Let’s Wrap It Up!

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By Sharon Truelove

The challenges of avoiding injury in the process of stretching a client that may be twice my size motivated me to find and use techniques that protect myself, and also create a feeling of safety and security for my client and still give my client a thorough stretch.

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Many years ago, I read a fascinating article about using sheets to help stretch and do range of motion on clients. I tried the techniques and loved them. They took the effort out of stretching my client and also allowed me to give them a much better stretch. Since then I’ve expanded this method for use on various body areas. I want to share some of my most used stretches using this wonderful technique.

First you will need a length of material about 60” in length and approximately 36” wide

  • Muslin purchased from a fabric store with the raw edges hemmed works very well

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Torso Twist

Take the muslin and fold in half twice length-wise

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  1. Have your client lie supine on the massage table
  2. Stand on the client’s right side
  3. Anchor one end of the muslin between your thigh and the table’s edge
  4. Ask the client to arch their back
  5. Push the other end of the folded muslin under the client pulling it through until it is tight
  6. 14Ask the client to put their left arm across their chest
  7. Support and pull their left shoulder up with your left hand
  8. With your right hand pull the muslin on the client’s left side up to and under their left shoulder
  9. Gently lower you client’s shoulder onto the muslin
  10. With the loose end of the muslin cradle their left  shoulder
  11. 10Have the client bend their right knee and put the right foot on the outside of their left leg
  12. Make sure there is not slack in the length of muslin by wrapping the length through your left fist (and if need be, wrap the remaining length around your left wrist and back through the same fist)
  13. Make sure you are firmly grounded in your body mechanics
  14. Have the client take a deep breath and release it as you smoothly pull the cradled shoulder toward you with the fisted muslin while holding the client’s right knee in place
  15. Hold for at least 20 seconds
  16. Repeat on the other side

Hamstring Stretch

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  1. Fold the muslin as for the Torso Twist
  2. Client is supine on the table
  3. Stand facing the head of the table on the client’s right side
  4. Gently reach under the medial side of the client’s right knee with your right arm lift and cradle the leg while passing a muslin end under their leg with your left hand pulling it through about half way
  5. 8Lay the client’s right leg down
  6. Holding both ends of the muslin together,  gently pull till there is no slack
  7. proceed to the head of the table and face the foot of the table
  8. 7Put yourself in a lunge position and have the client take a deep breath and release it as you smoothly pull the cradled leg toward the top of their head and right shoulder
  9. Hold for at least 20 seconds
  10. Repeat on the other side.

Piriformis Stretch

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  1. Fold the muslin as for the Torso Twist
  1. Client is supine on the table
  2. Stand facing the head of the table on the client’s right side
  3. Gently reach under the medial side of the client’s right knee and with your right arm lift and cradle the leg
  4. place the arch of their right foot on your right shoulder
  5. pass the muslin end under the lifted leg with your left hand pulling it through about half way with the right hand
  6. Pull both ends of the muslin together around the client’s right ankle
  7. 21gently pull till there is no slack
  8. proceed to the head of the table and face the foot of the table
  9. Put yourself in a lunge position and have the client take a deep breath and release it as you smoothly pull the cradled ankle toward the top of their left shoulder on a plane parallel with the floor
  10. Hold for at least 20 seconds
  11. Repeat on the other side

 

Please share these stretches with your friends and family…….watch them try to offer themselves as guinea pigs!

Let us know your thoughts as you try the stretches above and see for yourself how easy they are. It truly takes the ’hard’ work out of stretching your client.

15 thoughts on “Let’s Wrap It Up!”

  1. I took “Doula Classes” before Massage Therapy and I learned something like this that was used way before Epidural was invented, and that is, taking the stretchable clean cloth and put under the back, then pull up on mother and it relieves any back labor or just back pain. Very interesting!

  2. Just recently learned these techniques a few weeks ago. Although I have not carried it full out, I noticed a difference in my own body right away. It released a strain. Espcially with me being short, it’s easier on my back.

  3. Cool! This looks like a much cooler/better modification for the torso twist! I’ll have to try it out! 😀

  4. I remember learning this in alpha and thank you very much because it helps with my bigger male clients

  5. Sharon showed this to us when i was an Alpha, I love it. It takes the stress out of passive stretching your clients. I will use this in the future.

  6. This is an article that is very much appreciated. I will be using these techniques on my brothers that play sports! 🙂

  7. I have had the pleasure of having these techniques used on me and I just have to say that I love them. I can’t wait to learn how to do these myself so when I do stretch my clients will get the most out of it

  8. I never got to use this yet, but I have had had this done on me and I like it a lot better than doing it by grabbing and pulling. I like this better and can’t wait to use it later in the line of my years.

  9. Thank you so much for putting the measurements of the cloth! I love using your muslin to help me with stretches. It helps me not strain my body as much. I know using these techniques helped me with my level 5 tremendously.

  10. Using a sheet has helped so much, especially with larger clients. I am able to give them a better stretch with out putting too much strain on myself so everybody wins! I am so glad to see this blog and glad Sharon taught us about this in lab.

  11. I’ve really enjoyed everyone’s comments about the sheet massage. Thanks everyone for you input!