CAN DO IN
FOR THERAPY & ATHLETIC PERFORMANCE...
COMPLEMENTS YOUR OTHER THERAPIES
Part 1 of 2 - The Method &
Includes lots of key Testimonials
Jump to Part 2 of 2
What Sessions are like, What they accomplish.
How they make you feel great,
What my own "add-ons" also give you.
"What it is" & "How it's Different"...
So that it adds benefits
To what you now do.
"How it's Compatible"
with your other treatments...
even enabling them to do more.
"Includes Descriptive Testimonials"
Olympic Athletes, Track Coach,
College Athletic Trainer, Chiropractor,
People who work out.
Scanning: Read Bold - Black, Blue
Faster major point Scanning: Read Red & Blue
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by Louis A. Gross BSEE
Founder of The Institute for Enhanced Performance
School Certified Master Postural Integrator, since 1983
Body Structure & Bodymind Performance Specialist
A Resource for Body Professionals of all Kinds
27 years successful experience
For more information & free consultations, call 1-321-726-9083
Stills from Chariots of Fire for my own
enjoyment as a non-profit encouragement.
Click on thumbnails to enlarge.
WHAT IT IS
Structural Integration Bodywork is a very specialized manipulation of
the soft connective tissue of the body, called fascia (fah shah). This
is the gelatinous material that surrounds and goes through all our muscles,
holding all the muscle fibers, blood vessels and nerves together. It's made of
tiny protein fibers in a fluid, and it's malleable.
Fascia's shape can be changed.
Everyday activities, athletics and especially intense work outs make it shorter
and more compressed. This treatment makes it longer again.
Sports Medicine perspective this treatment does two things. It lengthens tight muscles
faster, and often further, than any other technique and gets at the deeper ones that
most other techniques can't. It also detects and removes
"systemic" patterns of tightness that other treatments rarely detect or
the Structural Integration “process,” applied through a “series” of treatments,
organizes the whole body toward maximum economy of effort and most
integrated and least restricted movement.
Used as a therapy for removing
tightness, it is also an athletic performance enhancer.
For a 13-printed-pages, in-depth explanation of
the how and why, see
For a 20-page detailed explanation of how tightness causes
Lou makes my body work the way it's supposed to
work. The treatments allow me to do what I do, easier, and more fluently. After each session my flexibility,
range of motion, speed and balance are all better.
After the third session, I had the best
workout I ever had in my life.
Powell, WORLD RECORD HOLDER Long Jump
1988 & 1992 OLYMPIC SILVER MEDALIST
HOW IT'S DIFFERENT, YET...
HOW IT ADDS TO WHAT YOU ALREADY DO
There are two major differences in approach,
between this work and almost any other kind of treatment you may be familiar
Almost all other Sports Medicine
treatments, including chiropractic and stretching, are “neuro-muscular, bone
and joint“ oriented, and are usually locally focused.
If you have a problem in the leg muscles, you treat the leg muscles.
On the other hand, this method, formally known as the Structural Integration Method
Connective Tissue Manipulation, is “soft connective tissue“ oriented
and is both locally and systemically oriented.
Practitioners like myself know that pulls, stiffness and tightness are not only
local in origin, but are part of tightness and structural imbalance in whole
groups of muscles, even into other body parts, and also a systemic tightness, or
fascial shortness, "pattern," manifesting in the whole body structure. This is especially true of back
problems, & neck, shoulder issues.
We also know that many muscle and joint problems are actually caused by soft
connective tissue problems, specifically: short and hard soft
connective tissue in and around the muscles that is rarely stretched out and
almost never massaged out.
For example, pain over
the kneecap is often in the tendon of the quadriceps muscles on the top of the
thigh. But the cause of that tendon pull is the shortness in the fascia of
those muscles and in their "interconnected" muscles on the front of the pelvis.
These get bunched up, for instance, with a lot of running and cycling,
especially with the effort needed to go uphill.
