Structural Integration - Deep Tissue Bodywork, Posture and Movement Education

"When the body gets working appropriately, the force of gravity can flow through. Then, spontaneosly, the body heals itself."
Ida Rolf, Ph.D.

My Keyboard Tried to Kill Me! Finding help for carpal tunnel through Structural Integration

July 11, 2013 : Blog

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, many computer users have suffered this and similar repetitive stress injuries. After constant overuse and abuse of your forearms and wrists they fight back with pain and dysfunction. There are proposed solutions out there – from surgery to ergonomic gadgetery – but which is best? The answer is of course different for everyone, but for the guy quoted below he found relief in ergonomic gadgets, posture and Structural Integration. It’s time tech geeks and bodyworkers get together, they can learn a lot from some therapeutic touch.

This is just the bodywork excerpt from the article, but click on the link below for the whole thing. He offers the solutions he found including ergonomic keyboards, mice and standing workstations. There are also cool pictures!

“Bodywork [Structural Integration]

“Okay, tell me what you see.” It was my first visit to Rolfworks and my consultant Lynn Cohen had me standing mostly naked in front of a mirror, checking myself out in a clinical kind of way. I didn’t get it; after a minute of dumbstruck silence she patiently suggested I look at my shoulders. The right one clearly sat about two inches higher than the left one, one of those things I’d never noticed but was now impossible to unsee. Lynn is a structural integration-ist (or rolfer, after the practice’s originator Ida Rolf) — a physical therapist specializing in fascia, the connective tissues that surround our joints. In the 1930s, Dr. Rolf recognized that the misalignment of fascia is a primary cause of muscle pain. The therapy she pioneered reverses the havoc wrought by gravity and bad posture on our bodies so that muscles can move about freely. Over the course of 10 weeks Lynn adjusted the fascia from my toes all the way up to my jaw in a sequential “head bone’s connected to the neck bone” kind of way: think deep tissue massage, only much, much deeper. Some people find it excruciatingly painful but rolfing turned out to be the perfect prescription for my twisted insides.

think deep tissue massage, only much, much deeper

To maintain my new alignment and prevent future problems Lynn spent a lot of time giving me a tour of my own behaviors: the solution to my lopsided shoulder was simply to relax. At first it required constant attention to keep my right side in line, but after a week or so I began to relax naturally and a big chunk of my neck pain gradually melted away. Lynn’s self-awareness lessons covered every part of how I carried my body from lying down (sleep on your back, not your side) to walking around (a tucked-in chin creates a relaxed neck). The most important lessons I learned, though, were about the subtle art of sitting.

Human bodies are just not built to sit down. Standing, walking, and laying down don’t require any specialized hardware, but sitting off the floor — the posture we spend most of our waking hours in — totally depends on a machine. As innocent as it may look, a chair is the most likely cause of office pain: it causes the bulk of our mass to fall on the “sits” bones (ischium bones) at the bottom of the pelvis, two knobby protuberances that are a far cry from the well-adapted and flat support structure of our feet. On the casual, dot-com cool end of the office spectrum is the “working in my underwear” pose: MacBook on the lap, neck and back hunched over, eyes straining down towards the screen, flat-typing in blissful ignorance. While this position certainly felt cushy and liberating for the first year I worked from home it was probably the most harm I’ve ever caused myself.”

For more information on carpal tunnel and how you may be able to help check out the rest of the article.

[Read the rest of the post here]