• Headaches & SMRT Works

    Posted on February 16, 2018 by Dawn in Anatomy, bodywork, Head & Neck, massage therapy, Ribs, Shoulders, SMRT, Spontaneous Muscle Release Technique.


    For the past several days I have been with friends who are therapists and we have been working on each other. One of the woman I was trading with was having back pain. The first day I was working on her posterior ribs. The ribs on her left side responded to the SMRT I was doing on the tissue attaching to the ribs and shifted. Almost immediately she began to have an intense headache. I worked on her head that day with limited results. The second day I worked on her head again. She had a significant change in her headache pain. Today, on our fourth day, she asked for upper back work. I believed that working on her upper back and posterior ribs would result in the same headache that she had on the first day, so I decided to treat the area differently.

    Tone & Tension

    I believed that when her left lower trapezius decreased in tone the tension “rebounded”, for lack of a better word, and tone in the left upper trapezius was instantly and significantly increased. This sudden tension at the superior nuchal line of the occiput changed the position of her head and caused her intense headache. So, I thought the trick would be to work in a way that balanced the tone in the trapezius muscles from right to left.
    During the assessment, I noted that her left lower trapezius was very tight. Her right lower trapezius lacked tone. I checked her upper trapezius muscles. The right side was very tight and the left side felt loose. Next I checked the position of the scapulas. Tension in upper trapezius suggests that the lateral side of the scapula is superior and the medial aspect is inferior. Tension in lower trapezius suggests the opposite pattern in the scapulas.

    SMRT Works

    Using SMRT, I mobilized the scapulas. This changed the tension patterns in her trapezius muscles. Her right lower trapezius had tone and the tone in her left lower trapezius decreased. Her headache came mildly as I worked, but each time it quickly left. Soon after we asked her to turn over and began to work on her in a supine position. Her right first and second ribs were superior, while these ribs on the left were inferior. Quickly a few SMRT positions changed this and mobilized the ribs, which further mobilized the scapulas. With her scapulas moving equally in all directions, the tone in her upper and lower trapezius muscles was balanced, and she did not have a headache.

    Learn to use SMRT to work the shoulders, rib cage, and upper back by joining me in Knoxville, TN from March 23-25, 2018. Register now!