Anatomy Trains Structural Integration
with Shelly Stephenson
What is ATSI?
ATSI is part of a larger family of bodywork called Structural Integration that was created and developed by Dr. Ida P. Rolf (1896-1979). It is a manual therapy that strategically frees the binding and shortening in the connective tissues, or "fascial network."
ATSI is interactive work, as client movement is fundamental to tissue change. We look at the whole neuro-myofascial system to see where restrictions or pain may be coming from. The work is designed as a process with a beginning, middle, and an end. The general goals are freedom of movement and long lasting change.
Using the Anatomy Trains as a guide, the ATSI process has 12 separate and progressive sessions that go from superficial to deep. The actual number best for your body may vary.
From the Anatomy Trains website:
"Anatomy Trains Structural Integration (ATSI) sessions can be used to resolve particular problems, as a 'tonic' for your posture, movement, and what used to be called 'carriage' – how you carry yourself through the world. Your body is your most proximate tool. How do you use it? ATSI structural integration can be seen as an extended course in reacquainting yourself with your body in motion, whether you are a finely-tuned athlete, or a computer-bound couch potato.
Most of us have collected extra tension through the course of our lives, either from injury or surgery, imitation of our parents or heroes, from our repetitive activities, or attitudes we’ve acquired along the way. These injuries and tensions form a pattern in our bodies. Exercise, and our mother’s nagging to ‘Stand up straight!’ may help, but most of this patterning happens below our conscious awareness and becomes part of 'who we are.' These patterns become written into our muscular tensions, or skeletal form, and into the tissues that go between: the connective tissues.
The Anatomy Trains SI approach is to free the binding and shortening in these connective tissues, what we refer to as the 'fascial network,' and to re-educate the body in efficient and energy-sustaining (as opposed to energy-robbing) patterns."