Massage & Bodywork

MARCH | APRIL 2015

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26 m a s s a g e & b o d y w o r k m a r c h / a p r i l 2 0 1 5 TABLE LESSONS best practices "First, I want to tell you my leg has been better ever since you treated it last month. I haven't given it a thought for weeks. That's not the pressing issue for today," Mrs. M. said, taking off her coat. "I have a new issue—this muscle right here," she said, pointing to her upper trapezius muscle. "I can't shut it off. It's like there's a switch somewhere stuck in the on position, and I can't fi nd the off switch." I had Mrs. M. lie supine on my massage table as I began to examine her right upper trapezius with very slow and careful pressure, using fl at palpation. Almost immediately, Mrs. M. said the tissue I was touching was tender and likely the source of her tension. After a bit, her sensitivity began to subside. Moving just a few centimeters distally, I immediately happened on another spot Mrs. M. declared to be important. After that also released, I again moved just slightly, only to discover another tender area. At this point, my alarm bell went off. "I'd like to briefl y explore the whole area a bit more, if you don't mind," I told Mrs. M. Doing so, I found almost everything was quite tender, each one about the same as the last. "I don't like this," I told her. "It seems there are too many sensitive points in your shoulder. My experience in the past has been, 'If everything is it, nothing is it.' It's like playing whack-a-mole with pain. I'd shut it off. It's like there's a switch somewhere stuck in the on position, and I can't fi nd the off switch." I had Mrs. M. lie supine on my massage table as I began to examine her right upper trapezius with very slow and careful pressure, using fl at palpation. Almost immediately, Mrs. M. said the tissue I was touching was tender and likely the source of her tension. After a bit, her sensitivity began to subside. Moving just a few centimeters distally, I immediately happened on another spot Mrs. M. declared to be important. After that also released, I again moved just slightly, only to discover another tender area. At this point, my alarm bell went off. "I'd like to briefl y explore the whole area Always On By Douglas Nelson

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