Core Skill: Press and Push (Hands)

The “Press and Push” technique is a core skill in Instrument Assisted Vibration Therapy (IAVT). It involves using our hands to press down on the tissue and slide our fingers forward across the skin, moving the fluid in the superficial or outer layers away from the area of pain. This technique is particularly useful for managing interstitial fluid movement, reducing session time, and increasing our ability to find fascial scars or restrictions.

Here are the key principles and techniques to enhance your “Press and Push” ability:

Proper Pressure: Apply the right amount of pressure, allowing your fingers to sink into the tissue without causing discomfort or pain.

Maintain Straight Fingers and Arms: Keep your fingers and arms straight to avoid fatigue. The joints of the fingers and the elbows should be locked in place as much as possible. Use your own body weight to push forward as you lean forward.

Use of Lotion or Clothing: A small amount of lotion can help with sliding on dry skin. Alternatively, you can use the client’s clothing, such as a shirt along the back, to aid in moving the fingers over the surface of the skin.

Slow and Steady Movement: Press forward slowly. The speed of fluid release should control the speed of your movement.

Keep Fluids Ahead: Always keep the fluids ahead of your fingers. This ensures that the fluid is being effectively moved away from the area of pain.

Follow Through to a Safe Zone: If possible, follow through with the push to a “Safe Zone”. This is an area where the fluid can be safely redistributed.

Always Follow Through Past the Joint: This ensures that the fluid is moved away from the joint, preventing potential discomfort or complications.

The “Press and Push” technique can be used both before initial palpation, if the area is very swollen or filled with regional edema, and after releasing the pressurized fluid from the area of pain and immobility. This action allows the fluid to redistribute rather than filling up the fluid container from which it was just released.

Mastering the core skill of “Press and Push” requires practice, precision, and attention to detail. Prioritize safety, proper form, and individual adjustments to ensure an effective and pain-free experience. Practice regularly and refine your technique over time to become proficient in the art of “Press and Push”.