Healthcare and Medicine Reference
In-Depth Information
Structural Integration
Since initial publication in 2001, the Anatomy Trains
scheme has served a gratifyingly wide field of manual
and movement workers, including orthopedists, phys-
iatrists, physical therapists, osteopaths, chiropractors,
massage therapists, yoga teachers, athletes and their
conditioning coaches, martial artists, and personal train-
ers, even a few psychologists.
The Anatomy Trains map derived from our own
attempt to organize a progressive series of sessions to
unravel the postural and functional compensations dis-
cussed throughout the topic and assessed in Chapter 11
(a sample chart for noting such assessments is shown in
Fig. A2.1). This 'recipe' for working the lines in progres-
sion follows the same principles the author learned from
Dr Ida Rolf (see Fig. In. 7, p. 4), and the resultant approach
accordingly retains her term for it - 'Structural Integra-
tion'. Graduates of our Kinesis Myofascial Integration
(KMI - program are certi-
fied in Structural Integration and eligible to join the
International Association of Structural Integrators (IASI
- (Fig. A2.2).
The idea in Structural Integration is to use connective
tissue manipulation (myofascial work) and movement
re-education to lengthen the body and organize it
around its vertical axis. By 'redraping' the myofascial
cape over the skeletal frame (or by achieving the
'floating bones' of coordinated fascial tensegrity, if you
prefer), we see generally greater symmetry around
the Euclidian planes. This restores the feeling of 'lift' as
the person elongates from whatever random pattern
they may have had toward the highest potential and
kinetic energy of an easy upright alignment. In physical
terms, this process seeks to lower the moment of inertia
around the vertical axis, readying our bodies for all
available movements without initial preparation (Fig.
The KMI approach differs somewhat from other
schools in this arena in that our series of 12 soft-tissue
manipulation sessions is based around reading and
treating the cohesive myofascial continuities of the
Anatomy Trains, rather than following any set formula.
We include this brief guide to how our particular
approach to this method unfolds, in hopes that this
might be useful for others wishing to put the Anatomy
Trains into practice. Of course, such an overview
elides many complexities and the varying application
to individual peculiarities. Some of the actual
techniques that are employed in the training program
appear in this topic, others in our video presentations,
and still others (for safety reasons) only in our training
So, with the proviso that this appendix is not meant
to limit experimentation and innovation we present an
outline of how we currently apply the Anatomy Trains
map in our training programs. This appendix will mean
less to movement therapists, but more perhaps to
manual therapists, especially those who employ 'direct'
myofascial techniques.
The general order dictates that we begin with the
more superficial myofascial tissues of the superficial
lines - the Superficial Front Line, the Superficial Back
Line, the Lateral Line, and finally the Spiral Line. This
is followed by work with what is popularly called 'core',
gathered in the Deep Front Line. The final stage of the
process calls for integrating sessions that bring the core
and the super-ficial 'sleeve' together in a coordinated
symphony of movement with an 'easy' relaxed posture
and 'acture' (Fig. A2.4).
Looking at the overall sequence before we outline
each session, we note some elements that differ from
other, similar approaches:
1. The Arm Lines come in for significant
differentiating work for each of the first four
sessions, since the myofascia of the arms is even
more superficial than the Front, Back, and Lateral
Lines. They have a session of their own at the end
when the shoulder and arm assembly must be
reintegrated into the new support from the
decompensated trunk. The Functional Lines,
joining the arms to the contralateral leg across
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