resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
Term Limits: What's in a Word?
It was the French historian and philosopher Voltaire who once declared the Holy Roman Empire was neither holy nor Roman nor an empire.
Marijuana, Apathy and Chinese Medicine, Part 1
This article was written in response to the unheeded acceptance of marijuana as a harmless substance that potentially does good when used for the medical relief of pain.
5 Tips for Using Pinterest to Market Your Practice
Pinterest is a very popular, but often under-utilized, social media platform where people can bookmark, or "pin," fun and interesting things from all across the internet.
Talking to Patients About Lumbar Facet Denervation (Medial Branch Neurotomy)
Lumbar facet denervation, more appropriately termed medial branch neurotomy (MBN), is a procedure that may be considered when patients suffer from recalcitrant non-radicular axial back and/or leg pain.
Turning a Blind Eye to History – and Reality
The American Medical Association is taking the Supreme Court's Feb. 25, 2015 decision exactly as it always does – by turning a blind eye to history, legal precedent and reality.
Animal Acupuncture: A Case Study in the Treatment of Traumatic Injury in the Equine
The rise of animal acupuncture in the U.S. began in the early 1970's as a result of the work by members of the National Acupuncture Association in Westwood, Calif.
Applying the Thin Skull Principle
The "thin skull" principle, also known as the "you take your victim as you find them" principle, is a legal principle that can be summed up by the following statement.
The Acupuncturist's Problem
I want share with you some observations and insights into what seems to be the most common problem my colleagues in the acupuncture profession struggles with. If you also struggle with this problem, I hope you get a valuable "aha" moment from reading this.
A House Divided?
The American Chiropractic Association's House of Delegates voted on 30 resolutions at its annual business meeting in Washington D.C., but two in particular took immediate center stage due to their controversial nature.
Sleep, Less Sleep or No Sleep?
I had a dream I wasn't getting enough sleep. It was a very realistic dream, even though I was probably slightly awake and not really deep dreaming. Most likely I had been dozing, caught in that twilight of sleep and wakefulness.
Low Back Pain in Professional Golf: A Common Muscular Relationship
Every sport creates its own unique demands on the body. Some sports require such a myriad of body positions that assessing pathology is often difficult and unpredictable.
Medicine is Clumsy, Don't You Be
All medical systems have clumsiness in them. If the technique isn't, the practitioner is. Everyone in every form of medicine is striving to improve. That is why we call it practice.
Integrating Art with Clinical Practice for Patients with PTSD: The Artemis Project
Are you restricted by those one-on-one clinic dynamics? Why not join colleagues and clients in experimental group settings? Three of us volunteered to do just that in Austin on behalf of women veteranss from all branches of the service.
How Much Do You Know About the Benefits of Birds Nest?
Edible bird's nest is the nest made by the Swiftlet bird of Southeast Asia that is usually prepared as a soup and prized in Chinese culture as a healthful delicacy.
Functional Hip Impingement (Part 1)
Every time I sit down to write an article, I realize how much more there is to know about musculoskeletal pain. I also learn something new every time. (I want to give special thanks to Lucy Whyte Ferguson for assisting with this article.)
PCOM Granted Regional Accreditation
Pacific College of Oriental Medicine (PCOM) recently announce it has received regional accreditation from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC). This achievement reflects five years of hard work on the part of faculty, staff, and students.
The Tide is Rising in the Acupuncture Profession
Former President Ronald Regan said, "When the tide rises all boats float." The tide is rising for the acupuncture profession. Many forces outside the profession are helping the tides to rise.
The Challenges of Integrating Eastern and Western Medicine
My Masters thesis was titled, "The Challenges of Integrating Eastern and Western Medicine," which highlighted several reasons why it is hard for these two worlds to mix.
5 Simple Steps to Create an Effective Marketing Calendar
In the educational experience of most healthcare practitioners, business and marketing are overlooked topics.
A View From the ER
The University of Western States has inked an innovative agreement with local nonprofit health system Legacy Health whereby UWS sports-medicine fellows can experience observational clinical rotations in emergency-room settings within the Legacy system.
March, 2012, Vol. 12, Issue 03
A New Method for Dealing with Hip Rotators
By Shari Auth, MA, Lac., LMT, NCBTMB
Remember "Piece Goods Often Go On Quilts" or as my anatomy teacher taught us, "Pirformis and the Go-Go Queens?" Both are memorization tools for recalling the names of the six deep lateral rotators of the hip.The first letter of both phrases corresponds to the first letter of one of the rotators (i.e. piriformis, gemellus superior, obtuator internus, etc.) Left-brain knowledge crammed in during massage school all to be forgotten later, with the exception of the fashionable piriformis. We may have forgotten the names, but in clinical practice, hip rotators are hard to forget. Tight hip rotators contribute to lumbago, sciatica, turn-out in the legs and feet, and just plain old hip pain in people who travel, sit or clench too much.
Clients hip rotators can be contracted and short for a long time before prompting them to see a massage therapist. For the average person, yogis and dancers aside, this is one of those hard-to-reach, hard-to-stretch and overall unconscious places.
