Table dance

      3 Comments on Table dance

I did a massage a couple of days ago that made me very happy.

The client was someone I have worked on several times before. Since the last time I worked with her, she had shoulder surgery to remove bony growths from the acromion, and was having a rough time in the months following surgery. At present, she’s experiencing extremely limited shoulder mobility. External rotation and flexion of the shoulder joint are rather limited, and what movement she seems to have comes from her scapula becoming hyper mobile rather than the normal motion at the rotator cuff.

After spending some time sizing up the situation, I finally got her on the table, prone. She’s a fairly trim woman, so her scapula were readily visible. And in a relaxed prone position, arms at her side, the scapula on the left side (the side of the surgery) was about two inches higher than the other side, and the inferior point of the scap was winged up and off the ribs in a dramatic fashion.

After a pause to soak it in, I got to work. I am a big burly guy, and the client is trim, athletic woman, perhaps a bit smaller than average. And in some areas, she was calling for just about all the pressure and intensity I could deliver. It’s humbling when I’m leaning the majority of my body weight through my elbow into her erectors and rhomboids and she’s calling for more. I even rolled her supine and did work on her subscap, working with my fingers buried deep in her axilla, something that no one seems to enjoy.

After a lot of work, I’m convinced that her subscap is playing a considerable role in restricting her shoulder movement; it’s in just the right location to resist extension and external rotation.

After over an hour, I got her left scap lying flat, and within 1/4″ – 1/2″ of the elevation of its companion. Which felt like just a huge accomplishment. I’m not naive enough to think that one session will magically make everything better, but if it gives relief long enough to interrupt the “pain-spasm-pain-spasm” cycle, it might open the door for things to start improving. I’m only sad that I live so far away from this client and can’t work on her more often. It would be fascinating to see how this would evolve with a few more timely sessions.

Great practice! It’s good to know I still have some chops.

3 thoughts on “Table dance

  1. elvisneedsboats

    Wow, that description made me go “ow ow ow!” I don’t think I’d be good at doing that sort of thing–I’d be too busy shuddering.

    By the way, I think both you and Mags lost me in the shuffle of me changing my LJ name–the way I did it required people to refriend me afterward (long story)–this is Shelley (formerly known on LJ as shellah).

    There’s been a lot going on here lately, beginning with this post and culminating with surgery on Feb 21. I’m home recovering for perhaps another week, then back to work…

    1. browse Post author

      Yup. I’ve done about 400 hours of massage therapy training. I’ve done one class in Table Shiatsu, but everything else has been pretty clinical modalities. I’ll admit in advance that I don’t have much affinity for what they call “energy work”. I’m pretty left-brained about that.

      The challenge is that my training was all out of state, and I’m having trouble finding an OR massage school that will let me do just another 100+ hours so I could get my OR state massage license. The OR schools seem very focused on teaching the entire program from start to finish. Oh well, I’ll find a school eventually.


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