SOMA Institute Preceptorship
As part of my Doctor of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine program with Bastyr University I have had the amazing opportunity to preceptor with Jesse Guererro LMP, Certified Advanced Practitioner and a lead instructor at the SOMA Institute. The Preceptorship involves following Jesse in his teaching and demonstration at the SOMA Institute. This page is a directory for the writing and research that I have completed to fulfill the requirements for the DAOM program.
Soma Neuromuscular Integration® is Structural Integration, a wholisic structural rebalancing of the body’s fascial web. Through 11-sessions each region of the body is released and balanced. Client’s regain freedom of movement and are supported in developing new movement and postural patterns. Soma is a thorough and powerful modality that has been offered at the Soma Institute since 1977.
JESSE GUERRERO LMP, Certified Advanced Practitioner: CAP – has been in private practice since 2002. He began his connection with Soma Neuromuscular Integration® (SNI) when he received the Soma Series at the age of eight. Shortly thereafter, his Aunt, Karen Bolesky, took over the Soma Institute of Neuromuscular Integration®. He credits this work for helping him overcome severe asthma and rehabilitating multiple sport injuries and traumas. Through these experiences and years of watching students’ positive evolution, he was inspired to gain his SNI® certification.
He has taught continuing education classes in Slovenia, Croatia, Oregon and Washington to healthcare professionals and aspiring structural integrators. He is fascinated by all movement arts and has studied Somatics, 5-Rhythms, yoga, pilates, Gyrokinesis, skateboarding, Aikido and Laban/Bartenieff fundamentals. He infuses this knowledge into every aspect of his teaching. He is a core faculty member at the Soma Institute.
When Jesse is not teaching or running his practice he can usually be found roaming the landscape on a skate or snowboard or rummaging in the garden.
“I want my students to find themselves in this work, in their body, in their own essence. Structural Integration has to become your own expression, so you not only gain knowledge, but you awaken your own unique brilliance. From this place a student can create a practice with confidence and authenticity. Supporting the embodiment of an uplifting and joyous profession is more than my passion, it is my ethos.”
The DAOM program at Bastyr University
The Doctor of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (DAOM) prepares acupuncturists to deliver specialized pain management in integrative care settings. This post-graduate, clinical doctorate program is open to graduates of an accredited master’s degree in Chinese medicine (or its equivalent). Students deepen their understanding of Chinese medical classics and apply theories and treatment principles to clinical practice. Drawing on both traditional Chinese medicine and biomedical concepts, students gain profound skills to assist patients with chronic pain to improve their quality of life.
SOMA Neuromuscular Integration
Session by Session
Are Cute Penquins More Charming Than Ugly Ones?
Introduction to Soma Neuromuscular Integration
Dr. Ida Rolf designed her system of Rolfing® or Structural Integration(SI) over fifty years ago. She designed a ten session series of bodywork that focuses on remodeling the fascia of the muscular skeletal system. The understanding is that if you remodel the fascia or container of the body, you will improve posture, release patterns of muscular tension, and increase overall vitality. The system that she designed was developed over many years including many practitioners employing rigorous trial and effort. The series of ten sessions that she finally decided upon is not based on theory, but by finding the best way to systematically realign the physiology and reduce previous holding patterns. This ten session series is still taught at the Rolf Institute fifty years later.
Soma Neuromuscular Integration® (SNI®) was the first branch of systematic bodywork based on Rolfing that decided to continue development of this system. SNI® strongly holds to the original ten session series designed by Dr. Ida Rolf and her partners. But SNI® adds tools to help transform the personality and psychology while the patient is going through the process of remodeling their fascia.
The idea that SNI® adds to Dr, Rolf’s work is that our physical shape and posture is more than just our body, it also contains our vitality and personality. When our fascia is realigned increases our balance and ability to breath, and our vitality is increased. As our physical vitality is increased, our personality is lifted and we find more energy to express ourselves. Our personalities naturally become more vibrant and effortless.
