Anatomy Trains Structural Integration
What is Anatomy Trains Structural Integration? (formally KMI Structural Integration)
Anatomy Trains Structural Integration (ATSI) was developed by Rolfer Tom Myers. It incorporates the principles and myofascial techniques from Rolfing, the original form of structural integration created by Ida Rolf in the 1970s. One of the major differences between Rolfing and ATSI is that the sessions have been adapted around the myofascial meridians (Anatomy Trains) that Tom Myers has discovered and popularised. Each session is dedicated to one of the Anatomy Trains lines and uses hands-on techniques to manipulate the myofascia (muscles and fascia) to reorganise the body’s structure and improve its function. Its goal is to improve movement, postural alignment, balance and flexibility. As a result, it can be excellent at helping long term chronic problems like backache, neck and shoulder pain, as well as improving our poor postural habits, wellbeing and quality of life. To read more about ATSI go to my blog Anatomy Trains Structural Integration – what’s it all about?
How does Anatomy Trains work?
The program is made up of 12 sessions which are best received every one to two weeks. Each of the sessions includes postural and movement assessment before applying the hands-on techniques. You do not have to commit to all 12 sessions straight off in fact the first four sessions are good as an introduction to the work and you can greatly benefit from just receiving the first four sessions. Once you have committed beyond the first four sessions it is advised to complete the full program for best results.
The Anatomy Trains is a tool that enables the (ATSI) practitioner to see the soft tissue connections throughout the body. Anatomy Trains Structural Integration aims to integrate all these parts so we can move through life more efficiently.
As the tightness and restrictions in the myofascia are released, many of the everyday aches and pains and chronic problems that you feel can disappear and your posture can be greatly improved. Movement becomes easier and energy levels improve as your body begins to work more efficiently.
A session is usually one hour long and builds on the previous sessions so that by the end of the 12 session series, the whole body has been worked on in order to undo restrictions and tightness within the myofascial system.
What to expect
A typical session will start with me assessing your posture and movement and then from this visual assessment, I will choose which areas are tight and or restricted, and work progressively each session to release these areas of tightness and restrictions.
First four sessions
The myofascia is in layers throughout our body and the outer more superficial layers, which we call the sleeve, are addressed in the first 4 sessions. These are named the cardinal or superficial lines in the Anatomy Trains Myofascial Meridians and consist of the front, back, lateral and spiral lines. The first four sessions are a good introduction to the work and allow you to get a feel for the work, You can gain a lot of benefit from just the first four sessions and do not necessarily need to commit to the rest of the sessions however once you start session five it is best to commit to all the sessions for the best results.
Middle four sessions
Once the outer layers of myofascia are released we are then able to work into the deeper myofascia more effectively, and the middle 4 sessions work on these deeper layers which make up our core or deep front line in the Anatomy Trains Myofascial Meridians. Once you commit beyond session four it is best to complete the whole program for best results.
Final four sessions
The final 4 sessions are the integrating sessions and give us both the chance to go back and readdress areas in the sleeve and core which still need work. These final sessions will also balance the pelvic and shoulder girdles as well as the spine, and integrate the sleeve and core so as they work with each other instead of against each other. You could think of it as joining up the dots or putting things back together in a more organised way.
After the twelve sessions
After the 12 sessions, it is good to have a break from the work, this allows your body and nervous system to settle and continue to integrate the effects of the series.
After a period of time, I will invite you back for the occasional top-up session. The short 3 series of ATSI is a great way to top up the work from the 12 series. You could think of the 3 series as a mini service for your body and mind supporting the benefits of the full service of the 12 series.
Structural integration has been shown to create ongoing changes for a long time after the initial 12 sessions and there have been further visual improvements in people’s posture a year or more after their initial 12 sessions.
Pam, Shoreham “Have you ever just wished someone could take the pain away? After years of trying Osteopaths, Chiropractors, Doctors and various massage techniques I had pretty much decided that no one could. I had been told that I had a shoulder injury but found walking uncomfortable, standing for more than a few minutes almost impossible, sitting hurt as did lying down. I wasn’t in constant pain but it affected my life, my ability to be active and my confidence. When yet another therapy was suggested I was less than enthusiastic, but could this be the one that made the difference? Well yes, it has, and most of the work done by Andrew has been on my hips, legs and feet !! My appalling posture is no more, and the pain has gone, KMI Structural Integration is not always a relaxing therapy, at times I found it very challenging but the results are, for me, life-changing. I am not “cured” but I feel my age now, 50 instead of 90. What a relief!”