Bodywork Exercises — Opening the Lower Back

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REMINDER: If you want to learn to do “real” Body­work, you must find a qual­i­fied teacher — some­one who has “hands on” expe­ri­ence — and there­fore can help you to learn to judge the amount of pres­sure to apply.

That being said, apply­ing mod­er­ate pres­sure while play­ing with these exer­cis­es will give you feel for what Body­work is about.


Impor­tant cautions

Please note the fol­low­ing impor­tant cau­tions before fol­low­ing this exercise.

Not all exer­cise is suit­able for every­one, and this or any exer­cise pro­gramme may result in injury. Con­sult with your doc­tor before you use the exer­cis­es from the The Phoenix Cen­tre for Cre­ative Liv­ing’s Body­work pages and videos.

To reduce the risk of injury, nev­er force or strain your­self dur­ing exer­cise. If you feel pain, stop and seek med­ical atten­tion if nec­es­sary. Those with spe­cial health con­sid­er­a­tions should con­sult their med­ical prac­ti­tion­er before per­form­ing any exercise.

The cre­ators, pro­duc­ers, per­form­ers of The Phoenix Cen­tre for Cre­ative Liv­ing’s Body­work pages and videos can­not guar­an­tee that this prod­uct is suit­able and safe for every individual.

Any lia­bil­i­ty, loss or dam­age in con­nec­tion with the use of The Phoenix Cen­tre for Cre­ative Liv­ing’s Body­work pages instruc­tion, includ­ing but not lim­it­ed to any lia­bil­i­ty, loss or dam­age aris­ing from the per­for­mance of the exer­cis­es demon­strat­ed here, or any advice or infor­ma­tion pro­vid­ed by The Phoenix Cen­tre for Cre­ative Liv­ing’s Body­work pages in the videos, or on the web­site, is express­ly disclaimed.

Low­er Back Release

This Bodywork exercise focuses on the pelvis and lower back.

Usu­al­ly in Body­work we release the upper body first, so that when we release the pelvis, the ener­gy it con­tains has a place to go.

As we’re look­ing at gen­tle release tech­niques in this series, there’s less of a need to do releas­es in a spe­cif­ic order.

We’re, at this stage, just identifying areas of tightness.

As to the low­er back, let’s review.

The back pelvis con­tains ener­gy we could call “pas­sion for life.” If we are not liv­ing out of our pas­sion — if our life is dull and com­mon­place and mean­ing­less, the un-expend­ed “life pas­sion” ener­gy will be locked in the back pelvis.

Because we’ve been taught to “con­tain our­selves,” most of us tend to have tight pelvis­es. It takes a lot of ener­gy to main­tain this tight­ness; ener­gy bet­ter spent on things we are pas­sion­ate about.

The goal of this release it to iden­ti­fy areas of tight­ness, and to use pres­sure to release the tightness.

Remem­ber! We block ener­gy by tight­en­ing mus­cles. Pelvic ener­gy blocks are a triple whammy.

  • First, to keep the ener­gy from mov­ing up, we tight­en the diaphragm. (On the back, the diaphragm is locat­ed beneath the bot­tom ribs.) 
  • Sec­ond, we tight­en the mus­cles at the curve of the low­er back, on either side of the spinal column.
  • Third, we tight­en the leg mus­cles, as they attach to the pelvis, notably at the side of the pelvis 2 inch­es below the hip bone, and then down the out­side of the leg. This tight­en­ing helps to keep the pelvis “still.”

Let’s feel for tightness, if any, in the back.

Receiv­er: lie on your stomach. 

Giv­er: look at the pic­ture so you can find the points:

  • Locate the bony pro­tru­sions at the top of the pelvis (yel­low lines.)
  • Slide your fin­gers up until they con­tact the low­est ribs (orange lines.)
  • Now, move your fin­gers to a place a cou­ple of inch­es out from the spine. NEVER push down on the spine! The mus­cle, (the green lines,) will end, and your fin­gers will “slide off.”) Depend­ing on the size of your hands, you can squeeze in on the back mus­cle, using either one or two hands. 
  • The pelvic bone is tri­an­gu­lar and coloured light pur­ple.
  • The “good enough spot” stands in for the root chakra. It’s locat­ed at the bot­tom of the pelvis, just above the butt crack, and is coloured black.

Lower Back Release

  • Giv­er: Put a bit of mas­sage oil on your hands. (We use coconut oil.) Mas­sage the oil into the recip­i­en­t’s low­er back and upper butt.

    Locate the bony pro­tru­sions at the top of the pelvis (yel­low lines.) Press inward and down­ward at a 45 degree angle, using your thumbs. 

  • Giv­er: Move your thumbs along the top of the pelvis, to the side of the pelvis, (see pho­to) and press inward, using either your thumbs or fingers. 

    Mas­sage along the top of the pelvis, using your fin­gers, and also apply downward/inward pres­sure with your thumbs. Be sure to keep your thumbs to either side of the back mus­cle (not on the spine.) 

  • Giv­er: As above, locate the out­er edges of the back mus­cles — between the top of the pelvis and the bot­tom ribs. Press inward on the back mus­cles, toward the spine and down­wards at a 45 degree angle. Not too hard, please.

    Receiv­er: you might feel a fair amount of pain in this area. Breathe and exhale using a sound, like “ahhh.” Or “ouch!” Just notice how tight this area is. 

    Giv­er: press in on this area for a minute or so, fol­low­ing the out­er edge of the mus­cle, mov­ing up and down along the muscle.

    Giv­er: Work back down to the top of the pelvis, and mas­sage with your thumbs, fol­low­ing the con­tour of the top of the pelvis.

  • Giv­er: Final­ly, place your low­er hand over the sacrum, with your fin­gers on the “Good Enough Spot.” Place your upper hand over the back muscle. 

    Imag­ine breath­ing chi into your hands, or imag­ine send­ing warmth to the area. Do this for 5 min­utes. Rest.

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