SNI® gives tools to help guide the patient to recognize this opportunity for personal transformation. It asks the patient to take time for self reflection and to really try to perceive who you were before taking this journey of transformation. When you perceive who you are, you can no longer be that person and you have already become someone else. SNI® helPs you to consciously create who you want to become. SNI® also adds tools to feel how you move in space. It asks you to perceive yourself as you learn to move with increased balance, fluidity and vitality.
So, “Are cute penguins more charming than the ugly ones?” As you rediscover your innate vitality you become more charming. And most likely, the people around you will find you much more attractive.
SOMA session 1
"How are you breathing today?" We really don't think about it much. Breathing rarely hits our awareness and is only a problem when we are not breathing. Many of us spend out time sitting, hunched over a keyboard, with our neck protruding forward looking at an all important screen. This posture severely constrains the natural movement of our lungs. We are simply not allowing ourselves to breath deeply enough. We accept that this normal and necessary. By not allowing enough oxygen into our physiology we experience increased fatigue and overall sickness. But again, we have passively agreed that this is what 3veryone is doing. Our derriere's are getting bigger, and we are really just too tired to even try to increase our exercise. We go day to day expecting our lungs to just keep doing what they were doing yesterday without even thinking that this absolutely necessary process can be optimized.
SOMA session 1aims to remodel the fascia that constrains our breathing. The session begins by remodeling our pelvis with the effort to regain some support of our core musculature. Then the session proceeds with addressing the fascia surrounding the lungs and creating "Lift" or reestablishing the natural fluidity of motion that our lungs need to inhale and exhale fully. The practitioner tries to help the rib-cage expand, then works to energize the diaphragm. Then the practitioner remodels our shoulders in the effort to pull them backward allowing our lungs and neck to rise.
The final result of this session is simply feeling revitalized. Just imagine how you would feel if you were spending less effort standing and breathing and your body was getting more oxygen? Everything just seems a little bit easier. It is now just a little easier to finish this project. It is not just a little easier to go out and exercise. It is now just a little easier to be happy and enjoy the moment.
Where am I?
SOMA session 2
Session 2 begins the process of redesigning the fascia of the physiology. When Ida Rolf was asked "If someone was in an auto accident, and their bodies were extremely out of balance, where would you start?" She replied, "With the Big toe!"
Fascia is not an inert structure. Physiology used to be the study of the organs that were connected by fascia. Medical students cleared away the fascia when studying cadavers to get to the important organs. Now it is understood that fascia is a living substance that is highly innervated by nerves, vascularized by capillaries, and is important for proper lymphatic function.
A significant part of one's brains activity with every moment is to determine where and how the body exists in space. The nerve endings within fascia are important for describing the form of the physiology to the brain. Furthermore, this information is increased by the tensions felt in the tendons and ligaments. And the brain naturally computes all of this information while the individual is involved with the dynamic explosive motion of dance or exercise as well as the dynamic sedentary activity of eating cheezy poofs while breathing.
Whenever one is walking, their nervous system is processing information provided by the feet. With every step ones weight is shifted into one singular foot and the structures of that foot have to dynamically stabilize the whole body until it gets a brief respite while being raised before it gets stepped on again. if the feet lose their ability to support the forces of the body, one's sense of balance has to shift and this degrades ones structural vitality.
SOMA session 2 aims to remodel ones feet and calves in order to optimize their structure to support the forces of our daily adventures.
SOMA session 3.
We are how we move. When you look at someone, you look at their appearance, but importantly you look at how they are presenting themselves to the world. Do they move with confidence and a big smile? Or are they walking with shoulders rolled forward, looking the ground, concerned about their footing and maybe what they are going to say? When we feel balanced and grounded, we lift our chin and allow our natural confidence to shine through.
