Structural Integration is a system of focused practice incorporating deep manipulation of soft tissue and movement reeducation. Structural Integration aims to increase awareness and ease in the body by freeing areas of restriction and unwinding tension patterns in the soft tissue creating space for a new pattern to land in the body.
All bodies assume a pattern due to accident, injury, imitation, or life circumstances that get written into the mind, the muscles, and the body’s biological fabric — the fascia.
Through body reading, we look at how the muscles are imbedded in the fascia to function as adjustable guy-wires within the fascial net. We use manual therapy to increase or decrease the muscle tone locally to promote even tonal balance across the myofascial (muscle + fascia) tissue of the whole body. Giving freedom to stuck fascial areas can bring renewed movement, balance, and ease.
A visual body reading is essential to determine where in the body the fascia is not functioning properly, regardless of where the pain is. A body reading is done at the beginning of each session, where the therapist observes the client’s natural posture from the front, side, and back view.
This work is designed to progressively build support, sturdiness, balance throughout the structural system so that there is a whole new “frame” underlying your posture and movement, which can keep old injuries from coming back and help new ones from happening.
But manual therapy is not enough — it is vitally important for the client to be part of the process through movement homework between sessions.
In an ATSI session, clients come prepared for a body reading and movement assessment. Clients are asked to wear comfortable but minimal clothing (running shorts, sports bra, bathing suit) for full access to the body by the therapist, but also with enough coverage that the client is comfortable moving on/off the table or bench, as well as moving about the treatment room.
The client will be asked to initiate movement during the application of therapeutic touch. Working this way encourages change in the body by stimulating proprioception and reeducating neuromuscular patterns of use while awakening the appropriate layers of fascial tissue.