xf-L09ijDxl67 - ART of BODYWORK online Tutorials

Click the logo
to go to the main page

Choose your language here
Go to content
Please scroll to the bottom of the page to enable translation for the entire text.
Then click the printer symbol to print the instructions in your chosen language.
Please note this is an automatic translation, which means there may be some errors.
Copyright © Alastair McLoughlin 2015    Revised © Alastair McLoughlin 2019 and 2022

The right of Alastair McLoughlin to be identified as the original Designer, Developer and Author of the Work has been asserted by him in accordance with the Copyright, Design and Patents Act 1998.

All rights reserved. No part of this text may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means without the prior written permission of the publisher, nor be otherwise circulated in any form of binding or cover, or reprinted in any physical or electronic manner without the written consent of the author.

The ideas and concepts explored within this text are those of the author. For educational purposes only.

No diagnosis is being offered nor any cure promised by the application of this information.

Alastair McLoughlin cannot be held responsible for any injury arising from the application of this work by the practitioner to any third party however caused.

This work is not a substitute for medical attention. Please seek your physician’s advice if in doubt.
Note: This work should ONLY be performed in the LUMBAR area - not the thoracic or cervical.


  • Tenderness or pain in the lumbar area
  • Sciatic pain
  • Any muscular or soft tissue tension in the lumbar region that is not releasing with other work you have used.


These moves should not be used in either thoracic or cervical regions.
Use caution if there is the possibility of a fractured vertebra.
Do not perform these moves if a fracture of a vertebral body has been diagnosed and confirmed, or if there is the possibility of a fracture.

Refer for medical diagnosis if you are unsure about any undiagnosed medical condition.

Position of the patient:

Prone on the treatment table, with client‘s head resting in a breathing hole.
This keeps the spine in correct alignment - the ideal position for this AoB procedure.
If there is sciatic pain, you may place a pillow under the client’s ankles to lessen the pull and stretch on the sciatic nerve down the leg.


Note: When performed correctly this assessment has proved be VERY accurate and I have proved the results that are, on many occasions, as accurate as an MRI scan in identifying lumbar disc involvement.

Identify the intervertebral spaces from T12/L1 through to L5/S1 as in sequence (a)

Palpate the intervertebral space of each lumbar vertebrae as shown in sequence (b)

Commencing at T12/L1 and using the tips of your thumbs as shown get verbal feedback from your client if there is any tenderness, sensitivity, tingling through the area or referred pain through the nerves when pressure is applied.

Repeat on all of the intervertebral spaces - from from T12/L1 through to L5/S1.

Make a written record any intervertebral disc spaces that are tender, sensitive, painful or elicit any referred pain into the glutes or thigh.

The objective is not to elicit pain in every vertebral space but, by applying a mild to medium pressure to each space (with a pressure of around 4 or 5 out of 10), to determine which discs are potentially involved.

Alter the angle of your thumbs during your assessment to match the curvature of the 12th rib and also the posterior iliac crest.
On the other disc spaces maintain an angle perpendicular to the spine.

USE THIS ASSESSMENT ON BOTH SIDES OF THE BODY - even if sciatic pain (for example) is only felt on one side.
A left side sciatic pain can create a right-sided disc problem and vice versa.

Application of the AoB procedure:

Having assessed and recorded your findings for BOTH sides of the body you may have written something like this:

LEFT SIDE:  L3/L4, L4/L5

In the example in the video presentation we are addressing the following:


followed by:


IMPORTANT: Even though the pressure used in this procedure is quite strong (around 8 out of 10 pressure) do not use excessive force for this procedure.
If you are a physically strong person working on a small person or person who is slightly built (such as a youth) use a pressure that is within their tolerance.  

With one thumb “anchor” the tissue at the spine.

With the opposite finger (you can use first or middle finger or even thumb to perform the release) pull across the skin as shown.

Note the speed at which the technique is performed!

At a half-way point, reposition and re-anchor the thumb.
Then continue and complete the move at the side (edge) of the body.

Complete the release of all indicated vertebra in the direction: from upper to lower. i.e. T12 towards S1 - not the reverse of this.  

Do not apply this work to intervertebral spaces that are not indicated.
Apply only to the indicated vertebral space determined from your assessment.

Pause for approximately 2 to 5 minutes for reaction time.


Retest all the previously indicated vertebra for tenderness or pain, on both sides of the body.

Make a note of any improvements and if there are any remaining problems, repeat the releases only on those intervertebral spaces that test positive for pain or tenderness.

Wait 5 minutes and re-assess.

Any remaining problem can be dealt with at the next appointment - usually a week later.

Help the client to a seated position:

Pause and check the client experiences no dizziness or light-headedness.

If they are dizzy or light headed then wait for a minute or two to allow that feeling to clear itself.
Only then may the client step down from the couch placing BOTH feet on the floor at the same time to allow even weight-bearing into both hips to occur as shown in sequence:

If the client continues to be dizzy after waiting two minutes then lay them in a foetal position, cover them with a blanket and wait for the dizziness to pass as shown in sequence:

Return them to a seated position and check any dizziness has subsided.
Then ask them to stand - placing BOTH feet on the floor at the same time to allow even weight-bearing into both feet to occur.

The client may need to sit for a few moments before dressing and leaving your office.

How it works:

The strong releases we perform across the skin have a deep penetrating relaxation effect on the lumbar musculature.
This results in a ‘decompression’ of the lumbar disc area.  

All indicated intervertebral segments must be worked on to achieve release of the lumbar area.

If you have an MRI scan or diagnosis that confirms which particular lumbar discs are damaged try matching the repost up with this assessment technique.
You will find a high degree of accuracy in this test.

©ART of BODYWORK online 2019-2022 - office@ARTofBODYWORK.online
Back to content