We often think both sides of our body should look and work the same. At the same time, we recognize we are generally right or left handed and accomplish most of our dynamic activities favoring one hand or the other. Also, we know that most of our organs do not exist on both sides of the physiology. Therefore, our physiology has to make subtle shifts to support this dynamic balance and muscular "favoring" of one side of the body vs the other.
SOMA Neuromuscular Integration (SNI) understands that our unbalanced presentation is normal. There are research studies that show that humans are not balanced, but present in a dynamic pattern of unbalanced tension. SNI Practitioners learn this as the "typical random pattern". SNI practitioners do not diagnose the body based on a parallel balanced structural pattern, but from deviation from the "typical random pattern"
SOMA Session 3 focuses on rebuilding the left and right sides of our body individually. The idea is not to rebuild both sides to look the same, but to remodel each side in a way that effectively supports the whole. The tension of the hips and lumbar are released to allow natural support and the shoulders are deeply freed from their thoracic adhesions and allowed to lift. As each side is supported in expressing its individual needs, we begin to allow the dynamic fluid flow of our bodies from side to side. The cross dynamics of shifting our weight when walking are readily experienced. One has increased trust with their footing and sense of balance. One finds themselves moving with increased confidence, balance and swagger.
Allow This Moment
SOMA session 4
We all carry a story. this story shows how we have learned from our triumphs and our defeats. Through the filter this story we share our personality, beliefs and personal boundaries with the world around us. And by remembering this story we dearly cling to our sacred sense of self identity.We have learned to trust this story and we often try to ensure that every experience falls into the understanding developed by a previously accepted passage. In this way we believe we have control of our lives.
When the correctness of our story becomes more important than the Iife we are actually living, we spend an enormous amount of time and energy tying to control our lives and the lives around us. Our body is a physical extension of who we have become. When we work to control our lives, our bodies reflect our intentions and actions. We lose our natural relationship to our infinitely dynamic inner core. Then we begin to depend upon the extend shell that can be easily manipulated. Our shell musculature becomes lifeless and rigid.
More importantly, our core musculature falls into weakness and disease and we begin to lose our natural experience of vitality and balance. As we become weaker, we try even harder to correct the story. Then we spend even more effort working to use our shell musculature. This relationship creates a downward spiral, increases disease and perpetuates an inability to accept our true nature.
The way out of the downward spiral is to allow your full experience of this moment. Basis to practice living in awareness of the beauty of just being alive. Accept that when you choose to live now, in the future you will make better choices. It is recognized that simply accepting this moment may be a difficult and awkward process, especially when our memory of this natural experience has been lost. Also, it is often difficult to let go of trying to control your story and accept your natural existence. Soma Neuromuscular Integration helps one to release the constraints of the physical shell and enliven their core.
Physically enlivening and remodeling the core musculature begins the process of recreating our physical empowerment. Our personal sense of physical power is enlivened and our natural sense of balance is restored. We Release our need to control the story and learn to accept our natural balance and empowerment.
Session 4 initiates the remodeling of our physical core. the Previous sessions have been focused on releasing the shell and preparing the foundation. Session 4 represents the moment of releasing our need to control and allow our natural dynamic balance to emerge. The following sessions help us build upon this reawakened vitality.
This moment, this moment just after you receive session 4, is often emotionally difficult. Know that it will pass. Allow yourself to enjoy the beauty of this moment.
The Cult of the Psoas
SOMA session 5
“The psoas is the keys It is always the key."
In less than 100 years. we have moved from an agricultural society that depends on physical labor to our modern society that depends on office work. Our bodies are designed for physical work and dynamic movement. Our chairs are designed to support our pelvis and comfortably secure our structure. Our chairs are robbing us of our physical power. With our increased sitting our pelvis musculature becomes weak, short and fibrotic.
Due to Lack of movement our internal organs become stagnant and we lose our natural vitality. The psoas muscle is a powerful muscle on the interior of the pelvis. It is the primary muscle for raising the leg. If we were farmers and walked many miles each day it would be the psoas that was doing most of the work. But we are sitters. Due to inactivity our psoas muscle becomes weak, fibrotic, dense and inflamed.
