Class 7 Lab





The general purpose of today's lab is to get you exploring your guts. At first you may find that your hands get tired quickly. Your strength will grow with time and you will be able to feel more. Remember too that you do not have to push hard. You palpate just up to level where the tissue resists you and then you wait for that resistance to melt away before you go to the next level. It is just like knocking on a door and when the door opens, you enter. Study the pictures so you will know what you are palpating. Let's warm up, with a few stretches.

1. Cobra

Lie face down on the floor. Rest your forehead on the backs of your hands. Slowly, vertebra by vertebra, raise your head and neck off the floor. Continue systematically arching your spine all the way down to the tailbone. As you are doing this you may use your hands to help you raise your body upwards. When you have reached the maximum arching of your spine, hold the stretch for a slow count of 20. Remember to breath and feel the stretch deep within your abdomen. After your count of 20 come down the opposite way you went up. Start with you lower spine, vertebra by vertebra, and end by relaxing your head and neck against the floor. Please be careful not to feel any pain in this stretch. It should be relaxing. If you feel pain come slightly out of the stretch to a point that feels more comfortable to you.

2. Arch Stretch

This stretch will be difficult for some people. Many students will not be ready for it. If you experience pain, hold off on this one. Your time will come.

Lie on the floor face down. Bend your knees and grab onto your ankles with your  hands. Gently raise your head off the floor and pull your knees off the floor with your hand. You are arching your back and should feel a pulling in the quads around the knees and a stretch deep within your abdomen. Hold this stretch for a count of 10 .  Slowly lower your knees and then your head. Perform this stretch 3 times.


3. Manual Palpation of the Diaphragm

In the beginning we will only really be able to palpate the front of the diaphragm. You can palpate the back of your diaphragm through the breathing side stretches. In your exploration, try to feel if the liver is stuck to the diaphragm. Can you very gently melt the connective tissue to unstick it? Take deep breaths and see if you can feel the diaphragm coming down and touching your fingers as it contracts. How well is it moving the organs when it comes down? What can you do to improve that?  Come to me with your questions.

4. Manual Palpation of the Organs and the Psoas

Here you will begin a general exploration of your guts. Remember the rule of palpation is to find that which is hard and melt it to make it soft. You will succeed in learning this art if you apply yourself.  I will also want you to find your psoas muscle and begin performing some contract/relax work upon it by raising the leg and bringing it down into a relaxed position. The second it relaxes you can move in deeper and get a better release. See how the organs are stuck to the muscle. What can you do to soften and melt that restriction. Feel the intestines. Are there places that feel hard and impacted to you. What can you do to relax the involuntary muscle tissue? Study the pictures of what you are palpating.

5. Manual Palpation of the Iliacus

The iliacus begins on the inside of your pelvis. You will do contract/relax work on it the same way you did with the psoas. How deep can you move your fingers under your pelvis? If you melt the area, can you move them further. Play with this. Make sure to see if you can unstick the lower intestines from the illiacus muscle. When you are done, just lie there and breathe and take note of how different your abdomen feels. Can you feel your organs moving when you breathe?  You will get better and better at this every day so have fun and I'll see you next week to finish the core!