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There is no wrong way to P-Knot (see Freeroll), so please do not be overwhelmed by this list. Exploring on your own with no guidance and through intuition alone, you probably will experience some of these techniques. This list provides formal guidance through techniques we often use in videos and classes to get the most out of the P-Knotting experience.
The following P-Knot Techniques are the most basic of the building blocks to P-Knotting. Starting with the most important and easiest to perform, knowing the 11 basic P-Knotting techniques is important for accomplishing quality Self Myofascial Release.
This is a sustained pressure that continues for an extended period of time without any interruption. You will find that your body might be tense on the targeted area, so during a period of 3-5 minutes, take deep breathes where upon the exhale you let your body sink or melt deeper into the P-Knot. Note: A slower exhale extends the exhale, which will increase the ability for the tissue to relax, thus allowing the P-Knot to sink in deeper. By default the Sink will almost always be involved when performing other P-Knot Techniques.
This is where the P-Knot will turn over about its entire axis in a specific direction. Generally speaking, the targeted area will be broad, therefore possibly needing a couple of full rotations of the P-Knot to complete the Roll. Rolling has a repetitive aspect to it where you return to the starting position by rolling back with the same amount of applied pressure. There are various speeds in which rolling can be used. A Slow Roll will be at a super slow speed where it may take up to a full minute to complete one length of the target area. A Slow Roll is a Deep Roll. A Fast Roll is the opposite end of the spectrum. It may take less than a second to reach the full length of the target area. A Fast Roll is a Superficial Roll. A Medium Roll is scaled and can be anywhere between the two extremes.
This technique is similar to rolling but with one major difference. The P-Knot will still turn over about its entire axis, but to Stroke, the pressure applied from the P-Knot to the target area is in only one direction. When rolling back to the starting position pressure will be notably lessened, however contact of the P-Knot to the targeted area is still maintained. It is a “milking” type of motion that pushes the tissue, blood, and lymph in the same direction, with a gentle return to the starting position to repeat the action. A P-Knot Stroke can be slow, medium, or fast.
The Quarter Roll technique is simply an isolated version of rolling. When on the targeted area you will first allow yourself to Sink into the tissue. Once you have sunk in, you will be able to roll back and forth over that targeted area. Remember, rolling is when the P-Knot turns over about its axis, so a Quarter Roll is only a quarter of the distance of that axis. To understand this better, think about a Quarter Roll being about an inch of distance. If you are on a target area then you would be rolling only a quarter rotation of the P-Knot, or one inch, from where you started in one direction, and then returning back to the start.
The Quarter Stroke technique is simply an isolated version of the Stroke. When on the targeted area you will first allow yourself to Sink into the tissue. Once you have sunk in, you will be able to perform a small stroke over that targeted area. Remember, stroking is when the P-Knot turns over about its axis, so a Quarter Stroke is only a quarter of the distance of that axis. To understand this better, think about a Quarter Stroke being about an inch of distance. If you are on a target area then you would be stroking only a quarter rotation of the P-Knot, or one inch, from where you started in one direction, and releasing the pressure in the opposite direction
This technique is a hybrid of the Roll and the Quarter Roll. Instead of rolling the entire distance of a broad targeted area like in the action of the Roll, you will be using the Quarter Roll technique to travel that distance. Instead of rolling and inch back and forth over an isolated target area like in a Quarter Roll, you will be inching your way back and forth over a broad targeted area. In other words, to travel across a broad targeted area, this technique requires a “take 2 steps forward, one step back” approach. Travelling Quarter Roll is where you will roll 2 inches down, 1 inch back up, 2 inches down, 1 inch back up, as you eventually make your way across the entire broad targeted area. To return to the starting position the same rules apply where you will travel 2 inches up, 1 inch back down, until you have reached the beginning point.
This technique is a hybrid of the Stroke and the Quarter Stroke. Instead of stroking the entire distance of a broad targeted area as like in the action of the Stroke, you will be using the Quarter Stroke technique to travel that distance. Instead of stroking an inch over an isolated target area like in a Quarter Stroke, you will be inching your way over a broad targeted area. In other words, to travel across a broad targeted area, this technique requires a “take 2 steps forward, one step back” approach. The Travelling Quarter Stroke is where you will stroke 2 inches down, releasing the pressure to come 1 inch back up, 2 inches down, 1 inch back up, as you eventually make your way across the entire broad targeted area. To return to the starting position you must reposition the P-Knot manually.