The Primary focus of SOMA sessions 5 is to reawaken the powerful psoas and to reestablish coordination with the other anterior muscles of the body. In this way, Soma Neural Muscular Integration enlivens our natural forward drive and ability to succeed.
Soma Session 6
Quit, just stop, you don’t need to do that anymore.
We do so many things in our lives that are just not productive, effective or even enjoyable. At one time we began to do these things for some important reason. Then we continue to spend the energy because we have agreed to some subconsciousness program. This program is running on its own, lost its sense of direction and even importance in our lives. It is now extremely important to satisfy this invisible program, even though we don’t where it came from or why it exists. And we just continue running on the wheels following the predefined path regardless where it is going.
Sometimes it is important to take a moment in our lives and just quit. We have to choose to honor ourselves and consciously quit all the unnecessary activity in our lives. Even though we deeply believe that all this unnecessary activity is extremely important; we just need to quit anyway, for just a short while. Even if we quit a few of the important things also.
Quitting is difficult. The subconscious programs are strong, and we are deeply invested into them. It is because of the strength they have over us, that we need to consciously question their importance. Furthermore, we really don’t know the difference between what is important and what is unnecessary. We believe that everything that we do is so important that quitting any of it will create havoc in our lives.
When we take a moment to quit, we give ourselves the time necessary time and emotional balance necessary to reevaluate our activities. Then we can consciously choose what is productive, effective and enjoyable. We can write new subconscious programs and improve the quality of our lives.
Soma session 6, reorganizes the back line. The front line represents our natural power to move forward, the back line represents our ability to stop. Remodeling the back line enhances one’s ability to stand straight, clearly see the world around them and redefine their priorities.
So, take a break from your life. Just quit.
Put your head on straight!
Soma session 7
Our perception is defined by our identity. We have subjectively created this personality that we call ourselves. If we believe we are someone, we see the world that correlates with the beliefs that that personality should hold. We make decisions, based upon what we that the person should do. When our physiology becomes constricted, our perception of who we are becomes distorted and we make choices with a limited and confused perception.
Our head holds our primary sense of perception and communication. When we have fascia restrictions of our eyes, we have a distorted perspective of the world around us. Facial restriction of the neck can offset our balance or hold our head in a forward posture. If we have fascia restrictions within our neck and throat, we find it difficult to speak and communicate clearly. When we have fascia restrictions of our face and jaw, our sense of taste and smell are restricted.
Soma session 7 releases restrictions of the fascia of the head and neck. Releasing these restrictions and adhesions increase balance and clarity. As we regain physical balance, we reestablish emotional balance. When we open our perception, we have an empowered sense of self identity.
So put your head on strait! Experience increased emotional balance and perceive the world with clarity.
I walked into class this morning and Karen, the director of the Sona Institute asked," How does it feel to be completely disentegrated?"
Sessions 1 through 7 systematically pulls apart your fascia at the seams. Adhesion between the exterior and interior fascia have been released. Restriction between muscle sheaths have been removed. The fascia covering has been elongated. And your body has been reorganized to create natural relaxation, lift and balance.
All of this sounds pretty good , and one would think that they shooed be feeling pretty amazing. Ida Rolf proposed the emotional tension and trauma are held in the fascia. Fascia is also earn important part of the bodies defensive system. And furthermore, before becoming disintegrated, we were living it a body that may be less functional, but was definitely more recognizable.
After Sessions Seven one can feel pretty uneasy in their new body. There may be a significant sense of underlying unease as well as a conflicting new sense of liberation.And because your body has changed so much, you just don't feel like yourself.
But don't worry. The moment will pass.
The best thing you can do is to take your new body out for a long dynamic ride. Go for a long walk, work out, go dancing and just enjoy feeling alive again In a short period of time your body will feel like, well, your body, again.
