IBT Youth Sports Therapy Program: Body Zones
When it comes to working with youth athletes, comfort and safety during therapeutic application are of absolute necessity. IBTs commitment to transparency includes disclosing the methods and actions taken in order to assure both the athlete and the parent/guardian are fully aware of techniques utilized, the justification of their utilization and the location of all applied therapeutic techniques.
1st priority is full informed consent to treatment by the youth athlete.
This is their session, it is their body.
Whether an athlete is there to address a specific issue, or a general maintenance session, all techniques will be explained and justified prior to application.
Required Parent/Guardian attendance:
A parent or approved adult must be present during therapy application.
Supervising adults are encouraged to ask questions and actively observe therapy.
It is this adults responsibility to be aware of the therapeutic plan prior to initiation of the session and be prepared to stop the session if the comfort and sense of safety is violated for the youth athlete.
Youth athletes remain clothed to an athletic comfort level as therapy is applied in a public setting, typically a gym or athletic event.
Hands on techniques are always applied with moderate pressure based on the athlete’s tolerance, and stretches are always applied with moderate tension also based on the athlete’s tolerance.
IBT techniques bring relief, not additional pain.
Sense of Safety;
An athlete's ability to relax will heavily dictate the efficacy of their therapy.
Tight, nervous muscles don’t achieve optimal balance.
In order to provide an environment in which an athlete feels capable of relaxation, full disclosure and discussion of location of therapy is provided.
In order to facilitate communication among the IBT practitioner, the youth athlete, and the parent/guardian about location of therapeutic application, Body Zones for Therapy have been established. Each zone is described below:
Body Zones for Therapy:
Green zones indicate typical areas of therapeutic application. These areas do not usually present discomfort for touch to a client. If a client considers a Green Zone to be a Red Zone, this boundary is honored.
Yellow Zones indicate areas where a client (or their guardian) may have initial discomfort with therapeutic application. These Yellow Zone areas are representative of musculature that is crucial to affect with hands on application for common pain conditions that occur in your sport. With full explanation of purpose and need for this area to receive therapy, if the client (or their guardian) is still not comfortable with therapy in these regions, self-care techniques will be instructed. (i.e foam roller, lacrosse ball)
Red Zones indicate areas where a client will never receive direct touch from a practitioner. If there is pain/dysfunction in these areas, other techniques will be utilized to affect the area, (i.e resisted stretches) and self-care techniques will be instructed.
Upper Third Pectoral Major-this area experiences high levels of tension and imbalance
Abdominals: tension and imbalance in this area contributes to lower back and hip pain
Obliques: just like the abs, tension can contribute to lower back and hip pain
Inner Thigh ⅔ up from the knee: also contributes to lower back and hip pain
Pectoral Major bottom 2/3s
Front part of pelvis below belly button
Inner Thigh Top 1/3rd of the muscle to the pelvis
Glutes External 2/3s
Inner Thighs Lower 2/3s tension and imbalance in this area contributes to lower back and hip pain
Feet- sometimes imbalances can reach to the feet, however these may be considered a yellow zone
Glutes inner ⅓-gluteal cleft
Inner Thighs Upper 1/3
This framework provides a language tool the youth athlete can utilize to enforce bodily autonomy and agency. This ensures their voice is heard before, during, and after their IBT session. It provides firm, black and white boundaries upfront so the client, supervising adult, and IBT Practitioner know there is no middle, grey area when it comes to soft-tissue bodywork.