WHAT IS STRUCTURAL INTEGRATION?
Structural Integration (SI) is a systematic approach to working with the whole body over a series of sessions. All bodies assume a pattern, whether it be from an injury, accident, poor posture, traumatic experience, or suffer chronic pain, these experiences can have a big impact on your mind and body. How we hold ourselves in space can affect who we are. These experiences can get written in the mind, muscles, and biological fabric, the Fascia. Structural integration focuses on the fascia.
WHAT IS FASCIA?
It is a 3-dimensional web of glue-like tissue that surrounds all the structures in our body, including muscles, groups of muscles, blood vessels, nerves, and organs onto a cellular level. This fascial system is a supportive system that creates a tensional sea for our compressional bones to float in.
In the Anatomy Trains Structural Integration(ATSI), we use anatomy train lines that are continuous fascial lines of pull in the body that runs from your head to your toes. These fascial lines help guide us in helping to facilitate efficient movement and stability throughout the body’s myofascial skeleton. In structural integration, we body read the person and look at the body 3-dimensionally. Looking at the body from top to bottom, the major body segments are organized around a central vertical axis and the goal is to provide balance side to side, front to back, and for the inner core muscles to be balanced with the outer superficial muscles. Skillful touch can help relieve tension patterns in your body that no longer serve you, and help you discover new options for movement. SI can help determine where in the body the fascia is not functioning properly, regardless of where the pain is.
BENEFITS OF SI:
Physical injuries, trauma, and daily stresses of life cause us to adapt to how we move and hold ourselves in space. These compensatory patterns can become deeply ingrained, even long after the incident. Routine daily activities such as breathing, walking, sitting, or standing for any length of time can become more effortful and contribute to stiffness in the joints, pain, fatigue, and lack of harmony in our body. All types of people can benefit from structural integration.
Structural Integration has many benefits:
*Improve posture and balance
*Expansion of Breath
*Find ease in body and decrease stress on joints
*Improve overall mobility
*Help prevent recurrent episodes of injuries
*Refine movement and coordination and help a person live a healthy and active lifestyle
*Help improve body awareness
*Help improve athletic performance
*Help person age gracefully
History of SI
Structural Integration, otherwise known as ‘Rolfing’ was first introduced by Dr. Ida P. Rolf, Ph.D. She first obtained her doctorate in biochemistry from the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Columbia University. During the late 1920s, she developed spinal arthritis. With the limited medical services available, she began her lifelong exploration of the structure and function of the body to help improve her condition. She then studied hatha yoga practice. She started her journey by incorporating manually stretching the tissues to help sustain these postures. This technique, along with the observation of the specific limitations of the body moving in gravity, followed by the sequential selective lengthening of myofascial tissues, formed the fundamental basis for her method.
Tom Myers, later developed the Anatomy Trains Structural Integration(ATSI) approach. After many years of fascial research and anatomy dissections, he has expanded the original recipe to adding two additional sessions to the series. This ATSI method uses advanced myofascial techniques to remove restrictions in the fascial system while incorporating movement re-education to help restore the function in our whole body structure.