Pull yourself together!
Soma Sessions 8 and 9
Soma Sessions 8 and 9 are fundamentally different than the previous sessions. The previous sessions systematically pulled the fascia apart in order to release adhesions, elongate tissue and facilitate proper function. Fascia is regarded as having the property of being plastic and formable. And, like modeling clay, fascia can be reformed into a shape. During these sessions, the practitioner works to remodel your fascia and develop the clients functionality and individuality. Sessions 8 are 9 are the integrative sessions and the focus is to pull the body back together and address the individuality of the client. After sessions 8 and 9 you feel like you have been pulled back together and rejuvenated. You recognize your previous personality and motivation, but you have a new sense of dainty and vitality
Spread your Wings!
SOMA Arms session:
Sitting at a desk has become an important physical activity. When we are sitting at a desk we roll our shoulders up to our ears, project our heads forward, push our elbows out, display our canine teeth, and rapidly claw at our keyboards like a velociraptor finishing dessert.At the end of the day we go home and complain about our shoulder pain to our significant others, hoping they will show sympathy and give us a shoulder massage.
Our problem is not that our significant others are lazy and will not demonstrate their lover through a much needed shoulder massage. The problem is that we have engaged in our sitting at the desk posture for many hours a day and our body has adjusted to our activity. We have glued our muscles and fascia together to support our velociraptor patterns.
In order to relieve our discomfort it is necessary to realign our shoulders. Dr. Ida Rolf did not consider the arms as an important structural element of the physiology. But the body is a fluid dynamic and holistic structure. To balance the complete physiology, we also have to realign the hands arms and shoulders.
SOMA Institute has developed an additional session to properly integrate the fascia of the hands, arms and shoulders into the structure of the thoracic cage and cervical vertebrae. This session works to allow the arms to fall naturally to the sides of the body, moves the shoulders away from the ears and increases the overall freedom of action of the arms and hands.
Our bodies are designed to flow with minimal effort. So spread you wings and try to fly a little.
Get Jiggy with it!
SOMA session 10
Our joints are heavily surrounded by connective tissue bands that hold the joints together. The fascia that covers the muscles begins and ends by weaving itself into the joint connective tissue. Joint connective tissue is full of many different types of nerve endings and is an import part of describing our physical position and how we are moving with our central nervous system. Session 10 of Soma Neuromuscular Integration aims to improve the communication of our fascia network by resetting the relationship between the fascia planes following our musculature and the connective tissue of the joints.
The technique Arthro-kinetics is focused on giving our joints irregular compressions at high pressures. The practitioner holds each side of a join with their hands and compresses the joint together with a modest amount of force of irregular intervals. The interval is rather fast. If you were to sing the "Na Na Na, Na's" from will Smith's popular song from the 90's "Get Jiggy with, it" to your self and compress a joint on every "Na" syllable, it would be about right.
For the client this is a jarringly weird, but not unpleasant experience. Each and every joint is compressed is a noticeably abrupt way. The practitioner sometimes takes a moment to add long slow fascia remodeling strokes where needed, then quickly returns with determination to getting jiggy with it.
When the session is over and you rise off the table, you experience a grounded sense of ease and awareness. You have an increased sense of acceptance of your body and a clearer perception of your life. So if you secretly long for the innocence of the 90’s. Take a moment, go find Will Smith on Youtube, and get Jiggy with it!
Research with Summaries
1. Anatomy, Fascia
Bruno Bordoni; Matthew Varacallo.
Bordoni, B., & Varacallo, M. (2019). Anatomy, Fascia. StatPearls. StatPearls Publishing. Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29630284Anatomy, Fascia
When learning about fascia as a practitioner, it is loosely defined by saying that it is connective tissue and surrounds everything. A researcher needs a much clearer definition and understanding. This short online book clearly defines and explains the anatomy of fascia. It discusses the multiple scientific definitions of fascia and the constituents within each of the different parts of fascia. It even sheds some light on the interaction of fascia and emotions.