This technique is similar to the Quarter Roll in the sense of distance. The difference however, is that rocking is against the grain on the P-Knot. To achieve a Rock, the P-Knotter will have to manipulate the Body Position to gently shift the body weight side-to-side over the targeted area. The P-Knot is in the opposite direction in which it would be used to Roll to complete this side-to-side rocking action.
This technique is a blend of the Stroke and the Rock. This technique uses a superior force against the grain of the P-Knot to smooth, fatten, and level out the tissue. In other words to use the Steam Roll technique will require a slow steady rocking stroke in one direction over a targeted area, releasing the pressure upon return to the starting position.
This technique is done by using a single sphere of the P-Knot. Oscillation is when you either Stroke or Roll a targeted area in a circular direction. You can travel clock wise or counter clock wise using the Stroke technique, or you will travel both clock wise and counter clock wise using the Roll technique.
This technique is to complete one very slow Stroke over a broad targeted area. The difference is that the Sweep is not repetitive, thus when completed the P-Knot will both be manually removed, and not repositioned back to the starting position. It is used for only two reasons. One reason to perform this P-Knot Technique is take inventory of a targeted area of your body before beginning a P-Knotting session. One slow sweep can bring awareness of the targeted area or areas that need attention. The other reason to perform a Sweep, is to part ways with the targeted area after a P-Knotting session. No matter what P-Knot Techniques that had been used during the bout of Self Myofascial Release, it is always a good idea to let your body know you are done working the area. The Sweep is also going to help to push any toxins that have been released out of the area to be flushed, filtered, and excreted.
This technique is used for P-Knotting a larger targeted area than that of the surface area of the P-Knot. Sticking with the same technique (s) used to start, repeat by repositioning the P-Knot slightly in any direction of the starting position. Be sure to stay adjacent to where the starting position of the targeted area was and proceed. In other words Mowing The Lawn is taking a broad targeted area and overlapping the area in which you just P-Knotted with unworked tissue.
After learning the Basics, a P-Knotter will begin to understand what was previously mentioned as palpating. Mind and body have connected a bit and undoubtedly while learning the basics one will figure out that “it hurts so good”, not to mention the remarkable benefits observed. If you haven’t experimented or figured some out already, here are 10 additional P-Knot Techniques for your tool box.
When palpating with the P-Knot, you will discover that you find areas that have a raised and lumpy feel to it. When the P-Knot travels over these areas (in whatever technique you are using) you find that as you reach the peak of the raised tissue, the P-Knot slips off, or the tissue swims away. These peaks and valleys are not necessarily always tender, nor are these areas limited to an Issue with the Tissue. You can search using the P-Knot to find specific muscles and then can travel along the entire length of that muscle. The Ride technique is to manipulate the P-Knot and body slowly until you have the P-Knot on top of the raised tissue. Once on the peak of the raised tissue, you can use any technique to complete the SMR. The Ride is in the technique section because staying on top of the peak and riding it is challenging. You may have to readjust multiple times to get back on top of the raised tissue so that you can continue to Ride. On the flip side, if you slip into the valley, the Ride is still achievable. Again, it is that ability to palpate or feel what is going on. If you slip into a valley and Ride that valley the same way you would Ride the Peak, you can create a lot of separations from neighboring muscles, fascia, and other soft tissues. Ride high or Ride Low, just be sure your riding.
This technique can be used intentionally, however sometimes a slide will happen unintentionally. It is the latter that is harder for an inexperienced P-Knotter to understand. Sliding will happen mostly with a UniSphere Position, however other P-Knot Positions could be used. To Slide means to move over the surface of the targeted area while maintaining a smooth and continuous contact. The surface of the targeted area could be the article of clothing over the targeted area, or it could be a P-Knot-to-skin contact over the targeted area. Either way, to Slide means to allow the P-Knot to literally drag over the surface in a slow and consistent pace. The same point of contact between the P-Knot and the surface will never change, but the targeted area between the P-Knot and the surface will. When performing purposefully, the Slide will be a patient travel until the contact between the P-Knot and the surface become separated. In other words, the Slide will end when you are no longer on the P-Knot as it has slipped off your body. Note that when performing other techniques, the Slide may happen unintentionally. The inexperienced P-Knotter tends to tighten up, or reposition to prevent losing their current P-Knot position. We suggest that if an unplanned Slide begins to happen, to let it happen all the way through until you are no longer on the P-Knot, and then reposition to the task at hand. Slide P-Knotting is effective in “pulling your sock up”. The fascial netting around the targeted area’s muscle (s) has been bunched up, and sliding will help to move that netting into place. If it happens unintentionally, one must learn to go with it. It happened for a reason and it is your Blue Print trying to realign itself due to whatever technique one was in that triggered the CNS response to Slide. Do not fight the Slide if it is unplanned, but rather embrace the slow and continuous drag across the targeted area until you have either passed the targeted area, or you have slipped off the P-Knot entirely. If the Slide is planned (as it will be in specific routines) you must reposition to the start of the target area, and repeat.
