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Incorporating active-assisted STR with oil massage

This is an excerpt from Soft Tissue and Trigger Point Release-2nd Edition by Jane Johnson.

The easiest way to incorporate active-assisted STR with an oil massage is to keep a facecloth or very small towel to hand and, at the time when you are ready to apply STR, cover the area with the facecloth and apply your locks through it, adjusting it if necessary as you move along the muscle. The facecloth helps provide grip to the tissues. Without a cloth, tissues cannot be locked if a massage medium has been applied. Once you have finished applying STR, remove the cloth and continue to massage the area.


An alternative is to use gliding STR. Figures 4.10 through 4.12 illustrate three examples of when gliding might be used with active-assisted STR. Active-assisted STR gliding requires the client to dorsiflex and plantar flex repeatedly as you glide along the tibialis anterior muscle from ankle to knee.

Figure 4.10

Figure 4.10 Using gliding STR on tibialis anterior.


Similarly, to work on the medial aspect of the calf when the client is in a side-lying position, glide gently from ankle to knee as the client dorsiflexes and plantar flexes. In the photograph the therapist has chosen to keep the client's foot and ankle on the couch, but other therapists encounter less resistance if either the foot is or foot and ankle are off the couch, providing the leg itself is supported.

Figure 4.11

Figure 4.11 Applying gliding STR to the medial side of the calf.


In this third example, the therapist is using gliding active-assisted STR whilst running a cupped fist along the ITB from knee to hip as the client repeatedly flexes and extends the knee. As you can see, when gliding is used on the ITB the client needs to be in a comfortable side-lying position, the knee able to flex and extend, taking the leg off and onto the couch.

Figure 4.12

Figure 4.12 Applying gliding STR to the iliotibial band (ITB).