Care of the Neck and Lower Back

The two areas of the body requiring special attention in Watsu are the neck and lower back. They are the most mobile, and hence the most vulnerable, segments of the spinal column. In both cases it is when they are excessively extended that pain may result. This pain is normally due to 1) nerves being irritated when pinched by bones; 2) cut off blood supply (the vertebral artery passing through the transverse foramina of the cervical vertebrae); 3) tightening muscles and; 4) over-stretching of the joint capsules of the intervertebral facet joints. Some people are more sensitive than others due to injuries, operations, joint deterioration or simply their unique structure. The length of time spent near the full range of extension is a factor. Moving briefly in and out of such extension may create no problem, but leaving the neck or lower back there over time is usually irritating. In learning situations, such as this training, we are staying in one position longer than in the normal flow of a Watsu. This can be stressful. Also, as we acquire technique, we inevitably make mistakes. As receivers, it is important to take responsibility for our own bodies and simply adjust our neck to a more comfortable position if there is pain. We express our needs, and serve our partner’s learning by giving feedback in a spirit of helpfulness. Clients may hesitate to offer feedback or not know how to articulate it. During the course, with a fellow team member, is a prime opportunity to get it right.

tips for keeping the neck comfortable:
Recognize what full neck hyper-extension looks like.
2. Notice if partner's neck is long and flexible and the head heavy (a "dangly" and a "low rider").
3. Avoid abrupt or prolonged extension.
4. Minimize moves in which the head is unsupported.
5. Support the head under the occiput or at the top of the neck, stabilizing the atlanto occipital joint, rather than under the middle of the neck or its base.
6. We never hold the neck itself in our hand, as this allows the atlanto-occipital joint to freely hyperextend.
7. As a rule, keep the ears in the water and don’t over-support the head.
8. Roll the head side to side to vary the position.
9. Support the head on its side.
10. Traction the neck often in the flow of movement. The traction should be either horizontal, in the water, or vertical out of the water.
11. Bring the head forward to the chest to stretch the muscles on the back of the neck.
12. Massage the neck to give relief from stress.
13. Give the receiver permission to adjust her neck should it become uncomfortable.

tips for keeping the lower back comfortable:
1. Notice if partner has sinking legs (long, well-muscled, heavy). Use floats if their weight would become burdensome over the course of an hour’s session.
2. Keep the legs near the surface, supporting under the apex of the sacrum.
3. Don't allow the legs to trail low to the bottom during transitions. Let hydrodynamic force help sustain the legs near the surface by turning or traveling.
4. Support under the thighs and the knees, rather than under the lower back.
5. Traction the sacrum in moves such as the Water Breath Dance and in Sacrum Pull.
6. Avoid arches for those with sensitive backs; favor roundings as in the Accordion and Far Leg Over.

Alexander’s float tips:
1. Buy two pairs. Leave the first pair intact and cut the second pair into halves in order to be able to fine tune the amount of buoyancy they provide. Our goal is to reduce but not altogether eliminate leg weight: we still want the legs to behave naturally in the water. Sometimes a ½ is just right on each leg, or a whole, or 1½ even. A ½ above and below the knee may confer a more natural hydrodynamic behavior to the leg than a whole worn above the knee.
2. Floats worn at the ankles lock the knees. Don’t go there.
3. Floats worn above or below the knee allow it a more natural movement. Perhaps the knee is a little freer when the floats are worn above the knee on the thigh, rather than at the top of the calf. In either position, leave at least a hand’s width space between the knee and the float for easy leg grasping.
4. Floats worn above the knee can be grasped in the Head Cradle if the knee itself is out of reach.
5. Floats worn across the hips, except in the case of the very heavy, will prevent the hips from dropping down, thereby preventing the lumbar curve from reversing and stretching the area.
6. For an ultra-sinker, attach floats end to end around his waist.
7. ½’s can be wrapped around beefy, body builder arms.
8. 1/3’s make nice headbands for heavy heads.
9. Consider when putting the floats on the client, that we will be taking them off with one hand at the wall or in the Side Saddle. Arrange to have the velcro strips accessible and the float wrapped in such a way that it can easily be pulled away. Never leave them on at the wall. Partner needs that full grounding after a WaterDance.
10. Good pool manners dictate that we place floats, once removed, on the side of the pool, out of the water, rather than allowing them to drift off into other sessions, like so much flotsam. - หมวดหมู่ สุขภาพ ความงาม