In the early phases of Structural Integration training, students begin to become aware of the fascial envelopes that line the pelvic basin, abdomen and inner thorax – and of the amount of work it will take to release and mobilize these fascial layers!
Once this awareness is incorporated into practice, several things become obvious in clinic. For example, this is where we realize that it is the norm to find the iliacus and iliopsoas layers adhered to the sides of the pelvic basin and lateral anterior edges of the lumbar spine. It is the norm to find the visceral omentum adhered to the sides of the abdominal cavity, and fascial adhesion between the abdominal musculature and the omentum. And, of course, it is the norm to find the pelvic floor and respiratory diaphragm adhered to the inferior edges of the pelvis and inner thorax.
Because all these adhesions limit the mobility of the core and its ability to transfer breath and motion through the body’s vertical center, mobilizing the fascial layers lining the inferior margins of the pelvic basin is key to mobilizing the pelvic floor. Mobilizing the fascial layers adhered to the anterior surfaces of the pelvic basin is key to mobilizing the sacrum and creating lumbar balance. And mobilizing fascial layers adhered to the abdominal cavity is key to easing rotation of the visceral omentum and supporting the diaphragm’s ability to move within the thorax.
As we become aware of the interconnections between these fascial envelopes and the body’s transverse diaphragms, we can understand how adhesion deep within the abdomen with cause the pelvis to rotate and limit the mobility of both the pelvic floor and respiratory diaphragm. And we can understand how rotation of the lower end of the core will spiral through the entire body.
Although it may sometimes seem tedious, there is no substitute for simply spending time working in these cavities to discover what needs to be released. Nor is there a shortcut to having to release and mobilize these fascial layers and diaphragms before being able to mobilize the core.