Over the years, having given thousands of sessions, I realize that side-lying offers so many advantages that it could arguably be used in every session, not only in Trager but also in every school of bodywork.
Here are some of the advantages that I’ve found:
~The body in a side-lying position is similar to a piano keyboard with various body parts readily accessible at the same time.
~Most clients, when properly bolstered, are more comfortable and less resistant when lying on their sides.
~Clients who have been abused usually feel much safer, less vulnerable in the semi-fetal position that side-lying offers.
~Gravity can be used to great advantage because of the way it loads the joints and muscle tissue, hips, shoulders, abdomen.
~The shoulder girdle and hip of the side resting on the table is decompressed by gravity and movement and tension in the joint released non-reflexively.
~The therapist benefits from all the positioning advantages and thus doesn’t have to work so hard.
~There is comparatively little body surface in contact with the table so one can introduce movement with very little effort. Like a pendulum the further away a body part is from the table the easier it is to keep in motion.
~Small amounts of motion can be transmitted through the joints with very little effort and very pleasurable effect to the client.
Jack’s article on SLS is here.
Many bodyworkers/manual therapists must have learned side-lying work for pregnacy in massage schools and forget using it in sessions because many modalities don’t work on the side and rather, they use supine or prone for certain moves.
Think about this… We were all growing in fetal position, feeling the mother’s movement in the womb… Being rocked along her movements. Side-lying is the perfect position for a client to re-experience this soothing, comfortable and safe feeling in the session with so many benefits which come from this position.
Low back and neck pain, abdominal issues, working with shoulder, reacnihg psoas, getting the whole sense of legs, hip work, sandwiching torso with both hands, rib and chest/upper back work, approaching face, whole body movement, getting the feeling of connection of whole body and wholeness… Side work is so much less burden for your client and you, physically and mentally, and we can guarranty that this way of working is unbeliebably effective with movements and decompression.
As you can see in the title, this work is real somatic work. You will learn how to get the sense of somatics on the side. You and your client will be both aware of what you both are aware of feeling in the bodies.
Enjoy this unique and unusually effective work getting the whole picture and real feeling of the concept of somatic work. You will use this work immedietely in your sessions for your clients and yourself. Just get some more pillows in your session room!