Anatomy Trains Structural Integration
The Anatomy Trains Structural Integration (ATSI) series is a project of aligning your body, educating your kinaesthetic sense and easing any pain that may be present. ATSI unwinds the strain patterns in your body’s locomotor system which may have developed over years of sitting/ lack of movement/ injury and ineffective movement patterns. The aim of ATSI is to restore the body to its natural alignment, balance, length and ease.
ATSI is a form of Structural Integration that was developed by Tom Myers based on his Anatomy Trains model of the body. The original form of Structural Integration is called ‘Rolfing’ and was developed by Dr Ida Rolf. Tom was one of Dr Rolf's students and he has updated Dr Rolf's work substantially through his focus on the Anatomy Trains.
You can experience ATSI as a one off session but usually it is a series of 12 sessions. The first 4 sessions work on the most superficial layers of myofascia (connective tissue and muscle) in the body. In the early sessions your Superficial Front Line, Superficial Back Line, Lateral Lines and Spiral Lines will be freed depending on what your postural alignment requires. The next four sessions or core sessions delve deeper into the Deep front Line and work with the deeper layers of the spine and breath. The last four sessions are all about integration and ensuring that the pelvis and the shoulders are moving well and contributing naturally to full body movement. During most sessions you will spend a short time analysing posture and movement. You will then work with your practitioner while seated and on the table moving your body slowly as the practitioner contacts the tissue and separates and frees the connective tissue to improve your movement.
Many people come to ATSI and structural integration because of pain or restriction, the intent of ATSI is to get to the condition behind the immediate problem. The ATSI series is designed to progressively build support, sturdiness and balance into the structural neuro-myofascial system, so that there is an entirely new ‘structure’ underlying your posture and movement. This stops old injuries from coming back and helps to prevent new injuries.
We all have individual strain patterns within our bodies, these patterns come about from our bodies response to the way we move or our lack of movement. The way we move is dependant on the things we interact with in our environment, cars, desks, iPhones, chairs etc and other experiences that we have had like trauma and injury. Starting as a simple gesture or response, movements can become a neuromuscular habit. All our habitual movements form our postures, and these postures require changes in our structure (our neuro-myofascial system). Some of these changes in our structure are unfortunately negative, our bodies start to compensate now that they are out of alignment, and we are required to increase tension or exert more force to help our bodies deal with the misalignment. ATSI is a wonderful process to reclaim your ideal posture and movement patterns.