York: Elsevier, 2011); Diane Lee, Diastasis Rectus Abdominis (Diane Lee, 2016). 5. The Barral Institute, n.d. "Home Page," accessed November 3, 2020, www.barralinstitute.com. 6. Katy Bowman, Diastasis Recti program, www.every-mother.com. 7. Jacqueline Howard, "C-Section Deliveries Nearly Doubled Worldwide Since 2000, Study Finds," CNN Health, October 11, 2018, www.cnn. com/2018/10/11/health/c-section-rates-study- parenting-without-borders-intl/index.html. Thomas Myers is the author of Anatomy Trains (Elsevier, 2020) and Fascial Release for Structural Balance (North Atlantic, 2017). Myers studied with Ida Rolf and has practiced integrative bodywork for more than 45 years. He directs Anatomy Trains, which offers professional certification and continuing education seminars worldwide. For more information, visit anatomytrains.com. Because the scarring is accompanied by a varying amount of sensory-motor amnesia in the area of the surgery, the way to progress this treatment is not for you to press harder, but to do it under load. Once you are satisfied with the scar as it presented itself in the relaxed supine position, progress to a chair or the side of your table, with your client's feet on the floor. Now do the same method, finding the scar, pinning it toward the bone, combing out its edges. For full kinesthetic restoration, have the client put her hands on her opposite shoulders and rotate her spine right and left in the seated position, but slowly, and with the chest up. Again, keep exploring the scar as she moves, melting the edges and getting stretch through the scar and the entire area. For those who want or require further loading, they can stretch their arms overhead during the rotation or go into a bit of a backbend. For most, this is usually a sufficient load for you to feel when an even tone spreads throughout the abdomen. For the athlete, you can additionally load the arms with a medicine ball or weights. Many women have unconsciously pulled in around the scar, so the restoration of movement there can be a revelation—and some help when dealing with any other problems in the abdomen or pelvic floor. Sometimes there is an emotional component to the tension stored in the area, like color changes and sweating, so be sensitive to signs of autonomic stress. Give the client every chance to express her feelings—often for the first time since the birth. One final aspect of C-section scars—of most serious scars, in my findings—I am reluctant to say because I have no proof beyond what my hands find. At one end (usually) of the scar, there will be a little wire or guitar string—tough to find but distinct when you do locate it—of fascia that joins the scar to whatever bone is nearby. In the case of C-section scars, this is nearly always the pubic bone (Image 5). I find that the dissolution of the harder tissue is greatly facilitated by finding this little "tornado funnel" (how this fascia feels energetically) from the scar to the bone. Pinpoint it on the bone and press (slowly but with sustained intent) on the periosteum (the plastic wrap around the bone) precisely where it attaches. This will often result in the dissolution of the band from the scar to the bone, and the subsequent relenting of the scar back toward normal tissue. I know—it is odd, and I have never seen it reported, but I have had great clinical results by adding the "attachment point" at some nearby periosteum to my scar work agenda. These attachments are very difficult to find in the small round scars that accompany laparoscopic surgery, but are commonly found tethering scars of any length such as C-section scars.

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