A Primer on Structural Integration – How it Differs
So, what's the big deal with body reading in the way that SI practitioners do it? Well, one answer to that is, SI practitioners employ body reading in a way that's very quick and has the ability to be an effective problem solving strategy. It can also be easily applied to your practice, whether you're a PT, massage therapist, or a bodyworker with another modality in your tool belt. With the way we do body reading, and that means taking in the stages of motor development, it’s extremely applicable in your practice and is a very effective way to solve problems.
But, I’m often asked, how is it effective? How can it help your practice? Well, as a bodyworker or PT, what have you, you may have run into situations that are difficult to work with, you may have run into clients that have challenging issues and body reading in the way that we do it is a different approach to be able to solve a problem. For example, you may have had a client that you helped but they keep coming back with the same issue. So, doing body reading the way we do helps to get to the main issue that may have been nagging the client in the first place. So, many times as a bodyworker you may have worked an area with a client and you worked on a certain issue but the issue keeps coming back.
With body reading you're able to get to the source of the issue. An example is the famous Upper Crossed Syndrome. A lot of practitioners say their clients come in with upper trapezius issues, and maybe they work the pecs because they know that's a territory that’s part of the Upper Crossed Syndrome. But when we start looking at body reading in big picture, we know that upper pecs could be indeed an issue but with our form of body reading we asked ourselves, "is that really the place to work or to start?" It could actually be somewhere else that you want to work on.
So, let's take another look at the Upper Crossed Syndrome. Classically, the Upper Crossed Syndrome states that if there is tightness or issues happening in the upper trapezius, then you would have to look at the pectoralis area and work the pecs because they would most likely be tight, which is a great approach, don’t get me wrong, but it's the not the BIG PICTURE and when we look at a person in walking and we body read in walking the way SI practitioners do, we might be able to see that a source of the upper trapezius tightness is not in the Upper Crossed Syndrome territory. For example, what SI practitioners sometimes see is tightness in the abdominals, tightness in the lower torso or even tightness in the hamstrings that posteriorly tilt the pelvis and directly affect the shoulder girdle. This type of reading only shows up when you see a person walk. To me it's really interesting to take that added step of having a client walk to get to a core issue.
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