what is structural re-integration and how “Anti-aging osteopathy” helps your chronic pain
Why we are not built to walk on 2 legs?!Before discussing “structural re-integration” or what patients call “Anti-aging Osteopathy” I want to shed some light on the significance of bipedalism or two-legged walking system. Then, we can have a better grasp of the structural re-integration and its role in having an active lifestyle.
“People usually consider walking on water or in thin air a miracle. But I think the real miracle is not to walk either on water or in thin air, but to walk on earth.” Thich Nhat HanhBipedalism has brought tremendous benefits for humans comparing to their ancestors, Homo sapiens. It has freed their upper extremities so that they were able to use their hands in complex creative tasks such as starting to make great evolutionary adjustments in their race like fire-lighting, fire-building, and making tools, especially for hunting-gathering. The fire was an essential tool for survival and was important in early human cultural development. More, by raising their head they have become smarter and more aware of their surroundings. Walking on two legs was a radical change in comparison with our four-legged ancestors that used to stand on at least 2 legs in every step of their gait that was supported by their massive erector spinae muscles and giant transverse processes of their lumbar vertebrae. In humans, both the erector spinae muscles and lumbar transverse processes have diminished though they were able to erect their trunk. Bipedal gait is like constant “controlled falling” and requires a great balance between different parts of your structure like your myofascial system(including muscles, fascia, ligaments, tendons, and bones), nervous system, vestibular system, and proprioception. Even your emotions can play a significant role in your walking, that’s why when you’re suffering from depression or anxiety your gait is also affected and you won’t be able to walk properly. Here, “not properly” means your structure is out of balance/coordination and when your structure is not balanced your body can’t absorb the ground reaction force and your gait pattern will be changed to a “new normal”. What does a new normal mean? it implies that your body changes its “normal balanced structure” into a “new semi-balanced inefficient but quite functional structure” which requires more energy(not energy efficient anymore} and triggers pain in the long term(as it deteriorates your structure into an altered pattern) and you are unaware of the adaptations in your body. that’s exactly where your chronic pain stems from. The above image elaborates on how daily activities can gradually lead to mini structural adjustments which pose a threat to the normal structural function. As people grow older, minor traumas they have sustained throughout their life like falling down a bicycle or a car accident or bad sitting habit can become accumulated and force the spine or other myofascial structure to bend to one side distracting its normal balance. Functional scoliosis or pelvic and sacral displacements are just a few examples of these issues. At first, when they are younger they won’t be affected much. But, after the age of 30, they will reach a point that gradually they experience pain in different parts of their body. The pain is the result of traumas that have altered the functional myofascial patterns in their body with a not-efficient compensational pattern that has become a new “habit.” This new habit takes the role of previous pattern non-efficiently and sometimes overworks while inhibiting the main myofascial system. The outcome is obvious, pain and incompetent pattern which poses a threat to the body’s myofascial equipoise.
why myofascial equipoise is important in anti-aging osteopathy?
The human body is energy efficient. In the past centuries and even in the past decades, it was widely believed that the body is built on a compressional structure in which the vertebrae act like a brick and mortar base for the whole other systems to be attached over it. But, the human body is not that simple! It is based on a complex concept which is named “BioTensegrity”. In this system, bones are not simply glued over each other. The myofascial system including bones, muscles, joints are wrapped in a structure named Fascia which is a whole or unit. The Biotensegrity involves tension and compression to work simultaneously to keep a construction upright and for that, it should be in permanent equipoise. As an example when you propel your right leg in walking you can notice that your left shoulder and arm move forward while your right shoulder and arm move backward. This movement pattern keeps the myofascial system balanced and fuel-efficient. A better sensible example is when your right knee is hit badly after falling down in biking and your quads are incompetent and your body tries to compensate for them with a possible rotation or tilt in your hip and vertebrae and then, months later you sustain back pain. In this case, tonnes of pain killers and hours of back pain treatment won’t be effective unless somebody finds the reason through spatial manual medicine and resolve the main cause of your back pain, not just chasing the symptoms.
HOW anti-AGING OSTEOPATHY PREVENTS AGING through structural re-integration?
Spotting small irregular patterns in different planes of the body’s anatomy is of great importance. As we mentioned earlier, they can affect posture and movement and will possibly lead to later dysfunctions and pain. This “Myofascial pattern recognition” is part of my approach towards treatment. I have been a medical doctor from 2010 to 2019 outside Canada and I have been seeing hundreds of patients in my own sports medicine facility. Lots of them were athletes or senior citizens and their dysfunctions could be easily prevented if they had come earlier. But, usually, individuals neglect their problems at the very early stages and it takes a couple of years so the dysfunction forces their body to adapt to irregular patterns and such patterns can express themselves as pain or stiffness, and then they feel the need to see a practitioner. This approach can also be imagined as “spatial medicine” or “3D medicine” as well which conveys the significance of assessing the posture and movement of the individual as a whole. It is the type of manual medicine that focuses on how we develop, how we stand, how we sit and study or how we work with a laptop, how we move through our environment, and how we perceive our bodily selves.[/vc_column_text]
what to expect in an anti-aging osteopathy session?
In such an approach, the body is divided into several segments like feet, knees, hip, back, chest, shoulder, neck, and .. and almost one or two segments can be evaluated and treated in each 1-hour session. I usually start with a whole-body assessment including gait and structural assessments in the first session. Then, you can expect in your second session that your feet and its dysfunctional patterns be treated, and in the next session knees and hip would be assessed. It usually takes 8 sessions (maximum 2 sessions each week) for a complete anti-aging treatment.
do I have any homework after receiving structural re-integration?
Movement training is a vital part of “spatial medicine” while training methods differ vastly from meditative yoga to Pilates and even weight lifting. There is no “one major fixed movement training method” and depends on an individual’s posture and patterns some are good while others are not beneficial for them at all. Indeed, the final goal is to make the movement functional and the patient is given a simple but effective complementary exercise to make the treatment more fruitful.