The hip work involves a protocol of hip and sacrum alignment assessments, a series of 'hip clearing' stretches, and then the appropriate 'corrections' applied to address any misalignments. Much of this particular protocol was developed by an osteopath (Philip Greenman), modified and integrated into shiatsu work by my teacher, Saul Goodman.
All of these moves are gentle - there's no direct movement of bones - just simple but precise techniques that adjust muscle tension around joints using your own breath and pressure against my resistance. Some basic craniosacral moves may be used as well, to better integrate the work.
While I typically use a futon on the floor, I'll be doing this work on a massage table, for better accuracy in reading the sacrum.
The whole series should take between 30 minutes to an hour, though I would schedule in extra time, in case there are questions or further discussion needed.
Who Is This For?
If you experience any kind of low back pain, hip pain or tension, loss of flexibility, sciatica, pain in the knees or feet, menstrual or hormonal issues, digestive trouble ... all of these could possibly be helped with this work.
I have also used the hip opening techniques with late-term pregnant women to help facilitate a smooth labor.
On a more subtle level, alignment of the hips can give you a better sense of being grounded and 'present' in your own life. Others have also expressed feeling more 'open' and freed up, and noticed an increase in the amount of energy available, once the body is in better alignment.
The Not-So-Small Print
There are certain conditions that would be contraindicated with hip alignment techniques, or would at least call for caution or modification: pregnancy, arthritis, spine and disk issues, hip or knee replacements, etc., and I would ask that you let me know about these things ahead of time.
Given the degree of physical tension held in this area, along with the level of deep emotion and psychological associations we carry within our hip structure, changes made to this area can resonate out into one's life. One should be prepared for this possibility, and I have a large handful of therapists that I can personally recommend, if necessary.