In my practice there are five types of assessments and interventions, or taxonomies, that I use when working with my clients. When thinking about helping my clients to achieve their goals I mentally review which taxonomies will be the most helpful.
To demonstrate my thought process I will use the example of a client who feels closed across the front of their chest and is looking for more openness there.
Often times I find tissue that is held short and that pulls the body out of balance. If I find places like this I may use fascial manipulation techniques to bring length into the tissue and more balance to the body.
In the case of my example client, if I were to find the pectoral fascia was held short I could bring length to the tissue to open the front of the shoulders.
This assessment would consider strains and imbalances that would be resolved by an intervention that involves geometric relationships in the body.
With my example client, I may find that the shoulder girdle is closed because it is mirroring a pelvis which is stuck in a posterior tilt.
This involves recognizing and resolving dysfunctional patterns of movement. An intervention may have the client feel their old pattern and then feel a new pattern that they can use to replace the old pattern.
Thinking of my example client, I may assess whether they are short across the front of their shoulders because they habitually stabilize their shoulder by engaging their pectoralis minor muscles. An intervention may involve teaching the client how to use other muscles to stabilize the shoulder.
This is the taxonomy that I feel like I have the least experience with. However, many times I have been told by clients who are professional energy workers that I am indeed doing energy work.
There are many emotional, psychological, and cultural reasons that can affect a person's physicality. In many sessions I have seen clients realize the source of their problem falling into this category.
Examples could be a client realizing:
I'm sure after reading this you can see how useful these five interventions are. I could try to lengthen the tissue in the front of a clients shoulders all day (and probably cause a lot of unnecessary pain at the same time), but if it is a functional reason that is keeping their shoulders there a structural approach isn't going to work. The taxonomies help me to be efficient and effective in helping my clients achieve their goals.
About Trevor Paque, Certified Rolfer
I have years of experience helping hundreds of people to overcome chronic pain. Each client brings unique challenges and requires a unique solution. In my practice I incorporate manual therapy, movement work, and client education so my clients can maintain long lasting results and live a pain free life.