Boney landmarks can be the most delicious part of a massage

Massage is for more than just the muscles. The skin, the fascia, and the lymphatic system are all affected, as well. Even the “boney landmarks” of the body—the knees, elbows, and the little knobs around the ankles benefit from, and can contribute to, a satisfying and relaxing massage experience. During a recent massage session, the therapist was working along the muscles of my lower leg. As he moved skillfully upwards, he jumped right over my knee and proceeded to glide along my quads.

“Whoa! Whoa, whoa, whoa. Hold on, Buddy,” I said. “What about my knees? You just skipped right over them.” I then gave him a little reminder about the basics of muscle anatomy. Where the ends of the muscles attach to the bones with the tendons, there are these little points called Golgi tendon organs. Stimulating these Golgi tendon organs actually triggers the relaxation response in the muscles.

When you take the time to trace with your fingers around someone’s knee, elbow, or the malleolus of their ankle, it can actually be one of the most delicious, relaxing components of any massage. If you are just starting as a massage therapist, or if you’ve been practicing for years, and you find that you have developed a tendency to skip these parts and work mainly in the belly of the muscles, think again. Give those boney landmarks just as much attention, and your clients will be delighted.

6 thoughts on “Boney landmarks can be the most delicious part of a massage

  1. Peggy Taylor

    Great advice. I have been a massage therapist for 15 years and work in a PT clinic where I am actually treating knees and ankles with massage therapy. Feet, ankles and knees are so important for all aspects of the body. They affect the low back, hips and posture. They should be evaluated and treated in everyone!

  2. valentina wilson

    I am a professional massage therapist whom also works on bony landmarks as well as the belly of the muscle thank you its a great way to perform on the body therapeautically

  3. Kelly Sanders, LMT

    excellent article Thank You; we all sometimes just forget and go right by the bony landmarks, being that I’m about to become a student of reflexology I find myself really looking and feeling more.

  4. Amanda Baker, LMT

    Thank you for sharing the information. As a therapist that also practices on boney landmarks, I find not enough therapists do. The benefits are amazing, I find makes the work a little easier. Continue sharing the knowledge/ reminder.

  5. Gary Truman Hardison

    Excellent article! As a practitioner for 15 years, and still moving towards mastery of this wonderful work, I have adopted the mindseT or approach of ” leaving no stone unturned!” Every part of the human anatomy has purpose and every part of the body has receptors that help facilitate a response, so therefore, I touch all with the mindset of creating a pleasant, relaxing response. So, yes, knees, elbows, ankles, knuckles, all deserve a loving, caring touch that assists our clients in achieving the ultimate place of rest snd vomfort, homeostasis.


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