THE MANY BENEFITS WE CAN RECEIVE FROM STRUCTURAL INTEGRATION BODYWORK
AND, HOW I DO IT -
Part 2 of 2 – The Treatment
HOW I DO THE HANDS-ON
And What Happens
Return to Part
1 - Benefits - with its many into-site article links
Getting Sessions Page -
if you came from there
Want to Read later?
Download PDF Version
DIFFERENT FROM OTHER TREATMENTS:
This Body Improvement System is different from massage,
acupressure and shiatsu. They give our bodies other important benefits in many
ways. The major difference from Structural Integration I want to emphasize
is that they are not "designed" to greatly relengthen so much fascia and reorganize the way the body
WHAT WE DO: Here, in a series of 1-2 hour sessions, the practitioner
uses fingers, hands and arms to manipulate, or spread this fascia
lengthwise, so the soft tissue of the muscles actually gets longer and less
compressed. We don't have to try "banging" into the muscles to try to
"force" them to "let go." We are just re-lengthening
the "putty" that has been holding the actual muscle fibers in too short a sack
WHAT YOU GET: Because of this approach, clients find they get large amounts of long lasting loosening in a
relatively short amount of time.
MY SPECIAL CONTRIBUTION: From what I was taught by long time Structural
Integrators and what I learned from working on athletes, I developed a special
hands-on technique, unusual in this field, coupled with some other techniques.
These allow me to do 3 and 4 hour sessions,
in a way
that the body enjoys. In fact, for many people, it works fine to do
6, 8 and even 12 hours of treatment in a week to a week and a half.
HOW THIS HELPS YOU: I can get a
lot done, deeply and comfortably, in a short amount of time, and do a group of
sessions in a "travel visit" to a client or group of clients, for a few days to
a couple of weeks. People say my treatments usually feel "great," (Their comments are
on the testimonials pages.)
The technique is like a series of
short yet comfortable deep massage pushes, within which I also move a section of
fascia. And I hold my hand, arm and shoulder in a special "receptive" way
that significantly reduces sensations of any harsh pressure or pushing.
I also simultaneously guide the
client through a relaxation process that turns off a lot of the nerve activity
and muscle hardness we accumulate throughout the day. People let go in
both their bodies, and minds, all the way down through the organs and bones,
even into the energy centers.
I guide the client through special
Structural Integration fascia, or connective tissue stretches, too. These add to
the hands-on Bodywork results and then make more Bodywork easier to do.
(Books and tapes of these methods will soon be available.)
While other Structural Integrators
indeed give people excellent results, the usual approach for the 10-step Basic
Recipe is to give 1-hr to 1-1/2 hrs every week or two.
Download PDF Version
SCANNING: Read bold
black & red
by Lou Gross, School Certified Master Postural Integrator since 1983
Body Structure & Bodymind Performance Specialist
28 years successful track record
A Resource for Body Professionals of all Kinds
For more information & free
consultations, call 321 726 9083
* Links to more detailed articles on the website
* To then come back to the exact same place in this document,
click Back Button on your browser.
Starting from the outside, and in
different sections of the body, we move each group of muscles into a
larger, looser form that becomes better and better organized in its muscle-bone and joint
system. It's also more flexible and more thoroughly relaxed.
As the sessions continue, the treatment on a second, third or fourth area
releases that local tightness, and also releases its muscular "holding,"
so there's less and less pulling on muscles all over the
rest of the body as well.
When this happens, more and more layers of old tension and tightness
in the whole body are
released, and the "body-suit" literally gets bigger. Right from the
first session, people notice they feel significantly more relaxed, and at the same time, they
say they have more energy, more flexibility and move around easier.
We treat muscle group after muscle group, in a logically defined order.
We're doing that re-organization. First, of course, even tightness that accumulated even
decades ago is removed and gone forever. We clear up whatever is there. This
also corrects the misaligned
positions of bones and joints. They are actually re-aligned toward
their proper positions. This obviously makes the body work better. But it
also stays in a more tensionless and flexible condition as well; and that lasts for weeks, months and
even years afterward.
