- Do the tissues resist, restrict, bind or do they stay relaxed on inhalation ?
- Compare what is happening under one hand with what is happening under the other during inhalation.
- Reverse the roles and have your partner assess you in the same manner to see which hand palpates the area of greatest bind on your inhalation.
1B.: Time suggested 5 to 7 minutes.
- Go back to the starting position where you are palpating your original partner who is
seated with you standing behind.
- The objective this time is to map the various areas of ‘restriction’ or bind in the thorax, anterior and posterior, as your partner inhales.
- In this exercise try not only to identify areas of bind but assign what you find into ‘large’ (several segments) and ‘small’ (single segment) categories.
- To commence place a hand, mainly fingers, on (say) the upper left upper thoracic area over the scapula, and have them inhale deeply several times, first with your partner seated comfortably hands on lap, and then with the arms folded on the chest (exposing more the costovertebral articulation).
- After several breathes with your hand in one position resite it a little lower, or more medially or laterally as appropriate, until the entire back has been ‘mapped’ in this way.
- Remember that you are not comparing how the tissues ‘feel’ on inhalation as compared with exhalation, but how different regions compare (in terms of ease and bind) with each other in response to inhalation.
- Map the entire back and front of the thorax in this way - for location of bind and for ‘size’
- Go back to any ‘large’ areas of bind and within them see whether you can identify any ‘small’ areas, using the same simple contact and inhalation as the motion component.
- Individual spinal segments can also be mapped by sequentially assessing them one at a time as they respond to inhalations.
- Switch so that your partner now has the opportunity to assess you.
- As you sit having your thorax assessed take the opportunity to ask yourself how you would normally handle the information you have uncovered in your ‘patient’.
- Would you try in some way to mobilise what appears to be restricted ?
- If so how ?
- Would your therapeutic focus be on the large areas of restriction or the small ones?
- Would you work on areas distant from or adjacent to the restricted areas?
- Would you try to achieve a release of the perceived restriction by trying to move it mechanically towards and through its resistance barrier, or would you rather be inclined to try to achieve release by some indirect approach, moving away from the restriction barrier ?
- Or do you try a variety of approaches, mixing and matching until the region under attention is free or improved ?
There are no correct or incorrect answers to these questions, however perhaps you can see that there exist methods which do not impose a solution but allow one to emerge.
1C.: The time allocation for this exercise is 5 to 7 minutes
Go back to the original ‘doctor/patient’ setting, with your partner seated, arms folded on the chest, and you standing behind with your listening hand/fingertips placed on the upper left thorax, on or around the scapula area.
- Your motive hand is placed at the cervico-dorsal junction so that it can indicate to your partner your request that s/he move forward of the midline not into flexion but in a manner which carries the head and upper torso anteriorly.