This technique is synonymous to the Slide. The Glide can happen intentionally or unintentionally, has to do with realigning the fascial netting, and is a slow consistent motion. The difference is that a Glide is isolated to the targeted area. In the Slide, you are keeping the same contact between the P-Knot and the surface, as the P-Knot travels across the surface. In the Glide however, the P-Knot will not travel across the surface. This is where learning palpation with the P-Knot is important. A Glide is a gradual and effortless motion where the P-Knot is moving the superficial layers of tissue below the skin in a smooth and continuous fashion. In fact, gliding is a form of palpating. To sum up the Glide, think about a deeper version of the Slide that is isolated to the target area.
This technique is used a lot using the MonoSphere and UniSphere positions, but is not limited to these P-Knot Positions. To Pin is to attach or fasten the P-Knot of a targeted area against a neighboring area. In other words, pinning the targeted area with the P-Knot is to trap or pinch that area up against a muscle or bone that is next to the targeted area. This technique will follow another technique in most cases. If you are to Pin the targeted area without following up with another technique, then you are essentially now going to be using sustained pressure similar to the Sink technique. However, the Sink technique does not use the Pin.
This technique is used to “turn” the targeted area. To Pivot, one must manipulate the Body Position to take the targeted area in which the P-Knot is fixed upon to turn the targeted area about its axis. The targeted area will move slightly in the direction in which you turn. The P-Knot will only move with the tissue of the targeted area. In other words, the P-Knot will not Slide, but rather Glide when pivoting.
This technique can be considered opposite of the Pin. To Grab a targeted area is to swiftly, or suddenly grasp the targeted area. Grabbing is a quick grip of the tissue using the P-Knot like a hand to snatch the targeted area, separating it from the surrounding tissues. In order to use some of the other techniques you must first Grab the targeted area. Grabbing alone is rare, but if this was the case it would be automatically followed by sustained pressure like the Sink technique. The Sink technique does not use the Grab but can lead into a Grab.
This technique is defaulted to be a secondary technique. You cannot perform the Pull without the Grab. The Pull is a much deeper, much more aggressive Glide. To Pull the targeted area means to Grab the tissue and move it steadily in a specific direction until you reach the endpoint. Once reaching the endpoint, the exerted force of the Pull will come to a halt automatically, however, a Slide may begin unintentionally. Let the Slide follow the Pull if this is the case before repeating the Pull from the starting position.
This technique could almost fall under the Body Positions section. Torsion utilizes the repositioning of the body to create the effect of the P-Knot on the targeted area. Torsion is the twisting or wrenching of an area of the body with the counterpart, or opposite area of the body forcefully staying in place. In other words, as one area of the body twists in one direction, the non-twisting area of the body will resist the twisting in the opposite direction. This technique is helpful to complete other techniques such as the Pull, the Pivot, and the Slide, but is not limited to those techniques. Torsion alone will pull the fascial netting while the P-Knot compresses the targeted area.
This technique is used in the StratoSphere position only. When JoySticking, the P-Knot can be supported on the bottom sphere by the P-Knotters’ hand, or can be free standing into the targeted area. This technique utilizes the Glide as the P-Knot pivots at the base to superficially drag the fascia of the targeted area. Using the hand to pivot the base will allow for control of tissue manipulation, whereas when the the slightest shifts in body weight will allow the tissue to move around in an unpredictable manner when free standing. Please note that a Slide could occur when the hand is not controlling the base. The Slide is great when it is unplanned but due to being in a StratoSphere position there is a possibility of falling off the P-Knot. Depending on the targeted area and the Body Position, falling off the P-Knot should be avoided. Please be careful and aware if you are JoySticking without holding onto the base.
