Massage & Bodywork

September/October 2013

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functional anatomy Common postural deviations, such as lumbar lordosis and anterior pelvic tilt, can inhibit the activity of the transversus abdominis. Resolving these deviations by lengthening the erector spinae muscles, quadratus lumborum, and hip flexors provides a good start, but locating and stimulating activity in the transversus abdominis is essential to normalizing trunk posture and improving lumbar stability. Client Homework— Transversus Abdominis Activation 1. Lie, sit, or stand comfortably with the palm of each hand pressed against your lower belly. 2. Gently press against your belly as you exhale slowly through your teeth, hissing like a snake. 3. Keep your belly muscles tight as you fully exhale. 4. See if you can tighten the muscles without hissing and while breathing normally. Palpating the Transversus Abdominis Positioning: client supine. 1. tanding at the client's side, face the abdomen and locate the S most lateral edge of the iliac crest with the palms of both hands, one on each side. 2. lide hands superiorly, into the space between the S iliac crest and inferior edge of the rib cage. 3. ith your palms, locate the horizontal fibers of the transversus W abdominis as it wraps around the waist. 4. Have the client gently exhale while "hissing like a snake" to activate the muscle and ensure proper location. 5. ractice tightening the muscles in P different positions, and during activities like lifting or reaching. Editor's note: The Client Homework element in Functional Anatomy is intended as a take-home resource for clients experiencing issues with the profiled muscle. The stretches identified in Functional Anatomy should not be performed within massage sessions or progressed by massage therapists, in order to comply with state laws and maintain scope of practice. Christy Cael is a licensed massage therapist and certified strength and conditioning specialist. Her private practice focuses on injury treatment, biomechanical analysis, craniosacral therapy, and massage for clients with neurological issues. She is the author of Functional Anatomy: Musculoskeletal Anatomy, Kinesiology, and Palpation for Manual Therapists (Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2009). Contact her at 50 massage & bodywork september/october 2013

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