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  • SMRT for a Frozen Shoulder


    A student in the SMRT: Head & Neck and SMRT: Arm & Hand courses that I just finished teaching in Chapel Hill, NC had adhesive capulitis, better known as frozen shoulder. She is a young woman, maybe in her 30’s, who reached into a clothes dryer in a strange way and has been unable to move her shoulder since. She mentioned her shoulder multiple times in class, not to me, but to her partners who were working around that area. On Sunday, the final day of class, her friend, also a massage therapist and also in class, asked me what I would potentially do with a client who had frozen shoulder. As I began to speak, she nodded her head toward the student with the issue and smiled. I laughed and said I would show her. While the student sat in a chair fully clothed, I moved the palpated her shoulder. I felt the adhesion on the anterior, inferior, and superior aspects of the joint capsule, but not on the posterior aspect. I had her friend feel it. I moved the upper arm into an SMRT position. My movement was gentle, easy on her and me, and it made her swoon. She said, “that feels soooooo goooood.”

    When I released the SMRT hold 30 seconds later, almost 70% of the tension from the adhesive capulitis had dissipated. I had her friend feel her shoulder again, both were amazed. There was still tension on the inferior aspect of the joint capsule. Once again, I moved her upper arm into an SMRT position. After holding for 30 seconds, I released. The tension was almost completely gone, her humeral head had dropped back (it had been very anterior) almost an inch, and she said her pain was minimal. I asked her to move her shoulder around. Tentatively she began to abduct her shoulder and move it into external rotation. Her face lit up. Her shoulder moved in a full circle at a 90 degree angle with no pain.

    The day after class she wrote me this email, “Hi, Dawn, Thank you again for another wonderful class — this work continues to amaze and delight me. Can’t wait to try some of the new techniques out on my clients. I also want to thank you for the work you did on my shoulder. I know the class isn’t supposed to be a free therapy session, and so I appreciate your time greatly much. I hope you had safe travels, and I am already looking forward to next year! All the best, A” I am extremely grateful for her acknowledgement.

    Don’t miss out! Learn how to work the shoulder girdle with Spontaneous Muscle Release Technique by registering for St. Petersburg, FL (November 6-8, 2015) or Austin, TX (February 5-7, 2016) at https://efullcircle.com/workshop-schedule/