Let’s talk about some common massage problems. First up: Invisible Jean Shorts Syndrome. This is where a massage therapist conspicuously stops massage techniques far before their logical conclusion, as if the client were wearing a pair of jean shorts from the 1990s.
Your massage therapist starts a lovely stroke down your back, your spine starts to decompress, the pressure is perfect and… they stop at L2, thwarted as if by a force field. They’re traveling up the hamstrings, really ironing them out, the world is wonderful, and… they stop 6 inches from your ischial tuberosity.
Now, I don’t mean to make you feel bad if you’ve got issues about the gluteal region. That’s fine, that’s not unusual, and it’s something that we’ll talk about in the future. If, however, you’ve got no issues with the glutes: There’s something uniquely frustrating, as a client, about a technique half-delivered!
When you’re thinking myofascial work, consider the origin and insertion sites, then go PAST them. Work broadly, integrating the body even as you target specific parts. Becoming too single-minded and focused can result in a disjointed “story of the body,” something that can reinforce people’s disconnection from their “bad shoulder,” “bad ankle,” etc.
It’s easy to get worried about intruding on people’s personal space, but that’s a matter of communication. You can ask your client specifically about the hip region, and ask them to let you know if they’re ever uncomfortable. I’ll repeat this on the table, saying, “Let me know if I’m too far into your personal space.” This seems to set a lot of minds at ease, including my own.
Let me know what you think. Are you hesitant about working toward the pelvis? Let’s talk about it.
And yes, I spent about 20 minutes lovingly applying jean shorts to da Vinci’s Vitruvian Man. You’re welcome.