2. Structural integration, an alternative method of manual therapy and sensorimotor education.
Jacobson, E. (2011). Structural integration, an alternative method of manual therapy and sensorimotor education. Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine (New York, N.Y.), 17(10), 891–899. https://doi.org/10.1089/acm.2010.0258
My research interests are to demonstrate the relationships within the practices of Structural Integration (SI) and acupuncture. Structural Integration is is a manual therapy modality that focuses on manipulating the fascia tissue. This research article is an excellent and brief summary of SI and the present research about SI. This article begins with a clear and concise overview of SI. It gives a brief history of the modality and states the objectives for the process. Furthermore, it gives a concise outline of the 10-session series. This overview of SI is followed by a brief review of research about effectiveness of SI. Multiple studies are presented. The author concludes by saying that SI is growing in popularity, yet there is minimal research to demonstrate that SI is effective. More research is needed to demonstrate the effectiveness and guide the development of SI.
3. Is the Superficial Fascia the Anatomical Foundation for the Meridian System of TCM?
Stecco, C., & Day, J. A. (2010). The fascial manipulation technique and its biomechanical model: a guide to the human fascial system. International Journal of Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork, 3(1), 38–40. Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21589701
This is a short article that discussed the material of a workshop given by The Fascial Manipulation Association, at the Second International Fascia Research Congress (Vrije University, Amsterdam; October 27–30, 2009). The workshop was titled, “The Fascial Manipulation Technique and its Biomechanical Model: A Guide to the Human Fascial System”.
What I found interesting was the clear description of superficial fascia. This article discusses how superficial fascia exists between two layeres of loose connective tissue. It is believed that fascia is a highly conductive material. It conducts nerve impulses, light, and vibration. Loose connective tissue is believed to be more of an insulator in properties. Therefore, the highly conductive superficial fascia covers the whole exterior physiology and exists between two layers of insulating material. It is easy to hypothesize that there exists communication across this layer of fascia that is similar to the system of meridians found in Traditional Chinese Medicine.
4. Relationship of acupuncture points and meridians to connective tissue planes.
My research interests are to demonstrate the relationships of structural integration and acupuncture. Structural Integration is is a manual therapy modality that focuses on manipulating the fascia tissue. Presently the working mechanisms of acupuncture points and needles are not well understood. This research builds the foundation that demonstrates that acupuncture points are closely related to structures within fascia. Furthermore, it develops the reasoning that fascia is an important part of discovering the mechanisms of acupuncture.
5. Biological effects of direct and indirect manipulation of the fascial system.
Parravicini, G., & Bergna, A. (2017). Biological effects of direct and indirect manipulation of the fascial system. Narrative review. Journal of Bodywork and Movement Therapies, 21(2), 435–445. https://doi.org/10.1016/J.JBMT.2017.01.005
This article is a narrative review of studies that show the effects of performing osteopathic manipulative techniques on the fascia. I was looking for a study that described hpe structural integration techniques effected fascia. Osteopathic Manipulatative Treatment are similar to structural integration techniques. Both work closely with manipulating fascia. This study is close. It discusses the specific techniques of: stretching and myofascial release (MFR). It does not cover other structural integration techniques. The summary of the conclusion states: “To elevate manual medicine as a primary intervention in clinical settings, it's necessary to clarify how OMT modalities work in order to underpin their clinical efficacies.” This same conclusion is similar to what is often found in studies showing the effectiveness of acupuncture.
