Massage & Bodywork

MAY | JUNE 2016

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C h e c k o u t A B M P 's l a t e s t n e w s a n d b l o g p o s t s . Av a i l a b l e a t w w w. a b m p . c o m . 33 "That's just one piece of the puzzle, not the whole picture. Let's explore more with you lying face down." With Ms. J. lying prone, I used the lower leg as a way to create internal and external femoral rotation. The smaller muscles around the trochanter seemed reticent to allow the movement to happen. Picking up the skeletal model with trochanteric heads, I put it on the table next to her and demonstrated femoral internal and external rotation. She thoughtfully watched the movement, observing the rotation of the trochanter in the acetabulum. "Now, let's translate that into what you can feel," I instructed. While I rotated her femur, I had Ms. J. put her hand over the joint to feel the motion. "I can feel how there are some parts of the movement that are not smooth," she said. "I can't seem to let go of those areas. Why is that?" "This seemingly simple motion is actually very complex. There are multiple muscles around the hip and, for the motion to occur, each must let go in a very precise order. Think of it like a symphony. Each instrument has an assigned role and must enter and exit at precise times. If the cello section won't lessen its volume when the second violins take up the theme, the sound goes from sublime to chaotic." "Why do muscles do that?" Ms. J. asked. "What makes some muscles go rogue and why do they stay that way?" "Great question; more research needs to be done to answer it. What I know is that my touch combined with your attention can help rewrite the software to push the muscular reset button." Resuming the movements, Ms. J. could feel her involuntary holding. "I want to let go, but how do I do that?" she implored. TABLE LESSONS Douglas Nelson is the founder and principal instructor for Precision Neuromuscular Therapy Seminars, president of the 16-therapist clinic BodyWork Associates in Champaign, Illinois, and a trustee for the Massage Therapy Foundation. His clinic, seminars, and research endeavors explore the science behind this work. Visit www.nmtmidwest.com, or email him at doug@nmtmidwest.com. "I don't mean to be coy, but you will fi gure it out. I'll keep doing the movement and you keep changing strategies until you discover how to let go." She was not satisfi ed with my answer, which is understandable. It is, however, a really important point. Self-discovery is exactly that—self- directed learning. Soon, the internal and external rotational movements became far easier. It was clear that something had changed. "Somebody just fi gured this out," I teased. "The orchestra is playing better." "Defi nitely," Ms. J. said. "Do you know what the most amazing thing about this process is? I am feeling my own body, but at the same time I am witnessing it. I feel like I don't have full control, but observing it changes it." "An amazing process," I remarked. Ms. J. agreed. "What is really amazing is that I feel like I am part of the audience and part of the orchestra at the same time!" "There are multiple muscles around the hip and, for the motion to occur, each must let go in a very precise order. Think of it like a symphony. Each instrument has an assigned role and must enter and exit at precise times."

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