In addition, those muscles are
also being held tight by the shortness of the hamstrings on the back of the
thighs and the adductors on the inside of the thighs. Further, the thigh
muscles are held in tightness by the lower leg and torso muscles.
example is tight Illio Tibial Tract problems - in which many other kinds
of practitioners try to massage or stretch right on the outside of the
thigh. But this IT Band, as it is sometimes called, is actually a
tendon extending from the combination of the Gluteus Maximus and Tensor
Fascia Lata muscles, and also affected by the Gluteus Medius and
Minimum muscles, to name a couple others. If the sides and
front-rear of the pelvis in the muscle-fascia parts are first lengthened,
one can then spread the fascia down the IT Band and it feels better.
What Structural Integration does is follow a knowledgeable
sequence to unravel all this interconnecting tightness so that all the muscles'
fascia spreads out. Then pain in the tendon can go away because the
tightness that is pulling on the tendon is gone. That sequence works with
the actual way the body's bone and muscle system is interconnected as well
as the way the fascia is organized.
fact, the unraveling is not just loosening but also re-organizing the
muscle groups and the whole structure into the way we are anatomically
designed for maximum function, or performance. The more it is
re-organized, the more is is less bunched up or shortened-tight.
inter-connected unraveling approach, along with the fact that we're actually spreading
the fascia itself,
gives very good benefits to hamstrings and other hard to lengthen areas.
Hamstrings are part of an interconnected muscle and bone network through the
entire leg. To lengthen them the most, we need to lengthen the fascia of
all the leg muscles.
Tight shin muscles or tight adductor muscles on the inside of the thigh will
keep hamstrings from re-lengthening back to their full shape. And so will
tight abdominals and a tight back.
This system is "designed" to loosen large amounts of
tightness and create lots more flexibility.
I can assure you that Lou has a wonderful understanding of the human
body. He has a knack for not only treating a particular problem but
helping to correct the cause. Often times, that cause is far
away from the site of pain.
Lou has complemented the
work we do in the training room with his own special brand of
health care. We all work on flexibility programs, but Lou
really attacks the problem and usually has wonderful results.
I can honestly say that I would not hesitate to send
any of my athletes to Lou. He can be an enormous asset to
athletes and medical professionals alike
Trained to work on Olympic Athletes
THE SYSTEMS APPROACH TO RE-LENGTHENING
AND RE-ORGANIZING THE WHOLE BODY
technique is a very powerful therapy for lengthening individual parts, the
greatest and longest lasting effects come from treating the entire body.
We can think of muscles and
bones as distinct pieces that we can massage or put ice packs on. But with
fascia, what we're re-lengthening and re-organizing is a totally interconnected
substance that's "everywhere."
Each part affects every other part. Shorten one place with intense
effort and the whole body gets "worse." Re-lengthen it and the whole
body gets "better."
Make each part of the body better
through a sequence of sessions, and each of the parts, in turn, will also make
all the other parts better, too.
As more of the body is loosened up,
people actually feel a further release in an area distant from where I'm
currently working. The upper part of the torso, for instance, might relengthen
and relax while I'm in the process of relengthening a part of the lower leg.
The soft connective tissue "network," called fascia (fah sha), goes around and through
every muscle. It starts on the outside of the body just under the skin
and goes through the deepest muscles inside the torso, limbs and head. So
the fascia from place to place is not a set of separate chunks. It is more
like a continuous interconnected web. It's like a set of multi-layered
body-suits all woven together. This gigantic, human shaped piece of fascia
makes up the shape of the whole body. And inside it, are our muscle
fibers, bones, organs, blood vessels, nerves and so forth.
So shortness or
distortion anywhere in this network pulls and stresses muscles and bones
everywhere else. The whole shape gets distorted. It's like a
knot in a sweater or a bunch-up in a shirt.
And we all develop lots of these shortnesses, all over.
Because even children tighten
up and fall, everyone grows up with a somewhat
randomly organized body structure, with varying degrees of shortness and misalignment
pulling and twisting at various angles from various parts.
We all develop many knots
all over. Structural Integration Bodywork removes knots after knots.