Back pain, and other pains,
can get better and stay better
because we are
removing the years of accumulated tightness it took to create the pain to
begin with. For most people, it will take a lot of time to get so tight again,
especially because this healthier tissue will stretch out easier. And because we
have improved the body’s proper alignment, the everyday pattern of tensing just
to stand and sit upright won’t happen as much either.
From my 20 years
experience, the excessive curves of the spine, especially in the lower
back, can be made a lot less for almost everybody. So vertebra and disk
problems, and a lot of lower back pain, can become less.
Further, we now have a better
interconnected operation of all the bones, joints and muscles. This allows us to
do more activity without accumulating as much bunch-up.
But we aren't just
re-lengthening a few tight muscles. We are doing a process, over a series
of sessions, that purposely straightens out the whole set of our muscles and
bones, one area after another.
In Part 1, I
mentioned the overall tight pattern we develop. It's the zig-zagging shape
of legs leaning forward and back leaning backward to compensate,
the one that causes so many people back problems. This is the same tight shape
that causes many knee, groin, ankle,
shoulder and neck pains, too.
Looking at the person sideways, we see the
thighs and lower legs lean forward but the calves are bulging backward. The torso leans backward in
the lower and middle back, and the upper back, shoulders, neck and head are
leaning forward. This shape is held fixed by the hardened, short fascia. And it
stays that way, even getting worse, because we have to keep making our muscles tight to
hold us up in this form. One part of the body, and gravity, are always pulling
against the other part.
To reflect, the reason other kinds of treatments
don’t fix a lot of tightness and
back pain, or they just loosen it for a few hours or a few days, is because they
are approaching the condition in a localized way instead. So I keep
repeating, that the true cause of most people’s chronic back pain, and their
chronic muscular tightness and many other pains,
is because a lot of different muscles and fascia in different parts of the
body, are keeping the whole system
this Structural Integration approach, we release a certain amount of the
tightness in one area after the other. And then we go over the whole body again,
at a deeper and more inter-connecting level.
When we do this, something else
happens that's also very good. We are
doing more than releasing tightness and pain, more than creating relaxation and
flexibility. We are "uncovering" the
"integrated way" that all the parts of the body are designed to work
together. This is the way our nervous system is designed to make the
move. After we allow the muscles to move around in the full, and
unrestricted way they're designed to move, the whole neuro-muscular operation
now works better than it's probably worked our entire adult lives.
That's why I say our bodies operate more like they're designed to work.
And of course, THIS is a totally different
purpose from massage, acupuncture and chiropractic.
Each phase of the treatment, from outside to the deeper inside
structures, takes a few hours. And as I keep saying, each step in a new
area produces greater benefits in all the areas.
Right from the beginning, people
feel they’re getting freer, more flexible and less tense. As the
treatments continue, even whole sections of the body become freer.
You can see that the old
patterns of restricted behavior and tense movement loosen up, and the range of
each of the muscles' movement not only gets longer, their muscular power
Obviously, when a muscle can move through a longer distance, it does
more. And now, we also have more muscles working together to accomplish a
movement. This coordinated activity increases the power of the activity.
