Standing Release

A simple, highly recommended techinque done with a very light touch to release the fascia around the pelvis and the pelvic and respiratory diaphragms. Its surprising results can improve fetal positioning, pelvic alignment, even reduce heartburn and snoring.

What is a Standing Release ?

Sometimes called a Standing Sacral Release, or a standing myofascial release, this myofascial release was fine tuned by Dr. Carol Phillips for a pregnant woman who couldn't tolerate lying down for the abdominal release (diaphragmatic release).

The standing release can actually compliment the abdominal release (do both) or be done instead of the abdominal release.



  • May relieve pelvic pain or discomforts in the lower back, hips or tailbone.
  • May help rib pain or even neck pain as the spine is all connected to the sacrum.
  • May improve the likelihood of a breech baby flipping or a posterior baby rotating to anterior.
  • May allow room for the transverse baby to drop head down.
  • May reduce premature contractions (contact your provider whenever contractions come 4-6 an hour before 37 weeks and drink more water up to 3-4 quarts). 



Carol Phillips, DC, developer of Dynamic Body Balancing and MaBaby Workshops, shows us an in depth standing sacral release from her YouTube video collection. This is the woman's own spontaneous movements releasing muscles and fascial in her body to her specific needs.



Compare with Deb Lawrence's Dip the Hip which is directed movements, not spontaneous. Both seem to work well when the Standing Sacral Release is used in depth like this. The Standing Release is specific to the person's needs and is done in a series of activities or "a protocol" of craniosacral and myofascial release.


How and When to use the Standing Sacral Release

When: Any time; anytime in pregnancy; anytime in labor that seems tolerable; preventative or supportive.

Dr. Carol is teaching a group of birth keepers in Richmond, Virgina at MaYoga with Leslie Lytle, yoga teacher. A balloon under her blouse helps participants see the gentleness Dr. Carol uses for a cross-compression on the abdomen. A technique mothers themselves do while waiting in line, for instance. The slight compression lasts about 2-3 breaths and follows the lines across the belly as if in a "bicycle spoke pattern".
She still has her balloon in her blouse as she goes on to show us the Standing Sacral Release. Pictures by yours truly (Gail Tully).

How to do a Standing Sacral Release:

This is a sensitive process in which quiet, attunement and some simple skills are required by the helper. But the mother can do this herself with our without a soft ball or balloon (variation).

The touch is so light that the person doing it can't quite comprehend how light they are supposed to be. Too many people think they are "supposed to be doing something." If pressing on the person's sacrum you will pin the fascia and lose the benefit of the technique. Use the same pressure as a nickel or a little less than a Euro would put on your hand - not much!


Sometimes women need a little encouragement to move freely according to signals in their body and not as culture or custom dictates.


Dr. Carol gives a little encouragement to our pregnant model to move to the subtle signals in her own body, not as culture and custom dictate. 




Dr. Carol follows the movement of the fascia very near the surface of our pregnant model's body. The movement is something like smoothing a table cloth, but the mother herself does the movement. Carol only follows. 



Standing Sacral Release Changing hand position

















Standing Sacral Release; moving up to respiratory diaphragm
















Standing Sacral Release; moving up to thoracic diaphragm



Standing Sacral Release; moving up to arm muscles







Standing Sacral Release; she moves her own arm out



Standing Sacral Release; finished
































When not to: When a woman doesn't want to. When standing would be a safety hazard, such as after the injection of the epidural tubing.

Before: This can be done as a first technique or within a series of techniques. Its an important technique!

What to do next: The Sidelying Release (which used to be called the Pelvic Floor release)