|Structural Integration Introduction|
Structural Integration (SI) is a process of aligning the body within the field of gravity via soft tissue manipulation. Proper alignment gives us natural (easy) lift, better posture, and better movement with less effort and more ease. In reality SI also works toward the goal of better (body) system optimization. In this case, optimization means that the full system (and not one particular part) works and functions better.
Since this work is done in relationship with gravity, the body can move better and easier within gravity. This can be seen by how little effort it takes a well organized body to do basic activities such as standing, walking, and running.
As mentioned, the body re-alignment comes via manipulating and reorganizing the soft tissue of the body. The major soft tissue we are changing is called fascia. Fascia is one type of connective tissue in the body that is intimately a part of our structure and also what helps define our structure. If you have ever cut up a chicken, or watched someone else, then you have seen fascia. It is the white covering on the muscles that form into the tendons and attach to bones. It is far more pervasive in the body, as will be described later. Right now it is enough for you to understand that it surrounds muscles, and helps them to connect to each other and surrounding structures. Know that fascia can shorten and thicken becoming hard like bone and restrict movement, and that soft pliable fascia allows easy movement and full strength of the body part involved. More on this later... for now we shall move onto some underlying concepts of SI.