Get relief from chronic back pain, improve your breathing and ribcage alignment, and manage or decrease your Scoliosis with targeted neuromyofascial bodywork for spinal alignment issues.
Structural Integration for Scoliosis
Marla uses an extremity-based approach as a starting point for work with Scoliosis and other spinal curvature and vertebral rotation issues. In many cases, she views the smaller misalignments in the pelvis and curvatures in the lumbar region and at L5/S1 as the “primary curves” in relation to gravity. Accordingly, curves further up the spine can be seen as compensations or counterbalances that the body creates in response to standing and seated misalignments in the extremities, pelvis, and sacrum. Alternately, subtle alignment issues in the jaw and cranial bones can be major contributing factors (sometimes related to past orthodontic work).
In addition to detailed work on the extremities and core utilizing both Thai Structural Bodywork and Anatomy Trains Structural Integration (ATSI), Marla also uses movement-based neurofascial/neuromuscular techniques and alignment-based Yoga/Reusi Dat Ton (Thai Hermit Yoga) breathwork to free up superficial and deep intercostal/ribcage restrictions that can “lock down” spinal curvatures over time. Exercises based on Pilates principles, emphasizing two-way stretch and core stabilization, help to lengthen and strengthen the body in its improved alignment, reducing pain and improving breathing patterns in the long-term. Small pillows, pads, and props are utilized to optimize alignment during bodywork and movement sessions.
Why start with the extremities?
Our work is unique in that we often take an extremity-based approach to issues whose symptoms manifest primarily in the core. Scoliosis can be conceptualized as a complex series of spirals—a set of rotations and curvatures through the spine and ribcage, accompanied by alternating counter-rotations radiating outward through the joints of the extremities, jaw, and cranium. With long-term misalignment patterns, these fascia-based connections into the extremities can become a major component in perpetuating the pattern, even if the pattern originally started in the spine. By first working to re-align your base of support, we gain deeper access to the root of the problem and can make greater progress toward your goals as we progress through each session.
Walk Through A Scoliosis Series...
Step 1 - Foundational Work & Upper Extremities
Scoliosis creates a complex multi-layered support network throughout the body to counterbalance for spinal rotations and curvatures, so many layers of tissue must be addressed in detail for work to be truly effective in the long-term. Structural Integration techniques release extremity- and core-based restrictions in the superficial fascia and cutaneous nerve layers, and Thai techniques are utilized to free up deeper myofascial and nerve restrictions in the upper extremities. Freedom in the arms, shoulders, and superficial neuromyofascia throughout the body paves the way for deeper work, can reduce pain symptoms, decreases hypersensitivity related to past bracing or other interventions, and begins to improve alignment.
Step 2 - Lower Extremity Work
Misalignments in the joints of the lower extremities, alignment-based leg length inequalities, and pelvic torsions can be major contributing factors in Scoliosis. Using Thai techniques for deep differentiation of fascial septa and peripheral nerve mobilization, deeply held imbalances in the lower body are released and re-aligned. Structural Integration techniques fine-tune alignment, balancing the pelvis and legs in gravity. This step can reduce the lumbar convexity, and is a major factor in creating lasting positive change further up the body in the torso and spine during steps 3 and 4.
Step 3 - Address Ribcage/Core Restrictions
Once a stable and well-aligned base of support is established in the lower body, simplifying the tensional variables in play, truly effective work can begin on the intricate layers of tissue surrounding the spine and ribcage. Deep abdominal work, Thai nerve work along the spine and sacrum, and movement-assisted intercostal work aid in re-balancing alignment throughout the entire torso. One’s ability to experience deep, three-dimensional, balanced breathing increases. Pain decreases and spinal/ribcage alignment improves.
Step 4 - Integrate Extremities With Spine & Core
Detailed work on the head and neck, including intraoral/intranasal work, begins the integration process. Segmental spinal rotation issues are addressed. Further techniques to balance the extremities with the core in gravity, including standing and seated movement-based bodywork techniques and viscerofascial work, are also utilized. By the end of a series, one will likely not only feel taller, but be taller. With less compression throughout the spine and ribcage, and improved whole-body alignment in gravity, one will continue to see positive benefits from the work long after the series is complete.
Step 1 - Cultivating Two-Way Stretch & Elongation
Thai Yoga traction-based stretches and a variety of alignment-based movement explorations help to develop a sense of two-way stretch and the ability to elongate through the spine, utilizing the concept of the body’s myofascia, bones, and joints as a tensegrity structure.
Step 2 - Alignment-Based Breathwork
Yoga and Reusi Dat Ton (Thai Hermit Yoga) breathing exercises focus the breath, addressing specific areas of myofascial and intercostal nerve restriction that are not directly accessible via bodywork, from the inside out. Breathwork practices are highly customized, factoring in one’s individual spinal and ribcage rotational/curvature/alignment issues.
Step 3 - Strengthening While Lengthening
Full-body exercises that emphasize two-way stretch help to stabilize the spine and encourage support in an elongated, aligned state. Utilizing a variety of props and equipment, previously inhibited or fascially “locked down” muscles, including segmental spinal stabilizers (Multifidi), are targeted. Exercises are based on Pilates principles and may incorporate a variety of movement modalities.
Some Movement Integration work is offered during each bodywork session.
60-minute Movement Integration sessions are also available.
Each body is unique and we will work with you to figure out the best program for your individual goals and needs. Contact us to schedule a free consultation regarding series-based work for Scoliosis.