Back work on a bench is a characteristic ‘move’ in Ida Rolf’s work, and we continue that tradition here at KMI. By sitting the client on the bench and working progressively down, we can get a variety of work done on the spine in a safe and educational manner. Although this is a speeded-up montage, it shows some of the variations – it’s not just a couple of quick strokes down the back!
First, the safety part: By seating the client and having them go forward such that the back muscles are working in eccentric contraction, the back is protected. Sharp pain would of course be a contraindication, a sign to stop and try another way. But many back pain sufferers can do this move without suffering, so try it and see – even people with disc or sciatic problems can often participate in this move without discomfort.
Second, the spine part: The human spine is marvelously complicated, but too many schools just leave out the complication. In KMI, you will learn how to deal with excess or missing A-P curves (lordosis and kyphosis), with side bands, and finally with rotations, which requires access to the deeper multifidi to unwind spinal rotations, coupled with work in the psoas complex.
Third, the variety part: Once learned, this basic move can be applied in a variety of ways, depending on the size and strength of the practitioner, and the specific needs of the client.