Healthcare and Medicine Reference
Fig. 3.24 The deepest level of the spinal musculature demonstrates three primary patterns: spinous process to transverse process,
spinous process to spinous process, and transverse process to transverse process. The more superficial muscles can be analyzed as
ever-longer express versions of these primary locals.
chest to thigh
It is very important that the client stay grounded in
his feet, pushing back against your pressure from his
feet, but not from the back or neck. This technique
should be totally comfortable for the client; desist imme-
diately if it is painful. Your pressure should be more
down the back than forward.
For more specific work, a knuckle may be used as an
applicator, and a 'seeing' elbow is also good for getting
heavier work done.
There is a variation that can be good in the case of a
kyphotic spine, but may only be applied to those with
a strong lower back. Lower back pain during this tech-
nique contraindicates the treatment. Have your client
begin the spinal flexion movement as detailed above.
When your applicator (fist, elbow, knuckle) is at the
most posterior part of the thoracic curve (which is likely
to be the tightest, most frozen area as well), instruct your
client to 'curve in the opposite direction; bring your
sternum to the wall in front of you'. Maintain your posi-
tion in the back as he opens into hyperextension with
flexed hips (somewhat like a figurehead on the old
ships). This can produce dramatic opening in the chest
and thoracic spine.
These techniques can be repeated a number of times,
within a session or in successive sessions, without nega-
tive effect - as long as it remains pleasurable, not painful,
for the client.
Fig. 3.25 Working the erector spinae and associated fascia in
eccentric contraction from a bench is a very effective way of
creating change in the myofascial function around the spine.
The assessment can turn into treatment very easily by
putting your hand gently on a stiff area and encourag-
ing your client to find the bend or movement in that part
of the spine. More assertive manual treatment can also
follow. Stand behind the bench, and as the client begins
to roll forward with the chin slightly tucked, place the
dorsal surface of all the proximal phalanges (in English:
an open, soft fist) on both sides of the spine at the level
of the cervicothoracic junction. Move down as the client
curls forward, keeping pace with him, moving tissue
down and out or down and in (depending on the 'moun-
tains' and 'valleys') as you go. You should reach the
sacral fascia at about the same time he is fully forward,
Many techniques for general traction and stretching of
neck tissues, as well as muscle-specific techniques for
cervical musculature, have been well documented else-
where, and these can be effectively used in terms of the
SBL (DVD ref: Superficial Back Line, 1:00:00-1:02:20). The
deepest layers of muscles (the suboccipital 'star') are
crucial to opening up the entire SBL; indeed, the rectus
capitis posterior and obliquus capitis muscles can be
considered the functional centerpieces of the SBL (Fig.
3.26). The high number of stretch receptors in these