Balancing the Body, Structural Integration

Balancing the Body, Structural Integration

IN THIS ISSUE: * Balancing the Body * Structural Integration * Easing Holiday Angst

Balancing the Body – by Rebecca Jones

For a child wobbling atop a two-wheel bicycle for the first time, getting it to remain upright is a scary challenge. But once that child has mastered the art of balancing on the bike, the body just remembers what to do. That’s the way it is with balance. Our body has lots of tools at its disposal to help us control our upright posture, and these tools function largely at the subconscious level.

However, when one of those tools fails to work properly, our system of balance can get out of whack. Problems with our feet and neurological conditions, such as Parkinson’s disease, can throw off our balance. Eye conditions can rob us of stereoscopic vision, which helps us properly locate ourselves in space. And, of course, inner ear problems can greatly affect our balance.

Many of these balance-affecting conditions are related to aging. In fact, it’s estimated that one of every three people older than 65 will suffer some kind of fall this year. And half those people will fall again within 12 months.

Bodywork can help. Certain modalities can improve and restore balance, particularly through reeducating the body in the most efficient ways to move. Just like our bodies once learned the best way to stabilize atop a bicycle, they can also learn new, better ways to stabilize aging feet and legs. Here’s a look at how two bodywork modalities–structural integration and the Feldenkrais Method–may help.

Structural Integration

Jane Elmore, MD, is a champion dressage rider, which means she spends much of her day perched atop a 1,200-pound prancing horse. Her safety absolutely depends on keeping her … Click here for full Publication Fall 2014