Structural Integration: Is it for you?
I’ve been bodyworking for over 20 years now!
From the simple relaxation techniques of Swedish massage to more remedial and rehabilitative sports-based modalities and into the specialised principles of myofascial release work, I’ve used a wide range of therapeutic touch on many hundreds of bodies.
My favourite modality, by far, is Structural Integration (SI). In fact, SI is so effective that I focus my entire practice on it.
In terms of physical anatomy, we’re all likely very familiar with the skeletal system, circulatory system, immune system, digestive system as well as muscles, tendons, and ligaments.
But, what if I told you that an entire body system (that affects virtually every other system) – has been left off that list?!
The term fascia is from the Latin word meaning “band” or “bandage”, and it is the biological fabric or infrastructure that holds us together.
Essentially, it is our complex network of connective tissue and can be likened to a spider web of fibrous, glue-like proteins that binds all of the other systems together in their proper places.
“Each organ, each muscle, each artery, each vein, each nerve — there is not one single structure in the whole body that is not connected with fascia or not enveloped by fascia.”
– Andreas Haas, Manus Fascia Center, Austria
“Don’t be so touchy-feely”… heard from not too many people ever!
That’s because we, as humans, all crave touch – to touch more often and to be touched more often. I don’t mean this in a sexual manner either – it’s meant as being an essential element in your “love language”.
And we all need to be loved in different ways. Don’t we?
“To touch is to give life” ~ Michelangelo
Did you know your body communicates with you around the clock?
Many of us are often too busy and stressed with everyday responsibilities, like work and childcare, or distracted with television and technology, to recognise and receive the messages our bodies are sending us.
But, you can gain valuable insight into your current state of health when you tune into what your body has to say.
The Language of Chronic Pain… are you listening to your body’s signals?
Besides our love language fueled by the hormone Oxytocin, another one of the most common languages our body uses to communicate with us — is PAIN.
We’ve all got one or two gnarly looking scars on our body. An old injury from falling off our bike as a kid, or maybe even a bigger one from a recent surgery.
These scars tell a lot of stories and it’s not just the actual story of how they happened that I’m referring to.
For a bodyworker like myself, your scars tell me HOW to treat your body. They tell me WHY you may be experiencing pain or discomfort and WHERE.
Our bodies are so complex that the old bike scar from childhood that you may have completely forgotten about could still be affecting you today.
But before I go down that rabbit hole, let me first give you a brief explanation of scar tissue.
What is scar tissue really?
What if one day you woke up and you weren’t able to lift your arm above your head? No matter how hard you tried, it just won’t move.
And to make matters worse, your shoulder is swollen and you’re in a lot of pain.
These are just a few of many symptoms of a condition commonly known as Frozen Shoulder. As the medical folk like to call it — Adhesive Capsulitis. (See, that’s why most people prefer to just say ‘frozen shoulder’!)
Frozen Shoulder is a condition in which the shoulder joint experiences an extremely limited range of motion. In some severe cases, an individual with the condition will have difficulty performing basic daily tasks like getting dressed or brushing their teeth.
I have my limitations… we all do!
I love that I can help people achieve pain-free routines, and sustain active healthy lives. When a client comes to see me, I consider it a sincere privilege to help them find relief and more simply – to move better.
Truthbomb: as a Structural Integrator & Myofascial Bodyworker, there’s only so much I can do.
There are only so many times I can treat each individual client each week. Not to mention that I can’t follow them around all the time in between appointments to make sure they’re minding their posture or lifting that big heavy object properly.
Pain management, especially for long-standing, chronic pain – is a joint venture between the patient and practitioner. When my clients do their homework, so to speak, their results are much more effective and long-lasting.
This is why I frequently assign clients take-home strengthening exercises and stretching routines. These exercises are intended to help them manage their discomfort in between appointments AND to minimize the likelihood of an injury recurring.
Some of the most common issues I treat as a specialised Bodyworker:
Dead butt syndrome. Sounds pretty scary, doesn’t it?
So you might be wondering if it even really exists. I mean, can your butt actually become dead?
Unfortunately, YES – dead butt syndrome, also known as Gluteal Amnesia, is a real condition — and YOU might be suffering from it without even realizing it.
TRIGGER POINTS (TrP’s) are actually very common and can occur within any muscle of the body. Patients of mine who have trigger points often report persistent, chronic pain that results in a decreased range of motion of that particular muscle.
The most common muscles affected are in the head and neck area, which can lead to symptoms such as headaches, jaw pain, ringing in the ear(s), and even eye pain.
“The daily clinical experience of thousands of massage therapists, physical therapists, and physicians strongly indicates that most of our common aches and pains — and many other puzzling physical complaints are actually caused by trigger points, or small contraction knots, in the muscles of the body.”
~ Clair Davies