The ATSI 12-Series traverses winding paths of fascia, both superficial and deep, using the Anatomy Trains myofascial meridians as a map for the journey toward balanced alignment.
About Anatomy Trains Structural Integration
Anatomy Trains Structural Integration (ATSI), previously Kinesis Myofascial Integration (KMI), is a form of advanced structural bodywork descended from the lineage of Dr. Ida P. Rolf and her original, ground-breaking work with fascia and alignment. Much like Thai Structural Bodywork, ATSI is a modality that re-aligns the body in gravity and can reduce pain from long-held chronic conditions, old injuries, and postural dysfunctions. It can also be used to enhance performance and fine-tune alignment/body awareness for athletic pursuits.
Using a conceptual framework of myofascial meridians as a guide, the ATSI 12-session series touches progressively into each area of the body’s myofascia—balancing tensional forces, unwinding restrictions, and re-aligning the body in a way that is tailored to each individual’s unique body structure and movement patterns. Each layer of tissue is respected and addressed in order of depth, finding the first layer of resistance and working there before moving on to the deeper layers.
Every ATSI session involves a high degree of interactivity; it is not a modality to be passively received. Some techniques are performed in seated or standing positions to integrate bodywork with movement in gravity. Neck, back, and sacrum work are incorporated into each session, along with various advanced techniques such as Visceral Manipulation and neurovascular mobilization.
How does it differ from Thai Structural Bodywork?
For chronic pain: Structural Integration can be less intense, due to its slower pace and lesser degree of emphasis on differentiation of the fascial septa between major muscle groups. It excels at clearing superficial fascia, cutaneous nerve, and similar subtle restrictions quickly across large areas of tissue—this is extremely beneficial for highly sensitive individuals, hypermobile clients, and for those suffering from certain systemic conditions such as fibromyalgia.
For movement practitioners: Structural Integration work emphasizes active, rather than passive, movement during techniques. Sessions have a more interactive and movement-based focus that is well-suited to those looking to finely tune details of alignment and proprioception. Additionally, for those who plan to work out shortly after their session, this style of work is a better choice since it doesn’t emphasize deep differentiation along chains of fascial septa (Although progress can be swift with the Thai work, it generally requires a few hours to a day after a session for the body to begin to adapt to new alignment patterns). With ATSI, working out shortly after a session can often enhance the integration process.
The Structural Integration 12-Series
The journey through a full ATSI series involves three distinct segments: Sleeve, Core, and Integration. The first four sessions, the “Sleeve” sessions, address the fascia and connective tissues primarily involved in large movements (fascia surrounding large muscle groups, prime movers, etc.). These sessions balance global movement patterns, increase mobility, and improve proprioception. Freeing up this outer neuromyofascia also paves the way for deeper work.
The second four sessions journey into the myofascia of the “Core”, including the deeper postural muscles, local stabilizers, and tissues that lie closer to the bones. These sessions address deeper patterns of compression/misalignment in the body, allowing for more balanced mobility between spinal segments and awakening a head-to-toes feeling of two-way stretch/active length during movement. Cultivating or strengthening one’s access to this deep core connection can dramatically improve the practice of Yoga, Pilates, or other movement-based pursuits.
The final four sessions integrate and balance the sleeve with the core, allowing one to find a sense of expansive balance radiating out from one’s center in everyday life and activities. The work continues to integrate after the series is complete, as one takes their body out into the world and uses it.
The Introductory 4-Series
An option for those new to Structural Integration or ATSI, a shorter introductory series can stand on its own or serve as a springboard to a full series. Introductory series cover the first 3 sessions of the “Sleeve” work as well as a dedicated session for the arms. Occasional “tune-up” sessions and mini-series are also an option for past 12-series clients.
Walk Through A Session...
Step 1 - Bodyreading & Movement Assessment
Each session begins with a thorough static and dynamic assessment of body alignment, lines of myofascial tension, and relationships between bones and joints. If one is a Yoga, Pilates, or other movement practitioner, specific exercises can be used as part of the assessment/re-assessment process to measure progress over the course of the session/series.
Step 2 - Superficial Neuromyofascia
Restrictions in the superficial fascia and cutaneous nerve layers are released to ease the transition to deeper work. With fewer restrictions in the outer layers of fascia, deeper work will not feel as intense, and more layers of tissue will be accessible. Addressing these often-neglected layers can decrease chronic muscle hypertonicity, pain/sensitivity, and increase flexibility.
Step 3 - Addressing Deeper Layers
Differentiation, spreading, and lengthening of deeper myofascial layers is accomplished using a variety of Structural Integration techniques. Tissues are re-aligned and re-organized to bring the body into a more balanced relationship with gravity, promoting better posture, ease of movement, and freedom in the joints.
Step 4 - Reassessment & Movement Integration
Re-assessing movement helps to bring awareness to the the positive changes that have occurred in the body during the session. Stretches, exercises, and standing/seated myofascial techniques are also utilized to fine-tune alignment and quickly integrate improvements to movement patterns that result from the work.
We also offer Thai Structural Bodywork sessions and series, based on the teachings of Ajarn Itthidet Manarat (Master Poo) and his system of myofascial Sen. Thai Structural Bodywork excels at peripheral nerve mobilization and deep differentiation of fascial layers, complements ATSI Structural Integration work beautifully, and enhances its effectiveness in creating lasting change in the body.