Healthcare and Medicine Reference
In-Depth Information
the same amount of attention, or been able to react as
quickly, so that, other things being equal, it was more
prone to injury. In any case, it illustrates the need to
watch the story within the body itself as well as the cli-
ent's rendition, which must be listened to carefully yet
taken with a pinch of salt.
This chapter introduced a method of postural analy-
sis - or, more specifically, habitual patterns of overall
compensation - which adds to the efficiency and effi-
cacy of manual/movement therapies. A single chapter
is necessarily introductory, and we offer an expanded
presentation in DVD form (DVD ref: BodyReading 101).
The great advantages of using the Anatomy Trains myo-
fascial meridians approach in such an analysis are
• it encourages the development of a common
terminology that could speak across multiple
treatment methods;
• this description can also be commonly understood
by clients and others outside the profession;
• the description is objective, internal to each person,
and value-free;
• it leads to specific treatment plans which are
testable hypotheses.
This is not intended to deny the value of other
approaches; we have seen many times that almost any
point of entry into viewing the human system can ulti-
mately be followed to a useful description. This global
pattern assessment myofascial meridians approach pro-
gresses from the skeletal geometry to a strategy for soft-
tissue or movement work without resorting to such
value-laden statements as "She's depressed", or "He
doesn't breathe properly," or "She is not grounded
because she hasn't worked out her 'father' issues." On
the other hand, it does allow us to set a personal and
inclusive context where the client is viewed not simply as
'a frozen shoulder' or 'an ACL tear' or a pair of flat feet.
It is the fond hope of the author, and of the many
people who have contributed to the ideas herein, that
this scheme or something like it can begin to bridge the
gaps not only among modalities but also between
the artist and the scientist who lives within each of us.
The same two tendencies, of course, stretch within every
one of the manual and movement therapy communities,
as well as across the profession as a whole. this topic is
dedicated to the tireless work of these diverse people
who, together, created the renaissance of hands-on and
movement healing.
1. Do the assessment in front of a
full-length mirror, with both you and
the client looking at the image
Especially for those clients who are new to this, being
looked at in your underwear while being assessed (and
perhaps found wanting) can be too reminiscent of bad
dating or medical experiences for many people. A lot of
these feelings can be circumvented by standing your
client in front of the mirror, standing behind and a little
to the side (so that you can see both their back directly
and their front in the mirror), and asking them what
they see. Most people in the Western world have a long
and detailed list about what is wrong with their body,
and a short and vague list about what is right. But
putting them in front of a mirror puts you both on the
same team, rather than adversaries.
2. Notice your first impression
Your first impression carries a wealth of information,
only some of which may rise to your awareness. 1 3 Learn
to catch the fleeting perceptions you have on first glance,
as they so often contain insights which will only become
clear to you later. Do not speak it to the client, but note
it for yourself. It is surprising to us how often a student's
initial and uneducated assessment turns out to be correct
down the road.
3. Note a minimum of three positive
aspects first
We noted some positive aspects in each of the analyses
above. It is surprising how many practitioners only talk
about the client's problems and shortcomings. Patients
come to us with problems they want solved, so it is
natural for both of us to tend to focus on the problems.
At any given moment, however, far more is going right
in the person in front of you than is going wrong. Be
very careful not to reduce your client to a set of faults.
Doing so can be damaging for the client - it is no boost
to the self-esteem to be given a long list of areas in which
your carriage or movement falls short of the ideal.
Focusing only on the problems can also be bad for
the practitioner - you can miss the strengths that will
help carry you and your client over the rough patches
to whatever new territory you stake out. Good skin
speaks to a responsive nervous system; stolidity can
indicate good grounding; an eager smile denotes an
enthusiasm of which you can make use - noting these
things to yourself, or, better yet, aloud to the client, can
ease the way toward a discussion of real goals, as well
as showing you where the client's current physiology
may be of real help.
Subjective elements
In order to round out the 'artistic' side of bodyreading,
we include some more subjective suggestions for using
these ideas in practice.
While the method above is supremely useful in
finding our way to work, the less objectifiable assess-
ments nevertheless have significant value. The follow-
ing four elements can be included, depending on the
predilection of the practitioner or the client, into the
process of visual assessment:
h. Describe the issues you see in the
objective language outlined above
The tilt-bend-shift-rotate language is less value-laden,
and therefore less judgmental, than many other ways of
stating the client's problems. These descriptions will
lead you into Step 1 of the five-step process outlined
above. The discipline of reducing each thing you see to
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