Massage & Bodywork

July/August 2010

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AUTH METHOD Reposition your forearm medially and laterally to get different angles on the sole of the foot, focusing on the inner and outer arches of the foot, as well as any areas that need special attention. After you've thoroughly massaged the sole of the foot, have your client turn over to the supine position and begin working the tibialis anterior. The tibialis anterior's tendon spreads along the arch of the foot, so tension in the tibialis can contribute to tension in the arch of the foot. TIBIALIS ANTERIOR FOREARM TECHNIQUE Working the tibialis anterior with the forearm can be done with either forearm, depending on your position. Stand by your client's feet with your left hand under your client's left ankle and your right upper forearm at the top of your client's tibialis anterior. Glide your forearm down the tibialis anterior all the way to the front of the ankle (Image 4). Repeat this stroke on both sides and as many times as needed. For more leverage and a deeper stroke, stand alongside the table at the level of your client's knee. Spread your stance so that one foot is at the level of your client's ankle and the other is at the level of your client's hips. Keep your back straight. Position your upper forearm closest to your client's feet at the top of the tibialis anterior and rest your other forearm on your client's thigh. Glide down the tibialis anterior with your forearm (Image 5). Position your torso so that you are hovering over the leg and can effectively use your body weight to drop into your client's tissue. As you glide down the tibialis, bend the knee that is closest to your client's feet; this will move you down the tibialis anterior. Coordinating the bending of the knee with the stroke integrates the movement within your own body, resulting in better body mechanics. RESERVING YOUR HANDS FOR THE FINER THINGS Now that the bulk of the tension from the plantar surface has been released, you can integrate your usual foot routine, knowing the deep work is done and you have reserved your hands for doing your fine-tuning work on the feet. Use your hands to polish off the toes and work the top and sides of the foot, stimulate points, or do soothing strokes. Foot massage is a favorite among clients, but the sole of the foot is used to withstanding a lot of pressure, and tension in the foot can be deep and difficult to release. Big jobs require big tools. Using your forearms instead of your thumbs and practicing good body mechanics will contribute to your career longevity and a happier you. and acupuncturist, and is certified in the Rolf method of structural integration. She is the creator of the Auth Method and has a full-time practice in New York City. Auth teaches continuing education workshops and has a DVD, Auth Method of Therapeutic Massage: A Guide to Using the Forearms. For DVD and workshop information, visit www. authmethod.com. To contact or learn more about her practice, visit www.shariauth.com. Shari Auth is a licensed massage therapist connect with your colleagues on massageprofessionals.com 67

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