When SI practitioners talk about movement and movement patterns, we are typically talking about our clients’ ability to move the joints of their bodies in a balanced fashion. To flex and extend their spine without excessive rotation, to move the arms and legs to internally and externally rotate fully, and to move the ankles, knees and hips in radial alignment. We also look for the shoulder and pelvic girdles to be free to pivot at the humeral and femoral heads, and at the ability to transfer the movement of breath through the inner core.
When we talk about our clients’ ability to ‘breathe fully,’ we are typically talking about their ability to widen and lift the thorax, raise and lower the clavicles, pubic bone and respiratory diaphragm, and flex and extend the sacrum and spine with every breath!
When we talk about ‘mobilizing’ the body’s musculature and fascial layers, we are typically talking about freeing adhesions between layers of muscle that keep these muscles from being able to move independently from each other. We also work to free fascial layers and facial envelopes that have adhered to the internal surfaces of the pelvis, abdomen and thorax, so these large envelopes can move independently. And we support the mobility of the transverse planes of muscle and fascia that support the transfer of breath and movement through the core.
We talk about adhesion of muscle and fascial layers to the bony shoulder and pelvic girdles, too, because those keep these girdles from being free to shift their position and pivot at the humeral and femoral heads. We also look at the myofascial layers that have become adhered to the spine and thorax, which then limit the spine’s ability to flex and extend fully, and hold it in rotation. And we talk about the interconnectedness of the entire fascial matrix as if it were a large fisting net that transmits rotation and strain through the entire body.
When looking at joints, we do not automatically assume that they are able to fully extend. The fact is, most clients suffer some degree of rotation and restriction caused by sets of joints that are unable to extend equally, which in turn forces the entire body to rotate when moving.
Looking at how our clients walk, we pay particular attention to the radial alignment of the femurs and tibias, and any torsion between the knees and ankles. We look for the ability of the legs to track properly, and whether one or both legs laterally rotate, because that will drive rotation between the posterior iliac and sacrum, and side-to-side imbalance between the SI joints. And we watch to see if the sacrum is held in a ‘fixed’ rotation between the posterior ilia, which will limit the ability of the lumbar spine to flex and extend, and consequently limit the transfer of breath and energy through the spine and pelvis to the ground.
Finally, when we talk about the movement of the sacrum / spine, neck and head, we are referring to cranial / sacral mobility and the body’s ‘primary respiration.’ To address this, we focus on supporting the mobility of the spine, pelvic floor, respiratory and plural diaphragms and their ability to respond to the movement of the breath. We release and align to support the mobility of the medial pterygoids and the lesser wings of the sphenoid, and thus the sphenoid’s ability to pivot at its greater wings. This also supports the ability of the cranial base to protract and retract as the sacrum / spine flexes and extends in response to the movement of the breath.