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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