Posted by: thaiyogacenter | 10/31/2011

Therapeutic value and practical applications of SomaVeda Thai Yoga: Dak Kha / Ardhis Supta Virasana (Bent Inward Knee position)

Dr. Anthony B. James DNM(P), ND, MD(AM), SMOKH

Dr. Anthony B. James DM(P), ND, MD(AM), DPHC(h.c.), SMOKH

Director of Education at The Thai Yoga Center and The SomaVeda™ Institute of Natural Healing

Therapeutic value and practical applications of SomaVeda Thai Yoga: Dak Kha / Ardhis Supta Virasana (Bent Inward Knee position)

In Thai Yoga Therapy, the Dak Kha asana (facilitated Ardhis Supta Virasana) isolates and bring energy, attention, consciousness, breath and pressure to the knee and thigh and hip unilaterally, one side at a time. It restores the alignment of physical and energetic structures of the hips, pelvis, knee, low back, and abdomen. It restores and brings balancing energy to Chakra, Sen Lines, Meridians, Lom and Wind Gates. Like all Thai Yoga postures, Dak Kha facilitates further integration of mind, body and spirit. Because of the way this particular posture can capture the client’s attention, it is considered a “Spirit calling” asana or one that “Calls the spirit home”.

SomaVeda Dak Kha

Be very cautious and careful when positioning the knee.  Positioning is critical in not exacerbating preexisting knee injuries.

As a therapist, it is necessary to always assume that client has a preexisting knee injury and proceed with both confidence and caution. In general, clients consistently put their therapists on a need-to-know basis for their medical history including traumas, injury and any previous surgeries. One of the reasons is because they do not think the information is pertinent to any of their given complaints or it is repressed as they have forgotten about it.  As is common to so many past injuries and trauma, the memory is tied to certain positions, postures and even particular points on the body. It is not accessible until pressure or attention is brought to bear on that angle, position, posture, body part, line, point, tissue etc.

Preexisting injuries should always be a consideration for therapists to keep in mind whether the are disclosed or not.

The Slow Slow Way is The Best!

As a therapist and doctor myself, I assume clients have issues or undisclosed injuries or histories of trauma in the following places until proven otherwise: knee, posterior leg and hamstring, trapezius and/or shoulder joints, chest, breast, torso, pelvis, adductors and groin muscles.  When I bring the client into thai yoga postures, I use a multistep and supported methodology to do so based on the previous assumption. My Grand Master Teacher Phaa Khruu Samaii always used to say  “Thả mạn cĥā cĥā pĕn wiṭhī thī dī thīsud” “The slow, slow way is the best.”  Being methodical, precise, slow and sensitive in delivery of therapeutic postures will ensure that we do not make undisclosed preexisting injuries worse. With this in mind, be careful not to proceed with apprehension. Clients can have keen senses and when they sense that the therapist is nervous or overly cautious they will tense up even more, which might do the exact thing you were trying to avoid: exacerbation of injury or strain. As a therapist, it is just as important to be strong and confident of every position you take your client into.  Once I determine the body can safely sustain the movement, I no longer baby-sit, I go right to it. I take the client right into the postural angles and pressures that would be appropriate for a healthy person.

Safety factors for executing Dak Kha include:

• The heel on the targeted side has to remain as close as possible to the glutes on the same side. Make a mental note of how close you can safely position the heel and then keep it that close throughout the entire range of motion for Dak Kha.

• Raise up and bring your thigh firmly against the knee and then gradually drop down into a sitting position taking the knee with you when testing their range of motion. This insures that the client’s knee is also being supported underneath all the way through the downward range of motion.

• As you take the knee towards the floor, do not allow it to cross over the opposite leg. Instead, move the leg slightly away from the center line.

Now do the four-step procedure:

1.  Test for range of motion by lowering their knee until you feel strong resistance

2.  Palm press the upper outer leg line with the outside hand, fingers facing down away from the groin (Sen Ittha or Sen Pinghala)

3.  Hit or use percussion on the line

4.  Stretch the leg as far as is comfortable or within the reasonable tolerance of the client and release cleanly

To release cleanly means to bring the knee straight up at the same time as you pull the foot up and under the knee. This way there is no twist or torque on the medial knee as you move from this posture to the next.

Facilitation of the breath is vital as you move through this posture. Not only does it facilitate the free flow of the prana, by emphasizing the breath we also engage the pelvis, abdomen and ribcage extending the effects of the posture and engaging more of the whole person.

Therapeutic Benefits:

This position lengthens and therapeutically benefits the following structures both hard and soft tissue: knee, hip and pelvis and specifically the quadriceps rectus femoris, vastus lateralis externus, vastus intermedius (internalis), vastus medialus (internus), sartorius, tensor faciae latae, biceps femoris, semitendonosis, semimembranous, vastii, tibialis anterior, extensor digitorum longus, gemelli, obturator internus (rotation of femur), gracilis, psoas and pectinous because of the extension of the hip as well as the previously mentioned Sen Lines and the first, second and third chakras. It is an excellent position from which to work the anterior leg Lom or Marma. Additional benefits include: low back alignment, reduction of low back and sciatic nerve pain, and reduction of referred groin pain from trigger points on the front back or side of the leg.

Accessible from this asana are several Reflex Center points (Lom):

Indicator or alarm point for Uterine Center (VIB37- Feng Shih (GB31) in females indicating lymphatic congestion of the uterus. In men a contraction or tightening indicates lymphatic congestion in the prostrate.


{Courtesy p. 85, Palpation Procedural Manual: Prof. Dr. Charles McWilliams ™2006-2011}

Indicator or alarm point for Colitus or Spastic Constipation: Anterior VIB24 (AhShi Point). In fact the entire length of the anterior thigh can be reflexed for digestive and assimilative issues from cecum to colon.

Reflex Indicator Point VIB24

{Courtesy p. 88, Palpation Procedural Manual: Prof. Dr. Charles McWilliams ™2006-2011}

Indicator or alarm point for Atonic Constipation: Anterior VIA14- Chu-liao (GB29) (AhShi Point). Additional indications are lower limb numbness or pain, to reduce fever, diseases of the hip joint and periarticular soft tissues, leg pain, orchitus, nephritus, cystitis and appendicitis.

Reflex Indicator Point VIA14{Courtesy p. 92, Palpation Procedural Manual: Prof. Dr. Charles McWilliams ™2006-2011}

Indicator or alarm point for Sciatic Neuritis (VIB20- AhShi Point). Additional indications are Lower limb paralysis, post polio symptoms and low back, neck and knee pain.

VIB20{Courtesy p. 128, Palpation Procedural Manual: Prof. Dr. Charles McWilliams ™2006-2011}

This position is a primary meridian stretch and release for the stomach and gall bladder.

Always include Therapeutic Puja or Prayer

In order  to create a spiritual space in which to heal and  frame of mind to maximize the contact and experience we are sharing with the client, we incorporate Puja (Therapeutic Prayer) before and after we  do a hand reflexology session.

SomaVeda™ Integrated Traditional Therapies are a spiritual, energetic and competency based therapeutic healing system or Spiritual Medicine (See: What is SomaVeda™?). In the SomaVeda™ system there are over 1000 different therapeutic postures used commonly. SomaVeda™ is a complete holistic system on Natural Medicine.

For info and live courses with Aachan James at the Thai Yoga Center, visit: WWW.ThailandStudyTours.Com and  ThaiYogaCenter.Com


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