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Katrina Jones Massage for Sciatica course notes
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Katrina Jones
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July 27, 2017 - 12:03 am
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Module 1

Very straightforward and clearly presented. I now have a much better understanding of what sciatica is, the causes, symptoms and risks. 

I also liked the fact that you stressed how massage may not help. Sometimes it is very easy to feel a failure if a client leaves, not having experienced the benefits you, and they, were hoping for. I will remember to give my client a clear picture at the start. 

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Katrina Jones
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July 27, 2017 - 12:11 am
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Module 2

Again clear and informative. I am now aware of the different methods of diagnosis, both high and low tech. I hadn’t thought about the fact that an x ray can show degeneration but that that may not be the cause of the problem. 

I liked the simple tests to see where the pain is stemming from and am pleased they can be done on a table (obviously apart from the standing one). 

It is also good to know massage can be used in conjunction with other treatments and to always remember we are dealing holistically and  not in isolation. 

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Shama
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July 27, 2017 - 12:31 am
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Welcome back Katrina. You have done this before with the HHM course, so you know how it works. Smile

Good to hear that the introductory modules helped you with the bigger picture of Sciatica.

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Katrina Jones
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August 13, 2017 - 10:58 pm
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Module 3

Love the rocking technique and so did my massage partner who suffers from bouts of sciatica. She found the rocking very relaxing and as she has stiffness and a bugling disc mid back, she felt better there too. She was quite small so i just did the hand rocking. My balance is also not what it was so i would be worried about using my feet and losing my balance. I will practise some yoga balances (Im hugely out of practice) and when i’m confident with them i’ll try the foot way. I do find my hands get tired when doing a lot of the same type of massage so i like the idea of using other body parts.

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Katrina Jones
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August 13, 2017 - 11:13 pm
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Module 4

This sounds quite scary….an elbow in the back? But actually when doing it and rolling the arm down it felt good for both me and my guinea pig. I was very careful to take time finding just the right spot. It felt a little strange to be straddling someone to do the wiggling. She is a friend but I think a complete stranger might be harder especially if it was a large man. I straddle my partner to massage his back but i don’t know how i’d feel doing this to a client, especially as I work from home on my own. That’s one of the reasons I prefer to work using a table. Do you think you can get a good enough effect working from one side of a table, doing one side and then the other for the wiggling and percussion? My guinea pig was a bit nervous re the percussion but when it started she loved it. I found myself chanting loose, loose in rhythm to keep it light and relaxed.

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Shama
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August 14, 2017 - 12:16 am
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I know, some Thai Massage techniques seem to be scary, but when you actually do them, they feel fine to you and to the client, and they preserve your health by not having to use your hands for everything.

Personally I prefer working on the floor since you can have better body mechanics there, but it is definitely possible to do those techniques on a table. However it can be harder on your back since you can’t get on top of people and will need to bend over to reach some areas. 

There are some techniques which are difficult to do on a table. You can of course skip them and still do an effective session. On the floor you have no restrictions in this regard. 

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Katrina Jones
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August 31, 2017 - 12:57 am
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Module 5 

Sorry I’m a little bit erratic with my notes. 

The great thing is one of the ladies at the market where I have a massage ‘stall’ has sciatica and so I’m working with her. She’s had it for many years as it appeared after child birth and seems to be located more in the piriformis than the lumbar region. She is enjoying the rocking, wiggling and percussion techniques and doesn’t experience any pain with them. So I then moved down to the piriformis and during the forearm leaning and rolling she felt some discomfort on one side but no pain above a 3. I was working on a massage table so instead of using my knee I used the heel of my hand, my thumbs and my fingertips. Although she has had pain on both sides, today it was mainly in one area just below the sacroiliac joint. She was a Theatre sister so understood where the sciatic nerve went and afterwards felt that she was freer in the hip area. I had to do quite a localised session as someone else was watching her stall and time was limited.  I looked forward to her feedback the following week as to how helpful the session was.

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Katrina Jones
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August 31, 2017 - 1:39 am
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Module 6

So my client with sciatica was very pleased with what we’d done so far (she knows I’m still training). She had felt better for several days but then had flown back to the Uk from Spain and attended a wedding where she had danced the night away. As a result and from sitting in a small plane seat for 2 1/2 hours she was in more discomfort than the previous week. She was now also feeling discomfort in the lumbar area as well as the piriformis. 

We went through the rocking, percussion and wiggling without any extra discomfort. When rolling the elbow from the erector muscles she felt some discomfort but no intense pain. When doing the elbow roll on the buttocks she was able to pinpoint an area of pain again just below the sacrum. I tried the linear pressure there with the elbow very slowly and she was able to withstand a good amount of pressure with only a slight increase in pain. Nothing above a 5. Both she and I were impressed with how much pressure I could generate without it hurting her. We kept up a constant dialogue with her letting me know when I had the right place and when I lost it. I did more rocking afterwards just to move the work a little from specific to more general.

