Structural therapies work within the framework of the body to help ensure that freedom of movement is kept or regained, and that a person has the optimum mobility levels and quality of life.
The Benefits of Structural Therapies
All structural therapies aim to improve the way that the body moves, so that movement becomes easier, posture is improved, and pain is minimised or eradicated altogether. The actual structure or framework of the body is being worked upon. As well as working on the body, structural therapies also work on the mind, as they understand that the body and the mind work together.
Undergoing treatment with a structural therapy is beneficial as movement, balance and coordination are all improved. In fact, the key benefit of a structural therapy is the regaining of the freedom of movement. Movement may have been previously restricted due to stress, tension in the body, injuries, illnesses, or incorrect body posture or movement. Structural therapies aim to track down the source of restriction or pain and eliminate it.
The Alexander Technique is a way of re-educating the mind and body in order to improve movement, balance, and coordination. This technique is taught by observing one’s own mannerisms in motion, by training the body’s sense of location and effort. It can be practiced during any activity and can also be used to stop stuttering, improve ergonomics and to obtain full recovery. Freedom of movement will always improve thorough practice but structural posture may or may not improve.
Applied Kinesiology is able to determine imbalances in the body’s organs and glands by identifying weakness in certain muscles. Stimulating or relaxing these muscles allows the practitioner to diagnose and resolve a wide range of health problems. Some of the aims of Applied Kinesiology include restoring posture and range of motion, restoring normal nerve function, and achieving normal organ functions. Unlike Kinesiology in general, the focus is on muscle testing done in the treatment session.
Chiropractic and Osteopathy
- Chiropractic is based on the understanding that good health can only be achieved if the nervous system is functioning correctly, especially the spine and the nerves that extend from the spine to all parts of the body. The Chiropractor will examine the spine to determine any injuries, accidents or tension that may be irritating the nerve roots. By reducing or eliminating the irritation, the body will operate more efficiently and more comfortably. Manipulations or adjustments are performed gently on a special table and the length of the treatment will vary depending on the severity of the problem.
- Osteopathy aims to treat the whole body, and not just the symptoms that a person presents with. It teaches the appreciation of the body’s ability to heal itself. Techniques used in Osteopathy include massage, articulation, functional techniques, visceral techniques, manipulation, and muscle energy techniques. An osteopathic treatment is tailored to the individual patient and the appropriate techniques are selected for use.
Feldenkrais is a method that is recognised for its ability to improve posture, flexibility, coordination, self-image, and relieving muscular tension and pain. It is based on the principles of physics, biomechanics, and a complete understanding of human development. Feldenkrais uses gentle movement and directed attention to both improve movement and enhance the functioning of the body. Anyone can use the Feldenkrais method and it can be done in private lessons or as part of a group class.
Hellerwork helps you to realign your body and release tension. The three basic principles in Hellerwork are deep tissue bodywork, movement education, and dialogue. Combining these three elements results in a treatment that is capable of realigning and reconditioning the body as well as bringing awareness to and changing the patterns that caused the problems in the first place. Another aim of Hellerwork is to help the client to understand that there is a relationship between the emotional and the physical – that lasting physical changes cannot be made unless emotional changes are made first. Hellerwork is traditionally performed in a series of eleven sessions.
Physiotherapy and Sports Injury Therapy
- Physiotherapy is concerned with improving a person’s mobility and therefore their quality of life. Physiotherapy is widely available and the practitioner’s goal is to find the underlying cause of pain, whether the pain is joint pain, muscular pain or nerve pain. Some techniques that physiotherapists use include joint mobilisation and manipulation, soft tissue massage, electrophysical agents, and breathing exercises. Physiotherapy can be used for a huge range of conditions, from sports injuries right through to recovering from major accidents or surgery.
- Sports injury therapy is a therapy that is used to treat muscle, joint, ligament or tendon injuries. It uses things such as stretching, strengthening, and mobilising the affected area during the treatment process. Sports injury therapy is not only for sportspeople or athletes – it can be used by anyone that suffers trauma or injury in their lives.
Podiatry diagnoses and treats problems that occur in the foot and lower leg, such as corns, arthritis, weak ankles, and mobility problems, just to name a few. The goal of podiatry is to ensure that a person is able to retain their mobility and independence. As well as treating the problems themselves, podiatrists also implement things such as risk prevention strategies, prophylactic treatments and therapeutic care plans.
Structural Integration is a type of bodywork that focuses and works with the connective tissue, or the fascia, of the body. Fascia is the tissue that surrounds and encompasses the muscles, the groups of muscles, organs, blood vessel, and nerves connecting some structures together whilst allowing others to slide easily over each other. Structural Integration aligns and balances the body and works to stretch, lengthen and soften the fascia to bring about postural balance, efficient movement and feelings of comfortability inside your own body.