The Benefits of Side-Lying
Side-lying position in massage therapy has to be experienced to be fully appreciated – and once you have tried it, you will find that you go back to the massage therapist that recommended it to you time after time.
Not only does your massage therapist have better access and angles to work on shoulders, hips, IT band, outer-thigh muscles, and adductors of the inner thigh, but the therapist’s body-positioning is more comfortable and more powerful – allowing the delivery of a much more controlled and effective massage.
Certain stretches, too, are greatly facilitated by side-lying – imagine the great side-stretches you can get if the therapist extends your arm up and out over your head, then down towards the floor whilst gently pushing your hip towards the other end of the table.
One of the nicer benefits is for those who don’t like to spend too much time with their face in the face-cradle. This can compromise the sinus channels in the front of the face and cause unpleasant pressure in the head. People with breathing conditions or allergies can find themselves all stuffed-up by the time it comes to roll over onto the back (supine) for the rest of the massage. Side-lying does away with much of that time in the face-cradle – and it allows for cleared communication with the therapist.
The side-lying position is especially beneficial for people needing extra care, such as pregnant women, the elderly, those with back pain, the obese, and those with medical devices such as clostomy bags, or medical conditions requiring extra comfort in the abdomen. Large-breasted and lactating women will also appreciate the relief offered by side-lying position.
Finally, Side-lying is a very secure and comfortable position and helps to reduce the ‘vulnerability’ or certain massage work that might otherwise seem invasive. The position is generally fetal, which is reassuring, and with pillows and bolsters held to the chest it is a truly wonderful alternative to prone and / or supine positioning. Next time you go for a massage – request side-lying position from your therapist – you’ll love it.