Structural Integration: The Body’s Answer to Chronic Pain
Mar 24, 2017 06:14PM
By Dr. Tom Findley and Ed Hemberger
Are you experiencing headaches, migraines, lower back pain, and neck or shoulder pain? Have you had enough of taking medications to mask the pain? Structural Integration Rolfing, is a holistic hands-on approach for the evaluation and treatment of the body, focusing on the primary cause of pain dysfunction—the Fascial System. The fascia is a connective tissue which runs throughout our bodies. It is very tough, a densely-woven, spider-web-like covering that interpenetrates every corporal structural. In the normal, healthy state, this tissue is relaxed and unrestricted in its ability to stretch and move.
“The human body is not static It’s plastic, and that plastic quality enables a person body to be realigned into a more optimally functioning and feeling human being. Rolfing accomplishes that realignment.”—Ida P. Rolf
Traumas, such as accidents or extreme emotional upsets, can create restrictions in this fascial tissue. This results in binding, hardening, or sticking of the fascia, which can cause excessive pressure on nerves, muscles, organs, bones, and blood vessels. Chronic Pain Structural Integration acknowledges that the body stores stress and pain in patterns called compound and progressed—trigger points, muscle spasms, tension, headaches, back pain, and other ailments.
In some cases, these patterns will naturally dissipate with rest; however, when rest fails to properly eliminate discomfort, chronic pain patterns emerge, compound, and progress until the system breaks down. Over time, the myofascial element of soft tissue adaptively shortens, exerting extreme pressure and strangling nerves, muscles, and vascular structures of the body. The connection among impaired fascial tissue, physical pain, and the effect on our bodies in motion becomes clear. It is also not difficult to understand how this might affect us, even when we sit. Unfortunately, with standard tests such as CAT scans and X-Rays, fascial restrictions just do not show up. As a result a significant number of people suffering with pain may be experiencing restrictions and too often are going undiagnosed.
Structural Integration Rolfing is a form of massage that focuses on the fascia. The goal in structural body work is to open fascial restrictions and reduce the pressure on the body as a whole. The work is done with no oil, in order to sustain pressure into the fascia and not slip. Structural Integration addresses the body as a whole, and often produces positive and lasting results. Structural Integrations are a deep form of body work. It follows a ten-step protocol, and each step addresses different segments of the body in a specific order, with the intention of opening restrictions from the inside out.
Edward Hemberger, LMT and Dr. Thomas Findley, MD.PhD, Structural Integration Practitioners Rolfing as seen on Oprah, work at the VA Hospital in East Orange, Hackensack, Manhattan, Livingston, and Boonton. For information, contact them at 973-462-3112. HembergerStructuralIntegration.com.