The Auth Method is a system of massage that makes the health and well-being of the practitioner's body the priority, without sacrificing results. The method was developed with the belief that with the right tools, technique and body mechanics, performing massage can be effortless. In the Auth Method, the forearms are the preferred massage tool for the majority of massage work for a few reasons. The forearms are more durable massage tools than the hands, fingers or thumbs, so you can work longer on your clients with less wear and tear on your body. When it comes to hip rotators, this durability provides a strong tool for getting into the deep muscles of the pelvis. Let's face it, the hands, fingers and thumbs are no match for the large muscles of the hips.
Massaging the hip rotators with the fingers or thumbs can be pokey and uncomfortable for the client. When using the forearms, you have a broad surface area of contact, so the sensation is smooth and not pokey. This broad contact is ideal for working larger muscles groups because you can massage more of your clients in less time. Finally, the forearms are perfect for leaning into. I recommend using body weight instead of muscular force when massaging. Using muscular force is exhausting and runs the risk of working too deep. By using body weight, you'll naturally sink to the first layer of tight tissue; as that layer releases, you'll sink to the next layer of tight tissue. Work patiently, layer by layer, to create a deep tissue massage experience that is painless for your client and effortless for you.
Stretch and Release
Placing a muscle in a stretched position while performing massage is a wonderful tool for a massage therapist, because it intensifies the massage without further taxing the massage therapist. Extra effort by the therapist isn't needed for the recipient to receive deeper work. This comes in handy when you're working on a large or muscular client. Taking a muscle off the stretch softens the muscle and allows the practitioner to sink deeper into the muscle. Alternating between putting a muscle on and off the stretch while massaging is an effective technique for releasing a muscle. It incorporates all the benefits of stretching with massage, coupled with the benefits of taking a muscle off the stretch.
First Things First: Warming Up the Hip
Because the hip rotators are deep to the gluteus maximus, it is necessary to first massage the gluteus maximus. After the gluteus maximus has released, it is easier to contact and work with the deep rotators. With your client in prone position, undrape their hip. Tuck the drape securely under either leg. The drape should cover the client's midline. Effleurage the hip and leg, sufficiently spreading oil throughout. Stand alongside the table at the level of your client's anterior superior iliac spine facing down the table toward their feet. Spread your legs a legs-length apart with either leg in front. If the leg closest to the table is in front, try leaning your hip against the table for comfort. Rest your forearm closest to your client just below the iliac crest with your elbow skimming the lateral border of the sacrum. Be mindful to use your upper forearm versus your middle of lower forearm. Using the upper forearm provides you with more leverage.
Rest your other hand on your client's leg. (Image 1) Gradually lean your body weight onto your forearm and sink into your client's hip muscles. The massage table should be low enough that you can comfortably drop your body weight onto your client and high enough that your back is straight. Glide down your client's hips, tracing the border of the sacrum with the edge of your forearm and ending the stroke at the ischial tuberosity. Keep your forearm parallel with the massage table so you have a broad base of contact, this will ensure that your massage stroke isn't too pokey. (Image 2) Repeat the stroke as needed to warm up the hip and release the gluteus maximus.
Deep Hip Rotators
To massage the hip rotators with a stretch, pick up your client's ankle and bend their knee to 90 degrees. (Image 3) Repeat the same hip stroke with the knee bent; when you reach the vicinity of the rotators, about halfway down the sacrum, move their ankle and lower leg laterally. (Image 4) This will put the hip rotators on a stretch. You will feel the rotators become taut as they are being stretched. This taut quality will increase the intensity of the massage for your client, so be mindful not to overstretch or apply too much body weight onto the area. You may only have to move the ankle a couple of inches until the rotators have an adequate stretch — proceed slowly. By massaging the hip rotators in the stretched position, you are able to release tight hip rotators as well as lengthen short hip rotators.
Slowly bring the ankle back so it's hovering over the knee, releasing the stretch in the rotators, softening the tissue and allowing you to sink in deeper on the rotators. Repeat this stretch and release over the entire region of the rotators, increasing the stretch as necessary, moving slow and steady. This is a deep and often tight area for our clients. Encourage your clients to breath into their hips during this work. This will relax them and promote circulation in the area.
Releasing tight rotators can reduce turn-out in the legs, changing the alignment through your client's lower body. I have noticed that my clients are more grounded, centered and relaxed after receiving deep bodywork in the hips. Check in with your own body when massaging. Be conscious of keeping your shoulders relaxed, back straight and legs active. Remember, this is your time, too. At the end of the massage, if our clients are more relaxed but we are more tense, we have only succeeded in transferring tension rather than reducing it. Massage, even in deep areas of the body, can and should be easy on your body.
Shari Auth, MA, Lac., LMT, NCBTMB, is a licensed massage therapist and acupuncturist, and is certified in the Rolf method of structural integra-tion. 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 more information, visit www.authmethod.com or www.shariauth.com.
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