Structural integration – ATSI


Structural integration – ATSI

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I integrate approaches from Sharon Wheeler’s ScarWork and BoneWork into my work.

ATSI consists of twelve neuromyofascial manipulation treatments.

It can be incredibly effective in tackling both acute and chronic pain arising from structural issues.

Patterns of over-exertion in our musculoskeletal system are gradually resolved, and natural balance, alignment, extension and lightness restored.

Fascial tissue is released and repositioned. The related movement patterns are reintegrated and new, easier positions become the “new normal”.

Over the course of twelve sessions, you will learn how your body can move and behave with greater ease. Tension and pain are alleviated.

Individual therapy sessions can help to reduce or eliminate acute pain. Long-term effects are generally only achieved following a series of treatment sessions, however.


Sharon Wheeler’s ScarWork

My method of integrating scar tissue into treatment uses Sharon Wheeler’s discovery, which she is continually developing and expanding.

In the world of connective tissue, working with scars is like learning a new language. Scar tissue is very dense and has specific characteristics.

My work uses light, almost incidental touch.

The treatment is painless even for new scars, and huge changes can be felt within a single session.

The cosmetic effect is appealing and the functional changes can be fundamental. Natural and surgical scars respond immediately to the treatment for clients of any age, leading to faster healing and recovery in the subsequent period. The results achieved are permanent.

Scar tissue is quick and easy to alter, and goes on to integrate smoothly into the three-dimensional network of connective tissue.

The work begins on the surface of the skin and then moves down towards the deeper roots of the scar tissue. A scar work session often leads to whole body integration and changes to the entire system, including the resolution of nerve- and trauma-based numbness.

Sharon Wheeler’s scar integration can be taken as a one-off session and can be easily introduced alongside structural integration treatment.


Sharon Wheeler’s BoneWork

I introduce Sharon Wheeler’s BoneWork as part of structural integration once the whole surface layer of fascial tissue has been realigned such that changes to the bones can be easily integrated into the system as a whole.

During a structural integration session in 1973, Sharon Wheeler discovered that a client’s bones spontaneously shifted in response to specifically applied pressure. Since then, she has been researching this interesting phenomenon and sharing her knowledge with other therapists.

The manual techniques resulting from this research help to change the form and texture of bones.

Bone Change uses precisely applied manual pressure on the fascial elements of the bones. Chronic distortions resulting from poorly healed breaks or bone scarring shift towards a more “normal” configuration within moments.

In fact, bone tissue exhibits the fastest reactions and changes I have seen in my entire career in the field of fascial manipulation to date – and the changes appear to be permanent.

Accidents and injuries can disrupt the functional relationships between bones. Displaced bones can stick to each other, leading to chronic dysfunction. This bone-to-bone sticking takes place at the fascial level on the outer layer of the bone.

Bone Rolling uses deep manual pressure applied directly to the outer bone tissue in order to separate the bones. The bones are then free to move or “roll” into a better position within the network of fascial tissue. Bone Rolling can achieve permanent, fundamental structural improvements.


“As a client of Joachim’s, I really valued working with him. He tackles the issue at hand with a great deal of sensitivity. He cares about getting to the heart of the problem. He is fascinated by people, and it shows. Transformations on physical and other levels are as satisfying to him as a therapist as they are to me. The structural integration therapy was worth the journey. I learned a lot in the process. Thank you.”

M.F., Spiraldynamik® specialist, Bern

“Physical personality is reflected in psychological personality. So, too, physical movement colours psychological behaviour. Through movement, human senses are the driving force of change. Movement is the physical acceptance of change. Awareness of this tends to be on a subconscious level. For psychological therapists as well as for therapists dealing with the physical body, the aim is to find the right moment. A psychotherapist senses immobility in the dimension of time rather than space. The individual gets bogged down, unmoving in time, unable to escape from their infantile or adolescent assumptions or trauma, and manifests this physically as well as psychologically. Their lack of movement, their general or localised rigidity, has the same root, and movement induced in the physical body will also loosen psychological chains. The job of the psychotherapist then becomes easier.”

Dr Ida Rolf, chapter 10, Function is Movement

“One of the more interesting aspects of scar work is observing the whole-body changes that can result from it. Because of the possibility of whole-body changes, scar work is best received by people who are being Rolfed. However, most scar work does not need a whole session to integrate what is released. It is usually enough to do back work, neck work and a pelvic lift for balance. This allows for the use of scar work outside of a Rolfing series as a stand-alone intervention with successful results. I don’t think of scar tissue as stuff to break up or material to get rid of. I think scars are made up of valuable stuff you want to liberate to become vital tissue again. It feels like all of it is used for good with nothing left over when you are done.”

Sharon Wheeler

“…I did the most obvious and simple thing I could think of: I put my right hand on top of the high point of the break on his right leg, and the left hand on top of the right and I leaned into the leg bones, pushing this way and that, and listening for any hint of change. I was pushing into the bone and holding the pressure deep in for much longer than I would have if either the boy or his mum had been awake. I must have held on to it for between 45 seconds to a minute – even longer – when I felt something big rather suddenly start to change. Being a good Rolfer, I jumped on that change and I followed the direction of the release. As I watched, that crooked little leg went from 34 degrees off true to about 4 degrees off true in about 7 or 8 seconds. As the leg neared straight, the change rate slowed down and then seemed to finish up and be done. I took my hands off and I sat down again rather hard, feeling for the stool behind me. I sat and looked at that leg for a very long time. I remember feeling rather stunned…”

Sharon Wheeler