Body Approach Prior to Virus: Supine Before Prone

I'm keeping this information here; I may no longer provide massage therapy--but to the brave LMT's who are doing their best to safely provide quality support to their clients...a few tips.

Additionally--anyone that lives in a body benefits from knowing this info.

That means you!

Most sessions, unless there is an underlying medical condition that does not allow your body to lay flat on your back/specific body issue that requires side-lying work, I prefer to start my sessions supine, meaning face-up.

Primarily, I start face up, because quite often, the reason our backsides hurt, may be the result of the fronts of our bodies being tight; both from working body mechanics, and emotional posturing. 

When we start supine, it allows you, the client, to easily communicate with me; and make eye contact if necessary.

Depending on the body/day, I may start at the head, or at the feet. 

Either way, I address the body from the extremities, to the center.

After the head/feet come the nearest limbs; finishing off in the center/abdominal region. 

Because of the sedentary nature of the work some people do these days, the psoas muscles may be chronically shortened, causing lower back discomfort; which may need to be addressed. It is most easily and effectively accessed via the abdominal region. 

Whether we approach the psoas, depends on symptoms. The Lauterstein Method for the psoas is gentle.

We will then turn over, after a final pass over the head/neck/feet, gently lengthening your spine, before laying prone. 

"Prone" means face down.

Once you are prone, I start on the hips and glutes, then move on to the legs and feet, and THEN I address your back. 

By the time we approach your back, everything that is attached to it, that may have been pulling on it, has potentially disengaged, so that there is now plenty of slack for the tissues on the backside to move.

With so much more slack, it is easier for me to locate the trigger points (knots) that need to be specifically addressed, directly and gently.

I soothe your tissues via compression and deep, long strokes; as well as superficial strokes--hopefully taking you out of your mental space & into enjoying the novel sensations in your body.

That may be a big part of neurological relaxation, via massage: taking us out of our mental ruminations of possibilities, responsibilities, past and future stressors...and into the "safe present" that we currently inhabit, and *can remember* that we inhabit, maybe, because we are allowing ourselves to be respectfully and conscientiously touched, by another person. We are safe.

We end the session supine; so that your sinuses may drain, and I can assess the changes in your neck and shoulders, as well as finish the session with a scalp massage. 

By the the time you are ready to sit upright, you should be able to breathe clearly; and your body may feel more balanced and mobile. 

It's not mashing on muscles that does the work--it's your nervous system feeling safe enough to disengage the muscles that are (sometimes chronically) ready for action.

Every body is different; I address your unique tissues as I work my way through the different parts of your vessel--providing you a more holistic approach, that is tailored to you and what you do with your body. 

The same benefits are achievable from a side-lying position...which is how I prefer do it now, in the Viral Age.

We can access both the front, and back of the body, from a side-lying position. 

Folks who don't like to lay face down, because it's challenging to breathe at that angle, can breathe more easily; alternatively, it's also more comfortable for folks who have issues breathing while on their backs. 

If clients don't like to lay face down, they could receive the entire session side-lying, if that is their preference; otherwise, alternate it with laying prone, and perhaps supine for foot/leg work.

I recommend a long pillow/prenatal pillow for supporting their bodies while laying on their side; otherwise a few standard pillows will do the job--either way: they will need pillows to properly support their body, so that their muscles may better disengage/relax during the session. 

Look into "bolstering for myofascial/trigger point release," and it might just blow your mind. 

Wow... my mind is blown. 

When this lock-down began, I was so looking forward to providing bodywork again. 

Then I had the opportunity to get paid to provide contactless self-care support...and stave off filing for unemployment.

Prior to that, I had already started producing self-care videos, to keep myself optimistically occupied as a processed my distress. 

The state re-opened, the gig ended; and still not able to massage...and I realized that I didn't miss it. 

That enjoyed providing care education, vs. providing the care myself...and I recognize that the last 2 decades of my life have prepared me to do *just this*.....

I don't know what the future will bring; and I feel ready.

Copyright  MNH 2010-2020