Monday, January 5, 2009

Movement Principles -- Employing Good Biomechanics

Massage therapy can be a physically demanding profession. That's why it is critical to pay attention to how we do our treatment as well as the consideration of what we do.

Using principles of physics, we can learn how to minimize the strain of most movements. I've come up with 10 movement principles that will help make your treatment less taxing and more effective at the some time.

There are always exceptions to the rules, but overall these principles can be utilized in most circumstances.

FYI: I intend to have video support soon to drive the information to you with more clarity. Do check back frequently as I will be adding and updating this blog on a regular basis. Here you go...


1)HANDS MOVE - BODY MOVES -- Get your body moving with your hands. Your body should move as a whole, and not as a collection of parts.

2)DIRECTION OF DRIVE -- The direction of force should be perpendicular to the contact point. Get your body to support your hand movements. Pay attention to the direction of force on any given move and the objective is to have the body supporting the line of drive as much as possible.

3)PUSH OFF FROM YOUR FEET -- Feel the energy coming up through the feet, up through the body, and out your hands.

4)FLEX AT YOUR KNEES AND HIPS -- Avoid bending at your waist.

5)KEEP HEAD CENTERED ON TORSO & try to maintain your spinal curves. Pay attention to where your head is in any given posture.

6)STAY CLOSE TO CONTACT POINT -- For most pressure movements, get up close to the contact point to maximize your leverage.

7)HEAD AND SPINE ELONGATE AS FORCE IS APPLIED -- Feel your head and torso lengthen as pressure is delivered. In simplified terms, besides the forward movement that occurs on any given move, consider up and down movement to create a lengthening in the torso.

8)THE BODY NEVER MOVES IN STRAIGHT LINES -- Create a wave like or rotational motion as force is released from your body.

9)IN A CHAIR - SIT FORWARD WITH LEGS STAGGERED -- Utilize the same principles used in standing. Sit at the end of the chair and sit in an upright posture. This will be the starting place. Create a wave like motion in the torso (up and forward and down and back).

10)BREATH AWARENESS -- Coordinate your breath during your treatment. Exhale on exertion.

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