How much relief we can experience to have the lateral edges of the sacrum worked! A triangular shape framed between the large wings of the hip bones, creating the sacroiliac joints as it articulates with the ilium on either side, the sacrum demands some attention even as an artistic visual, a unique looking structure in our bodies, while still maintaining important functions: an outlet for lower spinal nerves, a support holding the upper body’s weight while also helping to transmit it through the lower extremities into the ground, a base supporting the upper spine. It makes sense, then, that this funny, knobby feeling skeletal bone can run from being hypersensitive to the lightest massage pressure, to feeling eased in receiving touch, like an invisible sigh issuing forth once the correct touch has been given. With its important roles and structure always kept in mind (the nerves present, the lack of muscle density actually passing over the site), massaging the sacroiliac joint needs care and consideration, and the pressure level needs to be very specific per individual and even different per side of the same individual.
As long as the client has not mentioned to avoid working on their sacrum, once you make contact with it, you’ll start to get a sense fairly quickly for how the area feels to them. A nice way to start is by placing fingertips on the center of the sacrum first, before gliding off the rough formation and into soft tissue near the edge, noticing how different the bony triangle feels compared to the tissue connecting along its sides. Taking these steps with deliberation before beginning to explore the tissue, conveys a solid sense both of your awareness of the area and of your client to said client. This alone can create a calming affect in a generally overstressed spot. Moving next into massaging the tissue, gently use supported fingertips to create circular or parallel friction along the sacral edge, working superior to inferior and noticing subtle differences in each fraction of an inch along the way, lingering with more time in areas of increased density or soreness. Light static pressure can also be relieving if the tissue has hypertonic spots wanting to spasm. However the area allows you in, it can be wonderful to receive this kind of focus here, like the sweet reassurance of a loving hand placed upon slumped shoulders.
I love that kindness, attentiveness, and relief can all be brought to the sacrum if we strike the right intention in our approach. There’s a lot of beauty in this: honoring and caring for an area simultaneously strong and sensitive, with the grace and warmth of knowing our client is allowing us to address this space. Thinking about how the sacrum sits just enough out of easy reach on the posterior plane of the lower body, yet also high enough that reaching back with your own hands is awkward and lacking in power, it’s usually lost to our own attempts to calm it. Thus allowing another to address this central hub of the body becomes a lovely sharing of trust given by one and acknowledged by the other, and that aforementioned sigh of relief from the body becomes palpable to our very fingertips.