The Ah-Ha! Moment

I’ve shared that I’ve been part of the Structural Integration approach to connective tissue work. In that world, we start with an evaluation of the client’s structural balance. What shoulder is higher? What rotates forward? How is the curve of the spine? In connective tissue dynamics, it’s an essential way of seeing the tensions and learning to direct our attention to the root causes rather than just the areas of pain.


Yesterday we had our first class in Naprapathic techniques. It’s called “Spinal Anatomy and Chartology”. As a bodyworker, I have a deep appreciation for the spine, especially as all the nerves of the body extend from the vertebrae. Twist, pull, tighten around any of them, and the whole body tries to rebalance. Issues at the spine will present anywhere in the body.


Despite my long training in anatomy, I find that there’s always something to learn. There are so many ways to present something, so many ways to explain the complexities, that sometimes it takes hearing information a few times to really grasp something simply significant. Last night in class, I had one of those moments. In my previous classes, even if we talked about all of the spinal ligaments, we focused on just a few major ones. However, after last night’s class, the obvious hit me: there are 16 ligaments that connect one vertebrae to another. SIXTEEN! If any one of them tightens, the entire body is affected. Beyond that, if a nerve is even slightly affected, the optimal health of the system is at risk. Messages that regulate lymph, circulation, and muscle function can get garbled and become ineffective. My appreciation for the spine just deepened tenfold. It’s amazing, really, that we all manage to walk around in near health most of the time!


Last night’s class was spectacular in another way, too. Our teacher blessed us each with a naprapathic session and talked about techniques as he did so. It was a great thing to receive, and even more fascinating to watch. As someone trained in structural weaknesses, I noticed as one of my classmates transformed before my eyes in only one session. Her back is habitually rounded forward in kyphosis. After one session, the shift was markedly different. What would have taken me perhaps two sessions, an hour each, was achieved in a half hour during class. My own chronic sciatica pain was reduced by half. For someone in the connective tissue world, this is fabulously exciting, and I’m impatient to put the tools in my own toolbox!