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A B M P m e m b e r s e a r n F R E E C E a t w w w. a b m p . c o m / c e b y r e a d i n g M a s s a g e & B o d y w o r k m a g a z i n e 99 MYOFASCIAL TECHNIQUES Watch Til Luchau's technique videos and read his past articles in Massage & Bodywork's digital edition, available at,, and on's YouTube channel. of the often-tight sternocleidomastoids (SCMs, Image 3, page 97) in the SCM Attachment Technique (Images 4 and 5). In many Golgi-based techniques, including the SCM Attachment Technique, in addition to precise, sensitive, firm pressure and active client movement, we use another important tool: our words. Our verbal cues and feedback (described in Sternocleidomastoid Attachment Technique, page 97) aim to kindle our clients' curiosity, open up new movement possibilities, and foster refined proprioceptive awareness. In practice, for example, this might mean using verbal cues to slow down your client's movements, make them smaller, and direct your client's attention toward the smooth, controlled, and gradual initiation of motion. Of course, deliberate movements and focused attention have beneficial effects beyond local muscle relaxation and reeducation. Schleip, for example, describes how stimulation of fascial mechanoreceptors has long been shown to increase global, entire- body relaxation, calming of the autonomic nervous system via parasympathetic responses, and other whole-person effects. 5 So whether you're working with reeducating one muscle's firing pattern, or with the bigger picture of whole-body activation and relaxation responses, including the Golgi tendon organs in your work can help you utilize the nervous system's built-in mechanisms for movement efficiency, coordination, relaxation, and ease. Notes 1. M. H. Ross and P. Pawlina, Histology: A Text and Atlas: With Correlated Cell and Molecular Biology, 6th ed. (Baltimore: Wolters Kluwer/Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2011): 158–217. 2. A. Prochazka and M. Gorassini, "Ensemble Firing of Muscle Afferents Recorded During Normal Locomotion in Cats," The Journal of Physiology 507, no. 1 (March 1998): 293–304; J. Moore, "The Golgi Tendon Organ: A Review and Update (Neuromuscular Receptors; Proprioceptors; Sensory Receptors)," The American Journal of Occupational Therapy 38, no. 4 (April 1984): 227–36. 3. J. T. Cottingham, Healing Through Touch: A History and Review of the Physiological Evidence (Boulder: Rolf Institute Publications, 1985). 4. R. Schleip, "Fascia as a Sensory Organ: A Target of Myofascial Manipulation," in Dynamic Body, ed. Erik Dalton (Oklahoma City: Freedom From Pain Institute, 2012), 127–36. 5. Ibid. Til Luchau is the author of Advanced Myofascial Techniques (Handspring Publishing, 2016), a Certified Advanced Rolfer, and a member of the Advanced- faculty, which offers online learning and in-person seminars throughout the United States and abroad. He welcomes questions or comments via and's Facebook page. The SCM Attachment Technique helps the client learn to relax the SCM, even during head/neck movement. Direct pressure on the SCM's sensitive attachments (the site of GTO concentration) amplifies the client's proprioceptive awareness of (and helps relax) any SCM contraction during slow, incremental, active head rotation (arrow). Use verbal cues and feedback to help the client find easier movement, with minimal SCM contraction. Though relatively firm pressure is required to evoke a Golgi response, as always, your pressure should be comfortable for the client. Image courtesy 4 5

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