Massage Technique: the Lumbar Steamroller (myofascial release for the low back)

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– Hi everyone, I'm Ian Harvey, massage therapist, This is Cindy – Hi

– And today I'm going to show you an easy technique for the QL region, I call it the Lumbar Steamroller So the Lumbar Steamroller looks like this I'm dragging the tissue towards myself, and then I'm following it around, and down towards the table You might think there was just some knuckle on spine contact, but there wasn't I'm gonna show you how exactly I apply this pressure in a second

And then all the way down to the side of the body, and then slowly coming out of it So from another angle that looks like this I'm going to use the backs of my fingers, the dorsal surfaces of these phalanges, to grab this skin and drag it towards myself, so I'm not just sinking in with my knuckles around the lumbar spine, instead I'm grabbing a little of this skin from the opposite side of the body, dragging it toward myself, and then once I've cleared that spine, once I'm no longer in danger of making contact with it, with my knuckles, then I'll apply a little bit of my body weight You can actually apply a decent amount for people who like pressure Then I sink into my stance, and I continue following the curvature of the body down towards the table

So I'm dragging this superficial fascia down toward the table And you'll notice that I'm coming down toward a place where I could pinch skin against the table, and I do want to avoid that So I'm going have my client take some easy deep breaths here, and so by doing that, she is going to kind of pull some of that fascia back out from under my hands And don't discount this very last part, hanging out here at the side of the body This can still be felt in the low back

There's kind of a tug of war between their breathing, and this circumferential pressure, and that's creating some nice fascial traction, that can be felt all the way to here So I know I've said this a couple of times already, but I just want to emphasize that I'm not just pressing down towards the table, I'm not just dragging toward myself, it's a combination I'm taking this superficial fascia, and I'm dragging it around, so think circular, think the shape of the body Grab this tissue, drag toward yourself and down toward the table And the same principle can be applied a couple other places on the body

So right now I got some of her SI joint exposed, so I can apply my knuckles along that SI joint I start by dragging some of the tissue toward myself, with that, the backs of my fingers So I drag towards myself, and once I've cleared the bone of the sacrum, and I'm down onto soft tissue, then I'll apply pressure with my knuckles So just to clarify, with all of these steamrolling moves, I am using my knuckles, but I'm also applying much of the pressure still using the backs of fingers, so it should feel like a nice broad surface And once again I can come all the way out to the side of the body down towards the table

Just be aware of the greater trochanter here You do need to be aware of these boney prominences, but you can usually steamroll over them, if you're using nice broad pressure Just don't have a direct bone to bone clash And I can't think of a better way of demonstrating that, than by showing this same move on the scapula So I'm going to, again, start from just over the spine, pulling tissue towards myself, the spinous processes are a little more prominent here, so be careful that you don't directly contact them with your knuckles, and then apply some pressure down towards the table, using your body weight, and using a nice broad scoop, formed by the backs of your fingers, and these knuckles we're going to drag out towards the shoulder joint

We're going to really apply some nice pressure to the posterior surface of this scapula, and this is a great way of warming up many of the rotator cuff muscles all at once We're contacting teres as well as infraspinatus We are interacting with subscap by compressing the scapula, as well as all of these other muscles of the upper back And you can linger here at the end, and again have your client breath with it, and that will pull that fascia out from under your knuckles All right y'all, that's the lumber steamroller, let me know what you think in the comments, let me know what you'd like to see next

By the way, I almost certainly learned this from Pete Witridge, who is an excellent myofascial educator, if you'd like to see his education schedule, click on the link down in the description Thanks for watching, consider subscribing, and I'll see you next time