& an introduction to the fascial system
By James Meredith, Remedial Therapist & Structural Bodyworker
Structural Bodywork is a form of hands-on, and integrative movement therapy that brings the body back into balance with our vertical line of gravity. By doing so we enhance our ability to use our natural mechanisms for healing, while creating new and adaptable space to move into.
By primarily focusing on our fascial system, we ease the burden felt in the body by poor postures, dysfunctional movement patterns, chronic pain, physical injury, and psychological trauma.
Structural bodywork addresses the relationship between body alignment and the chronic patterns stored in the body. Back pain, inflammation, repetitive strain and headache, can all be symptomatic of a body held out of alignment by ‘stuck’ and inhibited connective tissue.
So, what is the Fascial System?
Fascia is a 3-dimensional connective tissue interconnecting every cell, muscle, ligament, bone, and organ in the body.
Fascia comprises of both elastin and collagen fibers surrounded by a viscous material called the ground substance. The two fibre types allow the fascia to be strong yet highly elastin giving it the ability to move, generate and absorb force, and at times, be the source of pain and dysfunction.
Fascia contains more receptor sites than any other system in the body. These are sensory nerve centers that allow the body to register and respond to pressure and mechanical changes in the body, as well register and communicate sensations and pain. In other words, what we feel, and how we respond, in many ways begins in our fascial system.
Historically fascia was always seen as simply a ‘filler’ in the body. A substance that would be removed and discarded by anatomists during dissections as an obstacle in the way of seeing muscles, ligaments and bones.
Today the fascial network is considered a singular system, a continuous net of tissue that exists from head to toe without interruption. We begin to rethink the relationships between our moving parts and the orchestra that exists within us. A consideration that then must be made when addressing posture, movement, and chronic pain.
Good Intentions …
Our body’s aren’t all the same. Nor are our movements the same or ‘more natural’ than anyone else’s. Our intention is not to find the perfect posture, there isn’t such a thing. The emphasis should be on finding a relationship with our own body that is comfortable, pain free, adaptable, and functional for the demands we face. How that looks like is of lesser consequence than how it feels. Feeling and moving with ease in our body is a relationship with pursuing.
The Process of Structural Bodywork
Structural Bodywork is an interaction between participant and practitioner through visual and movement assessment, hands on technique, and movement practice. A subjective history taking at the beginning of the Initial Consultation, allows time to build an understanding of a medical background, history of injury or trauma, and to create a pathway for achieving change in the body.
Over the duration of one, or a series of sessions, we monitor the progress we make, while continually integrating new postural and movement awareness into your daily routine as we begin to unravel and and re drape the fascial net back into the body in a structurally sound and functional way.
James is a Structural Bodyworker at Being Well Healthcare. For more information on how to manage chronic pain, postural, and movement dysfunction with Structural Bodywork, contact James today at reception.