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Posted by Jane Hopwood, Mar 20 2011 7:46PM

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MASSAGE OF THE MUSCLES OF THE UPPER BACK - I AM NEW TO MASSAGE

Hi guys thanks for the feedback on my other queries. This is such a basic question but I need to ask it. When massaging the back in particular the scapula area of levator scapulae and rhomboids major, I feel the muscle flicking beneath my thumb. When holding the pressure I can feel the muscle flick/twitch out from underneath my thumb. Like a twang. I have my own thoughts on this but would appreciate comments to make sure that I have a correct understanding. Kind regards.
Sue Hannaford
Mar 20 2011 8:52PM
What are your thoughts Jane?
Jane Hopwood
Mar 21 2011 7:55AM
I think I may be feeling the tendons or ligaments flicking. I am wondering whether the scapulae is slightly dislocated and so the tendons and ligaments are out of alignment - hence the flicking?
Amanda Clegg
Mar 21 2011 10:10AM
This sounds like a trigger point - these are areas of tension that build in the belly of the muscle. There are specific techniques for identifying and then releasing them, and this will make a huge difference to your client's comfort and flexibility.

As a newly qualified therapist you should investigate doing a Trigger Point Therapy CPD training day as I've found this to be one of the most useful add-ons. You will need to continue with CPD quite rigorously in the next few years, as ITEC is really only the starting point. Nikki Lee at Elysium in Newbury/Kingsclere is brilliant, as is Jane Johnson at London Massage School and Natural Therapies School at Thames Ditton.
Amanda Clegg
Mar 21 2011 10:14AM
PS HIGHLY unlikely thtat there is any 'dislocation' in the shoulder - if there was, there would be a lot of pain and your client would not be letting you anywhere near! It is almost certain to be a soft tissue issue - anything from TPs to tight fascia, to scar tissue from rotator cuff injury... Hence you're still on the exciting steep learning curve which I can recall as being quite frightening sometimes. Stick with it - you 're doing all the right things by asking!
Jane Hopwood
Mar 21 2011 11:31AM
Thank you so much Amanda for the great help and advice. Jane
Jane Hopwood
Apr 18 2011 11:41AM
Hi, I have tried trigger point pressure on this person several times now and the problem still persists. There is mainly two places around the scapula where the muscle flicks away when I thumb friction up the erectus spinae and round superior medial edge of scapula. Think the first muscle flicking must be rhomboids but not sure what the other muscle might be. Help!? Thanks Jane

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