EUROPEAN SPA MAGAZINE

Editorial, December 2022

EXPERT ADVICE LOULOU JAMES, THE BUTTAFLY TECHNIQUE

Putting Back Pain Behind You

Recovery and rehabilitation have a long history in spa and wellness, and the Buttafly Technique created by physiotherapist, yoga and clinical Pilates instructor, Loulou James, is a new concept that helps clients gain mobility and eases pain.

James, who has worked in clinics in the UK and Hong Kong, specialises in musculoskeletal conditions, back pain and women’s health. Her journey to create the Buttafly Technique began with her own mobility issues.

“This method for releasing postural tension and easing back pain evolved when I used it to heal chronic back pain caused by a fracture at the base of my spine ten years earlier,” she says.

James discovered that there is a way to position the Buttafly which she originally designed to be an

ergonomic yoga block, that allows the lower end of the spine to ‘float’ in the Indent, leaving it free of any direct pressure. This enabled her to lie on her back without additional padding. Repeated use of this posture resolved her symptoms in just a few weeks and she began using to help other people.

A Unique Technique

Endorsed by the Complementary Medical Association, the Buttafly Technique involves the client lying in the supine position with precise positioning of the Buttafly  pelvis and spine need to be in a neutral alignment, and the correct a specific protocol for going into and out of the position must be followed.

“The technique facilitates a natural ‘unwinding’ of the spine,” says James. “The body is highly 

sophisticated and has the innate capacity to bring itself back into balance. That said, we rarely – if at all – consider how this applies to posture, but it does, and the Buttafly Technique harnesses it beautifully,” explains James.

Clients report an immediate improvement in posture and the changes are not restricted to any one particular demographic group. “Many people ‘hold’ their posture in some way mostly due to a combination of physical and emotional factors. Yet, regardless of age or condition, the body is also hard-wired for self-healing – it just needs the right opportunity. As compared to traditional manual therapy, this Technique gives the spine a chance to find its own way, at its own pace, and in harmony with the rest of the body,” James explains.

“People with a flat back will have an improved lordosis (natural backward-facing curve) in the lumbar spine treatment. Those with a hyper-lordosis will return to a more neutral alignment.” James says her clients find that the improvements in their posture are evident on the couch and when they stand; they also report a wider range of movement and function afterward.

The physical changes come with a subjective decrease in pain for many conditions including non-specific low back pain and discogenic pain, sciatica, scoliosis, and back and pelvic pain due to pregnancy and post-partum.

The Buttafly Technique can improve the client’s overall sense of wellbeing too. People often report that they feel more grounded and centered, lighter, and more vibrant.

There’s a growing body of evidence that poor spinal movement or function, regardless of whether there is any complaint of pain, impacts and compromises the brain’s ability to accurately interpret what’s going on in both a person’s internal and external environment, which can interfere with the body’s ability to adapt to their current situation.

“The theory is that when spinal function is restored, all of our biological systems benefit,” says James.

Gentle and Complementary

James’s technique is very gentle making it suitable for most people from teenagers to the elderly It also works well with other modalities.

A baseline response for each client must be established first especially because the effects  extend beyond the musculoskeletal system.

“Often people have an emotional response, and therapists must be prepared for this. It’s crucial for the effectiveness of the technique that appropriate aftercare is given.”

The procedure can be taught to practitioners and therapists who have training in hands-on manual therapy and understand the body and spine.

The training programme takes three days and includes both theory and practical sessions, spine and posture analysis, anatomy and physiology, discussion about  specific types of back pain and how they benefit; contraindications and a clear protocol for the Buttafly Technique.

The Buttafly Technique Practitioner Training

Learn how to use the Buttafly Technique for the benefit of your clients:

  • Good posture
  • Promote a healthy spine
  • Health of the sex organs
  • Relief from back pain, hip pain, and chronic pelvic pain
  • Aid digestion
  • Optimize breathing 
  • Improve pelvic floor health
  • Promote relaxation
  • Enhanced vitality