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Standing Release

The Standing Release is done with a very light touch to release the fascia around the pelvis and the pelvic and respiratory diaphragms. When effective, this may improve fetal positioning, pelvic alignment, and even reduce heartburn and snoring.

The hand in front is lightly on the lower abdomen. The hand in back is lightly on the sacrum.

The hand in front is lightly on the lower abdomen. The hand in back is lightly on the sacrum.


What is a Standing Release?

The Standing Release, or Standing Myofascial Release or previously Standing Sacral 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.

Standing Sacral Release Seoul Birth CenterShe doesn’t have to stay holding the wall, she is freely moving in response to her fascia – not her head. Let go of “doing it right”. Let yourself flow with the fascia.


How to do a Standing Release?

Both of you, remove shoes. Be in clothes that are easy to move, or none, as in active labor.

  1. Woman has feet hip-width apart. Knees soft (not locked). Helper’s feet are also hip-width apart.
  2. Helper stands at the side of the pregnant woman.
  3. The helper’s front hand, lightly touching her lower belly, is not pressing.
  4. The helper’s back hand is also only lightly touching, and not cupping the sacrum (the triangular shaped bone at the top of the buttocks).
  5. The helper must lift the weight of her arms so they are not resting on the mother. The contact weight is about that of a nickel, or other small coin.
  6. The mother starts in this position and then can move freely, but not “intentionally” or with an agenda or assumption. Rather the movement is spurred by the gentle touch of the helper’s hand on the fascia. The mother “unwinds” with instinctual movement. Leave your frontal lobe and go within.
  7. The mother’s hands may leave the wall, she may dip, turn, roll, or sway. She may not seem to move much at all. The helper may feel slight movement that the mother does not. Breathing calmly and having knees unlocked help. Shoes will restrict success entirely.
  8. The helper doesn’t move the mother, nor does the helper restrict movement, but rather, follows the mother, letting go if the mother moves to the floor and does motions making her pelvis and back out of reach.

The mother finishes when she is “unwound”.  Standing still with straight knees may work just on the sacrum area and might be preferable if you don’t have 10 or 15 minutes to find a natural stopping place. Afterward, drink water and walk, even a short walk, after finishing, both of you.

See a sample on Spinning Babies: Parent Class. Available as a download or as a DVD at the Shop.

standing sacral with Mark Dothian Standing Sacral Release works on everyone. This guy’s back was hurting because he was at my all-day workshop only 2 weeks after back surgery! After a Standing Release he was a true convert to myofascial release!

standing release demoBelts and jeans are not ideal – Just avoid the belt! 


Why do Standing Sacral Release?

  • It may relieve pelvic pain or discomforts in the sacrum, lower back, hips or tailbone.
  • It may help rib pain or even neck pain as the spine is all connected to the sacrum.
  • It may improve the likelihood of a breech baby flipping or a posterior baby rotating to anterior.
  • It may allow room for the transverse baby to drop head down (But Forward-leaning Inversion is specific for this!)
  • It 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)

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

The Standing Sacral Release can be used anytime: anytime in pregnancy and anytime in labor that seems tolerable, preventative or supportive.

This is a sensitive process in which quiet, attunement and some simple skills are required by the helper. But this can also be done somewhat successful by one’s self with a soft ball or balloon between them and the wall (a self-care variation).

Standing Sacral hand placementIt looks like I’m pushing but I’m not. USE LESS WEIGHT on your hands. I’ve only met one person in 100s of workshops who did this too lightly, how likely is your pressure light enough? Lighten up!

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.” Pressing on the person’s sacrum will pin the fascia and will cause you to lose the benefit of the technique. Use the same pressure as a nickel would put on your hand – not much!


Standing Release Video Demonstration

Learn how to do the Standing Release by watching Gail Tully teach it to pregnant parents in our Spinning Babies Parent Class video. Parents across the globe are using these techniques for comfort in pregnancy and easier birth… and they’re working! Available on DVD or digital download.

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