The techniques that Structural Integrators utilize to release adhesions between fascial layers and mobilize tendons and ligaments are totally different from those used by practitioners whose primary intent is to affect muscle and bone.
Thus far in class, we have talked a great deal about the importance of using two hands when assessing the body’s three-dimensional myofascial sleeve, and when spreading apart fascial layers that are adhered together. Now, as we learn to radially align the long bones of the arms and legs and ease torsion between joints, we must also learn to use these long bones as fulcrums and levers. And as we learn to attend to the relationship between the body’s extrinsic myofascial sleeve and its inner structural core, we must learn to rotate and counter-rotate these large three-dimensional myofascial ‘cylinders’ to release and radially align them.
As we attend more and more to the radial alignment of the long bones of the arms and legs, it becomes increasingly important to utilize the client’s movements. To have them move the knee as we anchor and release the ankle. To have them rotate the distal end of the femur as we release its proximal end. And as we attend more and more to the relationships between the girdles, it becomes increasingly important for the client to rotate and counter-rotate their upper thorax as we work to release and balance the shoulder girdle. And to move their legs and hips as we attempt to release and balance the pelvis.
The techniques we utilize and the movements we ask our clients to make when attempting to release a specific area of the sleeve will, of course, be very different from those needed to release the core’s transverse diaphragms and those needed to radially align the body’s inner core and outer myofascial sleeve.
As a general rule, we must first release the entire myofascial sleeve before being able to release and differentiate the body’s structural core. And, typically, we must first release the joints and diaphragms below the joint or diaphragm that we are intending to release. For example, we release the ankle to release the knee, and release the pelvic floor to release the respiratory diaphragm.
As we learn to differentiate the body’s outer sleeve and inner core, it becomes increasing important not to compress layers together, but to spread them apart. Not to use excessive pressure, but to be patient. And to do this, we must shift our working perspective from assessing and working from the outside in, to learning to ‘see’ and work from the inside outward.