The purpose of the
"system" is to organize this network by re-lengthening all the fascia back to
the "designed" length of our muscles. Then the whole structure becomes a more integrated set of parts.
that relationship of bones and muscles gives us the best performance.
This improved organization simultaneously aligns us with the constant, and very
influential, force of gravity. Instead of using up muscle effort and
energy to keep standing up straight, this change lets us use those muscles much
more fully for our athletic efforts. Gravity is even thought to then
add energy to our own neuro-muscular activity, and to our internal physiology
and energy fields.
If you look at your
body sideways in a mirror, you might find the pelvis tilted down in front,
the thighs leaning forward, the calves bulging backward, the lower back
arching backward and the upper back and neck angling forward. This
is the basic or standard imbalance almost everyone grows up with.
So a lot of your
body is leaning forward and a lot is leaning backward and everything is
fixed in this shape by the fascia that is holding all the muscles in their
tightness happening all the time, even if you were floating weightless in
the space shuttle. Everything is tight against everything else, even
before you add to it, with tightness from your activities.
"Structural Integration Method" of Connective Tissue (fascia)
Manipulation is not a typical myo-fascial release for this part or
that. It is a system that removes all this tightness and reveals the
body's optimum performance by improveing the entire fascial network at the
same time that it is fixing local and area tightness for specific issues.
then actually works together better, and so, economy of effort is greatly increased.
Muscle "groups" actually work together better, which adds more power, and
without having to work at control so much.
once muscle groups are much more in balance, with each other and with the
downward force of gravity, there is a tendency for them to stay in
balance, and not retighten as much with effort, either. People's
necks and shoulders, for instance, stay softer once the head and neck are
going up vertically from the shoulders.
Organizing the structure
by changing the shape of the fascia also improves physiology in many ways.
It expands the volume of air we can get into our lungs, it increases
neurological and organ function, and it greatly improves the rate and
efficiency of cell respiration.
A structure of this type
maintains itself at a higher energy level that is also more coherent, or
clearly and more harmoniously organized. This has a tendency to ward off
disease, lends itself to creating a positive emotional outlook, raises the level
of mental clarity, alertness and intuitiveness, and adds both power and
sensitivity to movement. It also works toward refining artistic
expression. And it significantly improves centeredness, awareness and
In this regard, we are creating more efficient and higher performing
individuals who are less troubled by pain, tightness, dis-organization,
blockage, exhaustion and injury.
From just the first 3-hr session I had more flexibility, my leg
stretch was longer and easier and my technique was better. I also jumped
farther than I thought I could. My 275 lb bench press went up
a lot easier, the first time I'd done it really clean.
Overall, I no
longer had the negative pulls that kept me from executing the way I'm
My recovery time was also better. The warm-up had been
wearing me out; this time I wasn't as fatigued. And after my
previous jumping workouts, I had been feeling "beat up," and didn't want
to do anything for a couple of days. This time I didn't feel
anywhere near as bad and I felt like I could jump again the next day.
My lower back would
also be tight for 2-3 days and I'd need a chiropractor to put my back and
hip in. I also wasn't as tight as usual and I
didn't need a chiropractic adjustment.
Gordon Laine, Long Jump,
U.S. OLYMPIC TEAM alternate
All-American Triple Jumper
The most incredible result has been my very fast and easy recovery.
I now have no problem completely recovering from a marathon in just 3-4
hours, to where I would enjoy running again if I wanted to. The next
day I feel just normal tightness, no muscle soreness, no change in gait,
no limp, and no tender walking. I feel like I'm totally back to normal in
My performance has also increased, including the fact
that I pass people at the end of the marathon, going up
Dr BP, Dentist, age 28
My warm-up stretches before soccer were 4-5" longer, with no effort.
I was faster, and my timing was better in relation
to speed and action. It gives me better control, better balance and a
better center. I feel this is how my body should be.
The pains that had been hurting
me regularly in my right shoulder since a 60 mph motorcycle accident 1-1/2 yrs
ago are now totally gone, and I now have more strength in my shoulder than I'd
had since the accident. I'd had no
power in it at all.