I then did some stretches with her. I wanted to see if I could do them on a table. Her hips were pretty stiff but I was able to rock and stretch her lower back with my hands on either hip. The lower back stretch I had to adjust as I obviously wasn’t able to put my leg over hers to keep them stable while I rocked her back. I had wondered about holding them down with a stretchy exercise band but in the end decided to lean my forearm on her legs while pulling up her back with just one hand. It seemed to work ok but i don’t think i could do it on a large heavy person. (TBC in module 7)

The hamstring stretches I did on a different person as part of a leg and foot massage. Again I used my forearms and the heels of my hands instead of the knee. She wasn’t toned at all in the upper legs and it took a while to even feel like I had located the hamstring amidst all the flesh. I found it hard to grab and squeeze because my hands just didn’t feel big enough but she enjoyed the techniques, especially the elephant walking and certainly felt rejuvenated in the legs when i was finished. I hope that meant they went better than I felt they did. 

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Katrina Jones
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August 31, 2017 - 2:08 am
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Module 7

So I carried on with these stretches on my client with sciatica. She was pretty tight in the hip area And again I didn’t have the benefit of using my own legs on the mat but with her knee up and her foot over and next to her knee, I put one hand on her knee and the other under her sacrum. The rocking was a really nice way to gently increase the stretch as she was very stiff. She could feel the piriformis muscle stretching and was pleased with where she could get to. Again with the knee to shoulder stretches she was unable to go too far, less because of pain and more from stiffness. She has never done any flexibility exercise like yoga and it showed. I then brought her knee up and her knee could drop outwards but not very far. We did circles with me holding her knee and foot, starting small and building gradually. She felt some discomfort with this as the muscles were tight but could feel them slowly stretching.

After the stretching she felt much freer in the hip area and is very keen to carry on with our work. (cont Module 8)

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Katrina Jones
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August 31, 2017 - 2:20 am
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Module 8 

I was so pleased I had studied these last few modules together. My client with sciatica is very open to improving her levels of flexibility and hopefully this together with the massage will help with her continual discomfort. We have discussed her lifestyle and background over the past weeks and although the main trigger seems to be the piriformis, her years of lifting patients has obviously taken a toll on her lumbar region too. She also has very little flexibility and core strength. We discussed doing gentle and regular exercise and I gave her 3 of the exercises to start her off. I can see Shama why you say just a few to start with. 1. She is more likely to do them as this has never been part of her daily routine and 2. she is very keen to continue working with me so we can improve her quality of life and I can give her the impetus and knowledge she lacks on her own (as well as the massage). The exercises are great and nice and easy for clients that are not used to regular exercise.  My client was happy to know she could do them while watching TV or doing the washing up so I’m hoping she will have kept them up all week. She did laugh when I emphasised ‘regular exercise’.  

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Shama
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August 31, 2017 - 8:10 pm
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I am quite impressed how you use this material. You clearly went way beyond a massage and are applying it in a real therapeutic way, modifying things, communicating with the client, changing your approach, and working WITH the client instead of ON the client! Smile

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Katrina Jones
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August 31, 2017 - 10:35 pm
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Thank you Shama 🙂

Smile

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Katrina Jones
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September 1, 2017 - 11:13 pm
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Bonus Module

This was an unexpected bonus and extremely useful.

I have never used Muscle testing but my mother had it as part of a diagnostic tool by an alternative therapist and was impressed by the accuracy. I will explore it more.

I love energy work although I haven’t actually studied it. When working on a client, either they or myself will often feel an area that is radiating heat. It is not always on an area of pain and I sometimes think of it as the result of an ‘energy surge’ between us. I love to just be still at the end of a session, especially if the client is in pain, and just put my hands on an area and try to transmit feelings of warmth and healing etc.

I hadn’t heard of Qigong but I tried the exercise you gave us and felt I gave a more powerful massage afterwards, energy wise.

I have used Guided Visualisation in my Dramatherapy and also in teaching but I hadn’t though to use it with massage. After I finished this module I thought I would go onto youtube and research a little more and put myself in the right frame of mind. I had been feeling awful all day, aching all over and exhausted, a legacy left over form 8 years of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome some years ago. I found a guided visualisation for aching bodies and spent a relaxing half hour listening. By the end I felt more energised and my aches improved until today I hardly feel them at all. Delighted by this I decided to ask today’s client, who was coming in for a foot massage for sore ankles and heels, if she would mind me doing a 5 min visualisation for healing at the end. She agreed and afterwards said how much she’d loved it and how beneficial it felt.

I will definitely be using this technique again, especially if a client has a specific area of pain or is very stressed. My client left feeling I’d given her some extra special attention which was lovely.

Thank you so much Shama for another wonderful course. I think it will benefit a lot of my clients on top of those i’ve already started working on.

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Shama
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September 2, 2017 - 9:47 am
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That’s one of those posts that make my day. Thanks so much for sharing this. I am happy to hear that you are finding this module useful and are applying it! Smile

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