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Hi All:

I have been using heat packs in the past to help loosen up tight muscles before I go in. I know a tiny bit of myofascial work, but that's about it. Right now I have two clients that even with heat, the muscles (erectors and longissimus) take forever to yield. One has so little change, I'm thinking of not even using them (the packs)  in the future.

Maybe I'm being unrealistic in my expectations, but I'm not satisfied with the results thus far. Anyone have any suggestions that I can use that so I can avoid plowing my clients into oblivion in a fruitless effort?

Thanks in advance!

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It is always a mistake to condemn a technique one has not experienced, or even read about. Criticism in such a manner begets animosity between two top notch therapists. 

And once again, the thread was led astray from the discussion question.  Joyce mentioned upper back only peripherally.  Her question concerned hypertonicity in MID back erectors, specifically longissimus, and whether heat treatments were likely to help.  Thoracic paraspinal hypertonicity unlikely to be affected by sidelying work on psoas or pec minor. 

To take this line of thinking a step further, consider palpating the whole body to see what else may be involved vs just what you think may be tight, it may suprise you.  If you want to learn to hone your palpation skills, consider learning more about Aston Kinetics.  Join my AK group if you want to know more.

Michelle, thats what I do.  I palpapte the entire body, and go from there. I have a simple approach. Whatever or where ever I find sore spots, tender spots, withdrawl reflexes, jump sign( trigger points). My goal then is to eliminate them. If Im able to do that.  The clients probleis over. My experience anyway.

Michelle Wald said:

To take this line of thinking a step further, consider palpating the whole body to see what else may be involved vs just what you think may be tight, it may suprise you.  If you want to learn to hone your palpation skills, consider learning more about Aston Kinetics.  Join my AK group if you want to know more.

of course  any skilled therapist scans the entire body: that is a given.  We have no reason to doubt Joyce's palpatory skills. Perhaps we all could benefit from training in Aston.  But a specific issue was mentioned that she needs help with now.  For a specific issue, specific advice was offered that might benefit her and her clients now.

I use side lying to get those thoracic paraspinals quite often, heat, not so much, if you have your client roll the top shoulder back (sl rotation) a bit you can get to different angles of the attachments.

I thought I was giving specific advice for a specific issue, it just doesn't sound like what you tipically hear. As a 20+ year veteran, I find that guessing and recipies are not the answer all the time(helpful to a point), but really feeling the specific tensions in the body and releasing them can get you very far most of the time, resulting in whole body balance. Most Palpations are very general and as you go along. This is about palpating all the parts in relation to each other as a whole body perspective-people often already have an idea of what they will find vs what really is. Do some work and check again! If an area is tight and will not release, another area is "controlling," meaning until you find and address those areas, it will not respond. It may not be where you think it should be! For example calf tension can really influence the upper back and neck. The body is always trying to find balance. PS also take a look at them in standing, this may also help you hone in.

 BTW, I do believe all could benefit from Aston training for a  high level of Assessment, palpation, specificity of releases, practice longevity and ergonomics.  Work smarter not harder! Judith Aston has been practicing and teaching for over 45 years!

Gary you look like you could do TP work all day long! Good for you-Guy thumbs;)

Here is a good way to see Calf/Neck relationship.

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Gary & Gordon,

You have both made an assumption that this is a technique I know little about or have not experienced.  Please note that I didn't say the at the technique was wrong, inappropriate, or that it shouldn't be tried/used. I stated that I don't like it, which is perfectly within my rights. I have indeed experienced it, and I don't like it at all, I won't use it, and I won't continue to see a therapist who insists it's the best/only way to treat any specific issue I have. This is my personal preference, and I am absolutely entitled to it. Different techniques work for different people. What relaxes one may tighten another up completely, which is exactly what tapping on a tendon does to me. Please also note that I stated quite clearly that the brain does indeed control everything.  I just use a different method to access it, and get it to give the signals I want to the muscle(s) about pain signals, proprioception, and movement. Hopefully, this will be the end of this mess.

 
Gary W Addis, LMT said:

It is always a mistake to condemn a technique one has not experienced, or even read about. Criticism in such a manner begets animosity between two top notch therapists. 

And once again, the thread was led astray from the discussion question.  Joyce mentioned upper back only peripherally.  Her question concerned hypertonicity in MID back erectors, specifically longissimus, and whether heat treatments were likely to help.  Thoracic paraspinal hypertonicity unlikely to be affected by sidelying work on psoas or pec minor. 

Kay, I did not say that tapping the tendons is the only way. Working side lying is also not the only way. Tapping tendons is a very small part of my tool kit. And I even said that.  And when I do use that technique I of course do not brutalize my clients. Oh, and guess what. I would not use that technique on anyone that did not like it.  And the technique works beautifully on most headache people with masseter pain.  Again, this is only one technique. IF someones jaw hurts and has had a headache for three days I use everything in my tool kit to help them.  This is only one technique I would use, and its a cool one and it works often.  The client is lying on their back.  I have them place their tongue between their teeth. Then I tap the the tendons of the digastricus for about 30  seconds.  Then recheck the masseter and headache.  Often times the jaw pain is gone and the head is gone or down graded.  A client yesterday that had TMJ and jaw pain for weeks.  I  did that technique on her the week before. It was not there yesterday. She said yea.  You took it out last week. Im sure there are more ways to help jaw pain then there are stars in the sky. So its not the only way. But its cool. 

Kay Warren said:

Gary & Gordon,

You have both made an assumption that this is a technique I know little about or have not experienced.  Please note that I didn't say the at the technique was wrong, inappropriate, or that it shouldn't be tried/used. I stated that I don't like it, which is perfectly within my rights. I have indeed experienced it, and I don't like it at all, I won't use it, and I won't continue to see a therapist who insists it's the best/only way to treat any specific issue I have. This is my personal preference, and I am absolutely entitled to it. Different techniques work for different people. What relaxes one may tighten another up completely, which is exactly what tapping on a tendon does to me. Please also note that I stated quite clearly that the brain does indeed control everything.  I just use a different method to access it, and get it to give the signals I want to the muscle(s) about pain signals, proprioception, and movement. Hopefully, this will be the end of this mess.

 
Gary W Addis, LMT said:

It is always a mistake to condemn a technique one has not experienced, or even read about. Criticism in such a manner begets animosity between two top notch therapists. 

And once again, the thread was led astray from the discussion question.  Joyce mentioned upper back only peripherally.  Her question concerned hypertonicity in MID back erectors, specifically longissimus, and whether heat treatments were likely to help.  Thoracic paraspinal hypertonicity unlikely to be affected by sidelying work on psoas or pec minor. 

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I just re- read this entire thread. People are passionate about what they do. It's like the karate guy and the judo arguing about which is better. So I will try hard not to comment on this thread any more. Lol

Daniel, I'm confused by what you mean by "side of the muscle." Do you mean the attachments?

Daniel Cohen said:

Don't fight the muscle pushing down on the belly of it. Push from the side of the muscle.

If the erectors and such are significantly hypertonic, I prefer to use a side-lying position. For neck muscles, reciprocal inhibition works very well to soften a tight muscle before deeper work begins, especially in the anterior neck.

Push at a right angle to the muscle fibers as apposed to directly down or with the muscle fibers.  I think thats what he means, because thats what I would do.

Marlene Mayman said:

Daniel, I'm confused by what you mean by "side of the muscle." Do you mean the attachments?

Daniel Cohen said:

Don't fight the muscle pushing down on the belly of it. Push from the side of the muscle.

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