Sidelying is something few massage therapists use. But it’s extraordinarily helpful in treatment. Everything from the QL to the scalenes to the ITB and peroneals is laid out for you. It’s an easy place to mobilize the whole spine in a greater range of motion than you can access prone or supine. The effects are stellar.
Picture the client sideylying with their knees up so their hips are at 90 degrees. Imagine yourself at the head of the table, looking down the body at the shoulder and the ribcage. Magic is about to happen!
- The serratus is available all the way from rib 1-8. If you hold their arm, or they have it overhead with the biceps resting on the ear, the position allows you to slack the superficial tissues and come in through the armpit to get all the way to the top attachments.
- The pec and lat are right in front of you. Imagine the client with their arm overhead, the biceps near the ear. Both muscles are easy to take in your hand, lift and move. Or you can hold the arm with one hand and work a muscle with the other.
- The SCM is free, and you can lift it away from the neck for a deep release.
- Because you have access to the arm, they can reach as you hold a point, or you can take one of their arms and use it as a handle to stretch whatever muscle you want to work on.
- The rotator cuff is easy to access. If they have shoulder impingement, you can lift the arm, managing the range of motion and tractioning it while you work on the rotator cuff. That should help greatly to make the G-H joint happy.
- Half the ribcage is free in sidelying. That means you can move each entire rib – or the whole half ribcage – without impediment from the sternum to the spine.
- Now, in your imagination, move so that the sidelying patient is facing away from you.
What a fabulous position to mobilize the ribs and spine by pressing forward!
You can also twist-mobilize them in both directions to stretch everything from the psoas to the abdominals to the erectors.
Perfect place to release QL! Come to the backmost part of the side body, then lean in with the side of your hand or double thumbs. The QL is meaty and available in this position.
- The psoas is accessible even in pregnant people, or people with stored energy on their bellies, because the fetus (or the fat) moves out of the way in sidelying.
- Then, you can come to the edge of the rectus and diagonal in toward the spine.
- To release the iliacus, come up under the ASIS like you’re going in, then up into an underwater cave Draw the pelvis toward you to increase your contact with the muscle.
- You can mobilize the hip, S/I, lumbar spine, ribcage ( on both sides!!!!! – just by having their knees up and sliding one femur along the other. You can take a contact on the PSIS, greater trochanter, or even the kneecap to do this.
Please look at the attached video for a little more instruction:
And please use sidelying more!
Finally, if you want to know more about working with sidelying, Contact me here.