This technique is in this section of “building blocks” because it will be used in specific routines. The Circular Massage however, is a combination of the Grab and Glide. Once the P-Knot is on the targeted area, you will Grab the tissue and Glide in a repetitive circular motion. The circular motion can be clock wise or counter clock wise.
The previous 21 P-Knot Techniques are crucial to beginning your healthy journey of Self Myofascial Release. The cliché saying “you must learn to crawl before you walk” stands true when learning the many ways in which you can P-Knot. Now that you have the Basics and the Addition to your Toolbox mastered, this final section should be a breeze. If you jump ahead to this section, you will be lost. So please if you are reading this before you know the difference between a Ride, Slide, and a Glide, or the subtle differences between a Pin and a Grab, then DO NOT PROCEED. If you know how Torsion can be similar to a Grab followed by a Pull, then by all means please enjoy the experience of combining some of these previous techniques to create the ultimate P-Knotting experience.
This technique is used in a UniSphere position only. To use the Circumductiontechnique, you will need to be able to grab the exposed sphere. Twisting, rotating, and spinning the exposed sphere will wiggle the sphere that is targeted area. This motion creates shearing of the fascia that can be similarly described as a Glide or CircularMassage. Circumduction is used to help assist in prepping the targeted area for other P-Knot Techniques to be used as it allows the targeted area to relax, it moves sticky tissue out of the way, and stimulates the CNS.
This technique is great for stimulating the CNS and for stimulating superficial blood flow. Thudding is a technique to wake up the targeted area (s). Usually Thudding is performed over a broad targeted area in which you are holding one sphere of the P-Knot and striking your body with the other sphere like a hammer. It is a dull pounding of superficial tissue over a large or broad area. Thudding is repetitive, but over different striking points of the broad area. In other words, you will not necessarily strike the same area twice in a row, but rather strike by traveling along the area. Thudding is not to be done for an extensive period of time. A few dull strikes along the targeted area is enough to stimulate the CNS and superficial blood flow to prepare your tissue for further P-Knotting using other techniques, or perhaps preparing you for some sort of Performance.
This technique will show up over and over again in the routines section. By default, Mobilization is combined with the Sink. Mobilization is an organized and controlled action of movement that releases stored capabilities. To perform this technique the P-Knot will be on a targeted area which will be close to a specific joint. The joint of that area is then actively brought through a full Range of Motion (ROM). Understand that full ROM may not truly be achieved but it is the intention. The compression from the P-Knot onto the targeted area during a full ROM is effective in releasing the tension that is constricting the normal functions of that joint.
This technique is similar to Mobilization in the sense that you will be actively contracting the tissues of the targeted area. In most cases when performing Mobilization, Activation is a byproduct. However, to perform this technique, you do not have to mobilize any joints. This technique is very helpful when using the Sink technique. Essentially, Activation is a form of Proprioceptive Neurological Facilitation (PNF). When on a targeted area with the P-Knot, you will squeeze or contract that area for 5 seconds followed by exhaling as your relax the tissue of that area. This will allow the P-Knot so Sink deeper as well as release some of the discomfort. Activation can be done multiple times and can be done with all other techniques.
This technique requires the use of a resistance band to complete. Distraction with Contraction, utilizes both tension and relaxation of the targeted area to create a Reciprocal Inhibition effect. Using the application of a band around the distal limb of the targeted area to create either a relaxed tension (distraction) or a resisted tension will allow the tissue to relax. The other end of the band can be attached to a stationary object, or can be attached to a limb that is away from the targeted area. This technique is called Distraction with Contraction because the P-Knotter must decide for them self whether to use the band to contract the tissue against the P-Knot by resisting the band, or to let the joint above the band to relax into distraction while sinking into the P-Knot. Knowing the P-Knot Techniques of Mobilization and Activation is necessary to complete this technique. However, other techniques can be applied while performing Distraction with Contraction. The idea of this technique is to actively release the pathways of nerves, blood vessels, and lymphatics by stripping down adhesions, deactivating Trigger Points, and ungluing bound up fascia. The release will help to re-establish ROM by restoring the quality of soft tissue.
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