Massage & Bodywork

January/February 2013

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technique Classroom to client | @work | Energy work | Myofascial techniques Working with the Ilia By Til Luchau "We walk with our legs." True or False? True—obviously, as humans, we use our legs to walk. And false—we use more than just our legs when walking, and in fact, don't even need legs to walk. Physicist and spine researcher Serge Gracovetsky, in his lectures about his spinal engine theory, shows a video of a man, born without legs, walking back and forth on his ischial tuberosities. The man rotates his spine and pelvis as he torsions his ilia in opposite directions, alternating one tuberosity in front of the other.1 Gracovetsky's point: whether we have legs or not, we also walk with our spine and pelvis. 1 In normal walking, the innominate bone swings in anterior (Image 1) and posterior (Image 2) torsion. These movements are also known as anterior and posterior rotation of the innominate. The superimposed innominate images have been rotated 10 degrees; opinions vary, but normal motion is thought to be within a range of 2–17 degrees of torsion. Image courtesy Primal Pictures. Used by permission. 2 114 massage & bodywork january/february 2013 Gracovetsky's sophisticated theory of spinal energy uptake is not the focus of this article (though if you're at all interested in biomechanics, gait, or spinal function, I do recommend checking out his talks or his chapter in the Dynamic Body [Freedom from Pain Institute, 2011] textbook, edited by Erik Dalton). The nuanced cycle of gait is itself complex: timing, momentum, gravity, weight shift, balance, form- and force-closing of joints, muscle sequencing, proprioceptors, and long chains of connections all play a part in the seemingly simple miracle of walking. In this article, I'll focus on just one key piece of the walking puzzle by describing some straightforward ways to encourage innominate bone mobility (the innominate, or hipbone, is the composite structure that includes the ilium, ischium, and pubis, Images 1 and 2). These techniques owe their inspiration to many sources, including Gracovetsky and others, and are based on the work taught in's Advanced Myofascial Techniques DVDs, online courses, and seminars. Let's start by making a distinction between two kinds of pelvic movement: 1. ovements of the entire M pelvic girdle (tucking, shifting, dropping, tilting, etc.). I 2. ntra-segmental movements of the innominate bones and sacrum within the pelvis itself. Both kinds of pelvic movement occur in walking—the entire pelvis shifts left and right over the standing foot, while each individual innominate bone also moves within the pelvic girdle

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