This coordinated muscle
activity is another way we are designed to "operate." And it helps in
other ways besides making movements. Not only do
people notice they're standing straighter and taller with less effort, but
they’re also standing with greater stability. This is another feature of
our naturally designed shape. The muscle and bone structure are really
designed to work well with the force of gravity. it is only when we're bunched
up that we relate to gravity as a force trying to pull us down. So
people get a better sense of balance, that balance is felt
deep in the body, and they even feel "better connected" to their physical
The arms, legs and torso obviously become longer,
because all their muscles got longer and the zig-zagging of the bones got more
straightened out. So they all function better as parts of the body. They work more freely on their own with less
tense holding from other
parts, and they also work more together with the body's other parts when we want
to do a whole body movement. And to repeat, at each step of the process, people's
tissues become softer and more deeply relaxed, and they become mentally calmer and clearer, and are less bothered by
There are 10 "steps" in the basic Structural Integration recipe, which
take 12-15 sessions for the average person. Additional sessions improve
upon this and help with chronic pain conditions, especially long-term back
problems. With most practitioners, people have sessions once every week or two,
but once a month for 2-4 hours also works. As I said above, in my approach, I have a special hands-on
technique combined with other practices that enables people to do 4-6 hrs a
week, and even do 10 or more hours in the first week.
looseness improvements are felt
by almost everybody, immediately in the first session, but chronic pain doesn't
get much better until a number of hours into the process. It might get less
intense and more localized fairly soon, and after a while, it also might not
show up until the person makes a greater range of movement than before.
For acute pain conditions, just a few sessions can sometimes release
the problem, without the need for integrating the whole structure. Some
people have 4-10 hours, or more, in the first week, for a faster fix.
To say what I said
before about the different parts of the body holding each other tight, what is unique and especially effective about this treatment is
that the related muscle groups that are causing the pain are treated as well as where you are conscious of the sensation of the pain.
This is a very important concept of why the Structural "Integration" approach
gets such very good, long lasting results. Pain is often a
local "symptom" of the bigger problem of overall tightness that you don't
For tension and stiffness release,
people feel better immediately,
starting from the first session and I recommend four 2-hr sessions for the first
significant change. This does a lot, and if you don't also have a major physical
problem, lasts a long time. To remove recurring tightness, some people have
regular tune-up treatments of these manipulations instead of massage
Details of the Method:
Recipe of the Bodywork Steps
16 page in-depth Body and Mind explanation
WHAT OTHER PRACTICES ARE INCLUDED
IN THE SESSIONS ?
As I described above, I teach clients some very effective
"connective tissue" stretching and yoga exercises that
help them maintain and even improve upon what I've done with the hands-on
work. I explain which stretches work for specific parts of the body, and I show
a technique that makes any kind of stretching more effective. Even elite athletes and yoga
students found both the positions and the special technique helpful.
This kind of stretching
is not a part of most other practitioners' Bodywork programs. However, most people
can find their own yoga classes. And, as I mentioned, I am soon offering my stretching
"education" method on tape and in a book.
Yoga Benefits - details
"Structural" Stretching Tape
I also provide my clients with a
very nice bodymind guided relaxation
process combined with some acupressure energy balancing.
also teach them breath concentration meditation techniques that improve our
abilities to stay focused and attentive.
"processes" create a lot of relaxation, very deep down. So they allow me
to do the Bodywork deeper, yet quite comfortably. I have been known for
being able to go very deep, even in the early sessions, while keeping the body
organized and not causing pain.
I, and many other
practitioners, often play very relaxing, classical music during the sessions.
I can also offer wholistic health suggestions
in the way of raw and "regenerating" food diet, "tonic" herbs, special kinds of
exercising and techniques for removing toxic build-up. This internal
cleansing relaxes muscles quite a bit, and adding better nutrition makes keeps
them looser and more pain free.
I will soon have
the guided relaxation and mind-body breathing techniques on audio tape.
Your practitioner might even play it for you during the sessions if you get one
and you both find it helps.
Energized Relaxation – Info/Tape
Mr. Green’s Health Rejuvenation Tips
Clients are often taught how to use their new physical freedom in a more
effective way that also creates less tension than their usual way of moving
around, or even just sitting down. We call this Integrated Movement education,
and I have found it is easier to do, and also easier to comprehend, after we get
the Structural Integration series, because our bodies are now organized to
function this better way.
