Tom Owens is the creator, innovator and Massage Therapist behind this significant advancement in treatment positioning
Take a moment and reflect upon the incredible advancements made in the Massage Therapy and Bodywork profession over the past 16 years … We have benefited from tremendous research offered, increased public awareness, breakthroughs in treatment technique and a wonderfully enhanced selection of lubricants, tools, and music.
It is interesting to note that one of the main pieces of equipment needed has essentially remained unchanged. Our table. More specifically the support (pillows or bolsters) we place upon our tables.
I personally realized the need for change after having practiced for eight years. My investigation into better treatment support was purely selfish. I had fallen and injured my lumbar spine that year and as horrible as it may sound, dreaded each massage treatment I received. The pain experienced both during and following the massage negated the benefits altogether. I experienced first-hand, the difficulties my own clients faced with the use of, or the omission of, traditional pillows during an acute lumbar treatment. I have used the bodyCushion Pro System since then. My clients appreciate them too.
Leon Chaitow explains this difference in support as follows. “My perception of the difference between a support cushion and a pillow is that the former provides precise anatomically modulated support which creates an environment which allows therapeutic soft tissue, or osseous manipulation intervention to be more effective than if the tissues were unsupported, or if they were supported in a less structured manner.”
Tom Owens is the creator, innovator and Massage Therapist behind this, significant advancement in treatment positioning. It was in Ashland, Oregon in 1986 that the bodyCushion system of orthopedic positioning was born.
The bodyCushion is a four-piece system, which includes a removable face crescent with a high impact base, chest support with breast recess, pelvic support with an abdominal recess and split leg support.
Each piece is made of the highest quality CO2 expanded ultra max foam with life-time foam warranty. Each piece is covered in vinyl that will not break down if lubricants are removed following each use. The pieces are fitted together by Velcro strapping and are easily adjusted with accessory pieces to adapt to any body type or position.
The bodyCushion follows the natural lines of the body. In prone they promote flexion at the hip joints while utilizing the skeletal support of the anterior superior iliac spines of the ilium. This bony support allows for the appropriate positioning of the lumbosacral region during treatment or rest. When the lumbar region is supported as described, deeper techniques can be applied with greatly reduced tissue reaction.
The bodyCushion orthopedic positioning system is easily maneuvered to increase client comfort and reduce “table tissue fatigue” in all treatment positions. The system is lightweight, portable and provides alternative treatment surfaces. When folded, the bodyCushions can be used for seated treatments. The cushions can be placed on the floor or on a bed to facilitate in-home services.
Since the inception of the bodyCushion, pregnant women have reported
relief from the pain of back strain and pelvic pressure when lying face
down on the bodyCushion.
|Positioning for pregnancy
with the bodyCushion
Due to this possible application for pregnancy, the bodyCushion has
become closely associated with pregnancy and is widely known and used
as a pregnancy positioner.
Although pregnant women have reported relief, there is a belief by some
in the field of obstetrics, gynecology and massage that a pregnant
woman should not be face down under any circumstances, particularly in
the later stages of pregnancy.
Even though the bodyCushion supports the body on its bony frame and
hammocks the uterus it is felt there may be a risk, if even slight, of
increasing the uterine pressure or stretching the uterine ligaments of
the pregnant woman. Because of this Body Support Systems’ policy is to
recommend positioning the pregnant client or patient in the left
lateral, side lying position on the bodyCushion. The current guidelines
of obstetrics and gynecology no longer recommend positioning the
pregnant client or patient face up, therefore we no longer recommend
face-up positioning on the bodyCushion.
To practice the credo, “do no harm,” and stay on the side of safety, we
recommend positioning the pregnant woman in the left side-lying
– Tom Owens, LMT
President, Body Support Systems, Inc.