Mr CG, LONG TIME SOCCER
Film/TV Actor, age 26.
|I recommend my two
books described on-site:
Back Fix Bodywork -
Understanding the Cause of Back Pain & How to Get it Fixed
How to Make
Your Body Work Better & Do More for You
If you're an athlete or
performing artist, or you work with these people, you can learn from these
Their unique "engineering analysis" approach
explains how to improve performance and remove pain so that you can use
the information in your own work or training.
HOW IT'S COMPATIBLE
Structural Integration Bodywork is not a
substitute for other Sports Medicine treatments. Yet, by improving the
"competency" of the myo-fascial component, it
increases the effectiveness of almost every other treatment and skill.
Lengthening the fascia
of the muscles allows them to release back to their full muscle fiber lengths
when the action has been completed. This allows every
neuro-muscular and joint manipulation therapy to work with freer and more
It also improves the physiology of
interstitial fluid, just as massage does on the outer fascia of the skin and
external muscles. Only the Bodywork does in down through all the
muscles to the bones.
Further, muscles tend to
glue onto each other in their fascial sacks. This, too, reduces length and
it significantly reduces articulation of the groups of individual muscles.
Structural Integration Method of Fascia Manipulation Bodywork is designed to
correct this gluing and separates the bodies of muscles even deep within the
thigh's adductors and hamstrings.
This is an established
method taught in a number of schools and applied by thousands of practitioners
on many continents over the past 50 years. It was developed after much
research and practice by a physiologist-biochemist with in-depth knowledge of
yoga, osteopathy and other body methods.
directly fixes "spasm" injuries. And while its purpose isn't to treat
already damaged tissue, it does remove tightness that directly causes injury,
that "spreads' the pain and that aggravates tissue that needs to heal.
This is called correcting
the cause of repetitive strain injuries. We remove the tightness around
the injured area & in the interconnected muscle system, so that the pulls
that would keep the injured area hurting and stressed, are taken away.
also makes stretching much easier.
It helps for groin and
Hamstrings benefit A LOT.
It breaks up old scar tissue and it
prevents tightness from becoming an injury.
This is such a great thing you're doing. We
really do need more of this. I've had chronic hamstring problems
since high school. And I'm just coming off a
This really helps.
It pushes all that old stuff out, and the stuff from everyday training.
Getting off the
table and immediately bending over, I could keep my knees locked and touch
my palms flat to the floor, with room to spare. Getting right off
the table, with my legs cold in the outdoors like this, I wouldn't have
been able to do that before.
The next day
before my event I felt great! And afterwards, when I warmed down and
stretched, I felt better than I had felt after any race. It's
been a long time since I felt that way, too.
Lynda Tolbert, 100
meter hurdles, Nike International team
1988 & 1992 U.S. OLYMPIC TEAM
Became 4-TIME OLYMPIAN
The main benefit is that two days after the first
long session, I didn't have any problem with my left hamstring, which had
been troubling me for nearly three weeks. The treatment cured my
and it improved my overall condition as well.
This bodywork let me train so well and still not
have the tightness, in the hamstring and in the rest of my body.
Cahill (Nee Boxer), 800/1500 meters
6- TIME BRITISH CHAMPION
I'd had chronic Achilles tendon tightness and operations for tears on both ankles. The bodywork broke down the tightness in my calves and they now move fluidly.
Scar tissue had
built up in the subdermal tissue and that got broken up.
The treatment was key to
also breaking up and loosening the scar tissue under
my buttocks at the top of the
I was doing cleans weight
lifting 1-1/2 to 2 years ago and pulled too hard, so
I tore my upper
hamstring, and it was never the same. Every time I did cleans, it would
hurt. Now, it feels a lot better. My thighs are looser and lighter, and they move
easier and faster. I've noticed I'm picking up speed in my training.
I'd also had a misalignment; when
I lifted my right leg it didn't come up straight but twisted outward after
it was half way up. That, too, was corrected.
WORLD RECORD HOLDER Triple Jump