Integrative Bodywork - Dynamic Structural Integration (DSI)?

Much of my time in clinic is spent addressing very specific issues; frozen shoulder, runner’s knee etc. Understandably people come to have something fixed. That’s fine and I’m happy to see people walk out pain free and functional.

However my real passion is what I have come to term Dynamic Structural Integration (DSI). This is a truly holistic approach to total body health.

Using well established traditional Tui Na Chinese Bodywork, Fascial Release and movement (Somatic) education based upon Martial Arts and Daoist health practices, my aim is to bring all of my experience together in the pursuit of symmetry and the natural pain free, easy movement that it creates. This done through a programme of weekly sessions of about 90 minute to two hours each.

The human body is a miracle of evolution, it’s adaptability has enabled the human race to populate the entire planet with all of its diverse climates and challenges, yet this very adaptability has the potential to cause us many problems. This is particularly true in the modern industrialised world. The environment that we have created, in many ways, could almost appear designed to harm us.

An explanation of the concepts behind; Dynamic Structural Integration is probably in order.

I have merged Tui Na into the practise of DaoYin. Doing this has create a dynamic bodywork style built upon the comprehensive theoretical basis of Chinese Medicine and the latest knowledge derived from western medicine. This unique Somatic Education Therapy can be used to treat a variety of physical ailments, relieve stress and enhance physical performance by balancing muscles and improving flexibility.

Stress is probably the greatest curse of modern life. The pace of life, the overwhelming amount of information pushed towards us and work that is often dehumanised in the name of efficiency all take their toll. Stress often causes muscular tension and over time this can cause chronic ailments such as muscular skeletal pain (back / neck /knee etc), migraine

Enhanced flexibility is a major benefit to anyone taking part in sport and dance, muscles able to move through their complete range of movement are less prone to injury and more efficient. But there is more to it than flexibility, awareness of how you move and carry your body is key. Physical therapy 'done to you' can only get you so far. You have to re-learn how to move, learn how to notice your habits and how they affect your day to day activities.

I am not suggesting a fetish approach to your movement, where you obsess with every posture every waking moment. We’re aiming to achieve a natural free and easy style of movement that, overtime, becomes integrated into your nervous system in the same way as the bad habits were.

This combined treatment and education protocol is usually spread over a period of eight to twelve weeks. If you're an athlete suffering from poor performance, niggling injuries etc. It's very likely that you'd benefit from this procedure, however the full program should be done out of season in order to give your body time to adapt.

The concepts in DSI are not unique, I am truly standing on the shoulders of giants, such as: Andrew Taylor Still (Osteopathy), Ida Rolf (Rolfing), Tom Bowen (Bowen Technique) and Thomas Hanna (Hanna Somatics). These four individuals all contributed great insight into the functioning of the body and before them centuries of Chinese medical practice.

Stills, the creator of Osteopathy realised that the body functioned as a collection of parts that had to be in balance and that this balance could be achieved with manual therapy. Rolf building on that work realised that it was the soft tissue (Muscle / Fascia) that held the bones in place and working soft tissue would affect the position of bones and muscles without the need to force bones into position. Bowen's great contribution was his discovery that very often profound change could be affected by relatively light work on the body and that deep pressure wasn't' always necessary. Roger Hanna understood that true lasting change had to come from within, that is to say, once the therapist has done what they can the patient has to take over and reaquaint themselves with their own body, learn to take notice and take control of how they move.

Prior to all of this, by several centuries, medics across China were making similar discoveries and developing treatment protocols. Much of the theory that Chinese Medicine is based upon uses the metaphor of fluid to describe the 'energetic' properties of the body; dry, damp, stagnant and blocked to list just a few. Western medicine waited until the creation of miniature cameras to discover that the fascial layers of the body are separated by layers of fluid that can indeed; dry out, become sticky (damp), fixed (stagnant) and cause fascial layers to adhere to each other (blocked).

Much of Chinese medicine can be traced back to the mountainous monastries and remote caves used by Daoist hermits. Centuries of observation and direct experience of coping with harsh living conditions led to many insights that continue to bring benefit today.

None of the exercises are in anyway extreme. The aim is not to become an expert in Yoga or Tai Chi, but just to move your body in the way nature intended, through the range of movement it is capable of


Ge Hong Chinese Physician 284-364