Massage & Bodywork

JULY | AUGUST 2015

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G For the past few years, I've grown used to virtually every food product—from high- fructose beverages to bacon—proudly proclaiming, "Gluten Free." However, I never thought the day would come when the relatively new phenomenon of "Glute-Free Massage" would be an accepted practice, and I fi nd it disturbing. Simply put, I feel that neglecting to work on an area as important as the gluteals is a great disservice to our clients. Working on the gluteals should not be confi ned to just clinical therapeutic work; it should also be included in any full-body massage as a way to integrate the important connection, energetically and structurally, between the client's lower and upper body. Let's look at some of the kinesiology, anatomy, and therapeutic issues of the gluteals to understand why practicing a glute- free massage can be a detriment to your client. Addressing the Posterior Pelvis Not only is strengthening the gluteal muscles important, relaxing and aligning these muscles through bodywork is also crucial and should be part of any session. Any strong, functional muscle has the potential to be tight and restrictive. It seems worse than unwise to shy away from working on such an important group of muscles as the gluteals because of misplaced concern and unsubstantiated projection over client modesty. Good client education and proper languaging (see But How Do I Talk About It? page 68) can help you jump that hurdle. Quite simply, the gluteal muscles should not be ignored. Let me list a few things that demonstrate the importance of this area and why, as therapists, we need to relax, align, and provide left and right balance to the posterior pelvis. • A major goal of all bodywork should be to provide a smooth transition and freedom of movement between the major body segments. We want the legs to swing freely from the pelvis and the pelvis to have a fl uid connection to the low back. All the posterior pelvic muscles affect this transition. The rotators also have a huge effect on the rotation of the femur, which can have a profound infl uence on knee torsion and foot inversion or eversion. • The tensor fasciae latae is an underworked muscle that, although it originates from the anterior pelvis, is easily accessed in a prone position while working 66 m a s s a g e & b o d y w o r k j u l y / a u g u s t 2 0 1 5 Just as the "abs" should refer to not only the rectus abdominis, but also the obliques and transversus abdominis, the generic term glutes for therapists should include the complex weave of posterior pelvic muscles, including the deep rotators and the distinction of function for gluteus maximus, gluteus medius, and gluteus minimus. When I say gluteals, I'm actually referring to the entire posterior pelvis. G By Art Riggs e Forgo en Muscles The Glutes: 4 of 5

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