Structural Integration

Anatomy Trains Structural Integration is a form of bodywork and springs from the pioneering work of Dr Ida Rolf and has been developed by Thomas Myers.

Anatomy Trains Structural Integration (ATSI) is evidence informed and treats postural patterns, as well as chronic pain and movement dysfunction with soft tissue treatment specific to the individual based on detailed evaluations and assessments, often resulting in greater vitality and resilience.

Research has shown that Structural Integration significantly reduces chronic stress and changes the body structure in gravity, often resulting in reduced pain symptoms and dependence on medication. These manual therapy sessions can be delivered as a one off session, a 3 series or a full 12 series. The recipe is based around the Anatomy Trains Myofascial meridians concepts.

ATSI consists of a multi-session protocol (usually 12) of deep, slow fascial and myofascial manipulation, coupled with movement re-education. The design of ATSI is to unwind the strain patterns residing in your body’s loco motor system, restoring it to its natural balance, alignment, length, and ease.

Most of us have collected extra tension through the course of our lives, either from injury or surgery, imitation of our parents or heroes, from our repetitive activities, or attitudes we’ve acquired along the way. These injuries and tensions form a pattern in our bodies.

These patterns become written into our muscular tensions, or skeletal form, and into the tissues that go between: the connective tissues. The Anatomy Trains SI approach is to free the binding and shortening in these connective tissues, what we refer to as the “fascial network”, and to re-educate the body in efficient and energy-sustaining patterns.

What does it involve?

ATSI takes place over 12 progressive sessions.

Most ATSI sessions are done in underwear or swimwear. Times may vary but a session can take up to 1 ½ hours. Each session is a hands on treatment with a postural/ movement assessment at the beginning and during each session.

The most common question is how often do I have the sessions?

This is a difficult question to answer as it depends on the individual. How do you respond to the session, how does your tissue respond and listening to your body will give you a good indication of what is right for you. If you have the sessions too close your body does not have time to process and adapt to the new information. If they are too far apart then you lose the momentum of the process.

Photographs are taken at the beginning and end and sometimes during the series.

This is so we can view any changes in your structure or pattern but it is not so we can try and get the perfect posture, as this is not what the series is about. We do not want to put a forced posture on you; we want your body to be the best it can be. Giving you a feeling of length, ease and balance in your body (a sense of being comfortable in your own skin).

Much of the session work is done on a treatment table,
though some moves are done on a stool or even standing.

The practitioner will contact tissues and ask you to move, thus freeing old restrictions and encouraging the tissues back to a freer place called for by your body’s inherent design. You and your practitioner can work out how deep or how gentle you want the progression to be.

The first 4 sessions are known as the sleeve sessions

The aim is to free up the front, back and sides, freeing the shoulders from the trunk, freeing the breath and finding support through the feet.

The middle four sessions are known as the core sessions

They address the core of the body, working into the central stabilisation muscles closer to the spine helping to unwind hidden rotations and find support from within.

The final four sessions integrate the core and the sleeve to improve co-ordination and posture.

The new alignment simply becomes part of who you are, not something you have to work at or repeatedly see a practitioner to maintain – leaving you with a lasting and progressive change.