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TABLE LESSONS best practices 28 m a s s a g e & b o d y w o r k s e p t e m b e r / o c t o b e r 2 0 1 5 Finding "Normal"—A Moving Target By Douglas Nelson My client Mr. R. entered my treatment room wearing a smile from ear to ear and said, "My back hasn't felt this good in a long time." "Any spasms since our last session?" I asked. "Not since before my last visit, even with the longer time span between appointments. Actually, I felt good enough that I considered canceling, but decided to come in anyway. I felt a significant difference after both sessions, but the effect tended to wear off after about three days," Mr. R. said. "In the last session, we focused on your back muscles, but we need to spend some time with your hips today," I said, laying out the game plan. "The more restricted your hips are, the more your low back tries to compensate by moving more. That can be disastrous for the back, which seeks stability, not excessive mobility." I asked Mr. R. to lie prone on the table while I gently assessed femoral internal and external rotation. Finding his internal rotation quite restricted, I targeted the quadratus femoris and the piriformis, looking for tight and tender areas. Suddenly, I heard muffled laughter through the face rest. "Are you OK?" I asked. "I don't understand how you seem to know right where the problem is, but maybe more importantly, how can I be so unaware of something that hurts so much? Wouldn't you think I would know about muscles that are that painful?"

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