As I’ve been in transition while in the Anatomy Trains Structural Integration training these past 10 months, I’ve been thinking a lot about how the structural integration work can help us integrate all kinds of transitions into our wider life experience in a healthy way. We experience so many different kinds of transitions. There are transitions of maturity from childhood through adulthood that include many types of both physical and psychological change. From early adulthood, we move into middle age and hopefully on into old age. We experience many layers of those transitions of aging in our bodies. Throughout our lives, we likely transition through different hobbies, activities, or sports that interest us. We might transition through different kinds of work or career focuses.
Our layers of patterns
We interact with all of these experiences in our bodies. And, in the field of gravity, we shape our body to match what we do with it. Because our bodies are “form-follows-function” organisms, we retain the postural patterns we create from doing a particular activity. And then we often transition to something new and layer some new patterns on top of our old ones. After a while, we may find tension, aches and pains, or reduced function showing up in our body. I’ve definitely experienced this myself as I’ve focused on hiking for a period of time, then spent more time cycling, then spent more time running. All of the patterns I created in my body by doing these activities got layered on top of one another. And eventually, they started to create some aches and pains and reduced range of motion.
Structural integration eases transition
In particular, after doing several years of intense road cycling, I transitioned to doing more long-distance running. Even though I wasn’t doing much cycling this year, I noticed that the patterns I acquired to support road cycling were still in my body. As I received structural integration bodywork from my classmates during the continuing education training, I found that disentangling those patterns left more space, ease, and comfort in my body. As a result, I felt more energized on my runs, had a more balanced stride, better breathing, and less muscle pain. I was reminded again how valuable structural integration bodywork is for easy, energized movement and to support my overall health.
Try a full structural integration series
When we’re in transition, whether it’s moving from one sport to another, changing jobs, or simply feeling the effects of aging, it’s a great time to dive into a full structural integration series. A full series will take you through every plane of motion from head to toe. It can help clear up some of the confusion of life patterns that we hold in our posture, and leave you with the potential and space for something new.
Since I received structural integration bodywork for the first time in 2015, it’s been one of the most helpful tools I’ve found for bringing more balance and ease back into my body. I credit structural integration bodywork for restoring range of motion and helping me stay active in all the movement-related things that I love. If you’re transitioning to something new, give the full structural integration series a try. It can be such a valuable part of smoothing out those transitions that we all experience in life.