Structural Bodywork utilizes manual techniques—movement, and joint and soft tissue mobilization—to free up restrictions due to injuries, overuse/under use, and scar tissue within our connective tissues—tendons, ligaments, bone, muscle and fascia. This promotes the restoration of a more organized pattern in the fascial fabric, and in-turn may restore stability, mobility and strength to pre-injury levels.
Other common Structural Bodywork modalities:
KMI - Structural Integration ... and other branches stemming from Ida Rolf's original teachings, all fall under the umbrella of Structural Bodywork and fascial manipulation.
Below is a short list of some conditions which can benefit from structural bodywork:
- Trigger Points
- Motor Vehicle Accidents
- Sports Injury
- Carpal Tunnel
- Thoracic Outlet Syndrome
- Frozen Shoulder
- * Pre-surgery intervention
- Post-Surgery bodywork
- Sciatica and Pelvic Issues
- Muscle Tightness
- Breathing Difficulties
- Neck, Back, Knee, and Foot Pain
- "Creaky" Joints
- Gastrointestinal Issues
- ... many more ...
* Many conditions commonly treated with surgery benefit from appropriate structural and myofascial bodywork before a surgical option is employed. However, I do not diagnose conditions or disorders, nor do I advise in surgical procedures. Ultimately it is up to you and your doctor to decide whether or not surgery is right for you, and whether or not structural bodywork is a viable option or intervention.
Visceral Manipulation (VM), as developed by Jean-Pierre Barral, D.O., addresses the mobility, motility and function of our internal organs and their relationships with their neighboring tissues. This is done by cueing the body and listening to subtle responses indicating the location of restrictions with organ or structural tissues.
Once a location of restriction is located, your therapist works with your body through gentle techniques to provide the "helping hand" your body needs to maneuver itself into better functionality.
Because of the delicate structures of organs, none of the techniques should ever feel painful.
Like our muscles, internal organs, nerves, and blood and lymph vessels require the ability to move naturally with ease and in coordination with their neighboring tissues to operate optimally. Because most of our organs are suspended inside our skeletal structure, restrictions in their movement dictate potential restrictions in our muscular-skeletal system.
By addressing restrictions in the mobility and motility of our organs and organ systems, we restore a more functionally synchronized operation, and relieve pains and imbalances other treatments were previously unable to address.
When it comes to restoring movement to our bodies, we cannot expect to treat the body successfully as a cohesive unit while leaving out the entire inside of our bodies.
Relieving even a single organ can sometimes be the "key" to unlocking the door to function and ease.
Craniosacral Therapy (CST) is a bodywork modality developed by John Upledger, D.O. in the 1970s. Focused on releasing deeper structures surrounding the central nervous system, CST utilizes skilled touch to the joints of the cranial bones, spine, sacrum and pelvis to free up restrictions to the natural movements of the bones, and the contractions and expansions of the spinal column and surrounding tissues.
Our brains account for about 2% of our bodyweight and yet use up to 70% of our bodies' energy stores, about 25% of its Oxygen intake, and about 25% of its nutrients. It is a hungry powerhouse of an organ that produces a lot of metabolic waste. As metabolic wastes accumulate in and around our brain, our brain function decreases. Essentially, the waste clogs up and slows down the transference of chemicals and enzymes needed for optimal function.
Thankfully, our brains come equipped with 1,000s of miles of blood and lymph vessels to transport wastes and nutrients to and from its cells. Additionally, our brains actually mechanically pump—contracting and expanding in coordination with the bones of our skulls—to aide in flushing out wastes.
In Craniosacral Therapy, we call this our Craniosacral Rhythm.
Cranial bones, vertebrae, sacrum and pelvic bones are all osseous connective tissues housing our central nervous system—cranial and spinal nerves, and the brain and spinal cord—and then branch out into our Peripheral Nervous System, helping to process and control our limbs.
Because of the interconnection and proliferation of our nervous system throughout our bodies, the Cranioscral Rhythm can be felt throughout the body.
In a perfectly healthy individual, a balanced left-to-right expansion and contraction, and a relatively calm and consistent amplitude and frequency to their Craniosacral Rhythm can be felt. In a body with restrictions in one or more areas, their rhythm may become diminished, lop-sided, or imperceptible in those areas or in other parts of their body.
Through injuries, traumas and resulting compensations, our bodies will "lock down" otherwise healthy movement in our tissues to protect neighboring and related nervous tissues. In turn, this restricts the quality of our Craniosacral Rhythm, resulting in local and/or systemic issues, and ultimately affects the flushing of metabolic wastes from our brain.
By tuning into the Craniosacral Rhythm a Craniosacral Therapist can locate, assess and then treat restrictions, restoring more optimal function.
Common Issues Treated with Craniosacral Therapy:
- Head, Neck and Spinal Injuries
- Cranial and Spinal Nerve Impingement
- Temporal Mandibular Joint (TMJ) Disorders
- Dental Issues
- Mood disorders (e.g. anxiety, depression, etc...)
- Traumas (e.g. PTSD, physical, sexual, emotional abuse, loss/grief, accidents, etc...)
- Sinus Infections
- Neuro-endocrine issues
- Inability to focus
- Blurred vision
Similar to working with organs, identifying and resolving restrictions within your nervous system—cranial, spinal and peripheral nerves and surrounding connective tissues—can provide you the resolution to long standing issues with your health and wellness otherwise illusive with other modalities.