. The most commonly
used Integrated Movement techniques are from Rolfing Movement and Aston Patterning (which are
similar). Some people do the Alexander Technique and Feldenkreis movement practices. I’m not an expert in
these fields, but I give a bunch of great, key techniques that have
helped people immediately in daily life.
Your practitioner may
have been schooled in these, or in the system called Movement Enhancement which
combines the Bodywork and Movement Training, or even in something called
"Embodiment" created by Rolfer Grant Ramey. Hellerwork practitioners have
also used a short checklist of "letting go" and body positioning techniques.
Some Bodywork systems, such as Postural Integration (in which I was trained)
employ body-oriented psychological techniques. These
help remove the
energies of old traumas, negative emotions and self-limiting
patterns that got embedded within the physical tightness during times of
stress. I, myself do this for clients who want this kind of
"wholistic" approach. And, I find that the physical improvements created
in the "fascial form" last longer when the underlying, "unconscious"
neuro-muscular tendency to re-tighten, is also removed.
Besides the P.I.
training, I have also been trained in another, complementary method that
can make the release of old energies even easier, more thorough, and more comfortable
than with only the Reichian, Bioenergetic and energy methods that are used in the
Postural Integration system. This is called the Netherton method, and I
describe something about all these techniques in the Body-Mind articles
listed on the home page and the Free Booklets page.
These body-oriented verbal and
breathing processes also help us become more aware of our bodies and the
different parts of our personalities and past "patterns." They are excellent for
uncovering the details of adult traumas and even very early childhood events we
may not remember. This increase in our own, mental awareness occurs at the same time
that we are removing the negative
charge and overwhelm our bodies had gotten from the old events. We see the
events clearer and yet they effect us almost not at all anymore.
These benefits are a wonderful
aid to psychotherapy and people say their therapy goes faster and
easier. At the risk of sounding egotistical, I have a lot of experience in
this area and my talents give people very good results rather quickly.
Testimonials are on site.
Psychological & Personal Growth Benefits –
Body-Mind Therapy – very detailed
MY OWN BACKGROUND & TRAINING
I have a BS in Electronic
Engineering from Syracuse University and years of experience in
engineering design, problem solving and management. Now
I do "People
Engineering," and apply the same approach to helping people.
I have over 2000 hours specialized
education and 20 years experience in bodywork, movement,
body-psychology, nutrition and energy healing. I'm certified as a Postural
Integrator, Master Level, by the International School of Release &
Integration in Mill Valley, CA, and also as an acupressurist from the
Ryoho School in Los Angeles.
I've worked in two college training rooms and two chiropractic offices,
and have had patients referred to me by medical doctors, psychotherapists, college coaches, an acupuncturist and a physical therapist. I
have worked on almost two dozen Olympic Level athletes and college coaches,
plus serious recreational athletes, and a number of health professionals. I have
years of experience treating runners and jumpers, very effectively and
efficiently. I also have over 20 years intensive meditation training.
details of my training
My attentive work is characterized by
very broad and in-depth knowledge,
fine technical skills,
- clear explanations of what I am doing, and why,
a loving heart,
and, people say: "great hands."
Back to Part 1 - Benefits
About Master Postural
Integrator Lou Gross
Return to - Go to How to Get Sessions
Athlete Testimonials - World Record Holders
Athletic Coaches & Trainers
Recreational 10K Runners, Marathoners,
Do a lot for yourself !
Get the Structural
Connective Tissue Stretching Video, too.
These are the stretches I teach to my
clients and friends.
Most can even be done in seniors' classes as we did.
Includes how to
stretch hard to reach areas and helps remove back pain, including
telling what needs to be lengthened and why.
Helps remove the tightnesses that cause and aggravate
pulled back muscles. So they can heal better.
Helps get more out of yoga.
My arms don't reach overseas, but my info and
stretching video can help people everywhere with
back problems and to increase their
physical and athletic performance
Also, Look into my Back Fix Book
Body Works Better Book.
Copyright 1995, 2002
Louis A. Gross All Rights Reserved