6. Acupuncture, connective tissue, and peripheral sensory modulation.
Langevin, H. M. (2014). Acupuncture, connective tissue, and peripheral sensory modulation. Critical Reviews in Eukaryotic Gene Expression, 24(3), 249–253. Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25072149
This article proposes that manipulating acupuncture needles results in sustained stretching of fascia tissue and this sustained stretching has a cascading effect upon mechanotransduction and purinergic signaling from within the fascia. Furthermore it discusses the effect upon fibroblasts, fibrosis and inflammation. A couple of interesting points about this article. 1) It emphasizes prolonged stretching techniques including needle manipulation for at least five minutes and static stretching of ten minutes. This is important because acupuncturists rarely practice manipulation for that length of time. 2) All of the effects described in this article are not dependent upon needle insertion at acupuncture points; and that needling at almost any point along a muscle would give the same results. It is also stated that these techniques may be more effective at acupuncture points located at fascia junctions because of the increased availability of fascia at these locations. This article describes many effects of needling that would be applicable to other types of fascia manipulation including structural integration techniques.
Phantom Leaf Effect
Hubacher J. The Phantom Leaf Effect: A Replication, Part 1. J Altern Complement Med. 2015;21(2):83-90. doi:10.1089/acm.2013.0182
“The Phantom Leaf Effect: A Replication, Part 1”, was written by John Hubacher and published by the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine in 2015. This research discusses how corona discharge imaging, a type of photography, captures a full image of a living leaf even shortly after a large portion of the leaf has been amputated.
The article discusses how this resulting image may display the existence of an energetic force that exists within living things. John Hubacher is an independent researcher and has 2 articles listed on PubMed. The Journal of Alternative and Complimentary Medicine is a well-respected peer-reviewed journal that provides scientific research for the evaluation and integration of complementary and alternative medicine into mainstream medical practice.
This article shows that it may be possible to capture and image of a living biofield with corona discharge imaging. This gives further evidence that a living biofield exists. The purpose of this article is to scientifically validate that using corona discharge imaging captures a full phantom image of a leaf that has been partially physically amputated. The underlying hypothesis is that is an energetic biologic field that is separate from the physical living entity. The research aims to explore if this energetic field can be captured as a photographic image. 137 leaves were photographed and 71% of them showed clear images after amputation. There were multiple varieties of plant leaves used. 137 leaves is a strong sample size and 71% of positive images is a strong result that demonstrates that corona discharge imaging is capturing an image of the biofield. This test may be completely fraudulent or there may be other variables that are not understood; and, it is necessary for other researchers to reproduce these results for this evidence to be validated. This is an important study for the understanding of the biofield, because it gives strong evidence that in leaf, an energetic presence exists that is separate from its physical presence. Our understanding of the biofield is limited by our ability to measure this phenomenon. Perhaps through developing and refining corona discharge imaging more information will be gathered.
Blog posts that connect acupuncture with structural integration
The first few posts discuss Qi. Qi is an integral part of acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine. Most acupuncturists are drawn to the profession because they believe in healing energy. Yet even among practitioners, we do not agree on a definition or description of qi. Unless we begin to define our medicine in western scientific terminology, we will only be accepted as traditional or alternative medicine instead of evidence based medicine.
The second set of posts discusses the similarities and differences between acupuncture and structural integration. Modern research is studying how acupuncture needles interact with fascia. Structural integration is a modality based on manipulating fascia. With fascia being the most important anatomy for both systems of medicine, it should be interesting to compare and contrast the two.
Is “Qi” Science or Mysticism?
As Americans, we are amazed by the concept of energy healing. We find it fascinating that all of life in energy and simply by shifting it around we can heal our ailments and rejuvenate our bodies. It is thought that Traditional Chinese Medicine is the study of these mystical energies and the practice of implementing techniques to control them. But to a doctor in ancient China, this study of qi was not some great spiritual mystery, it was simply medicine.
The Mystery of Qi
When most western people think of Qi, or the energy of the body, they are thinking that it is one thing. Also, it is generally agreed upon that this one thing is mysterious and unfathomable to our western minds. Most importantly, we believe that because it is mysterious and unfathomable that it has significant importance. Furthermore, we believe that the only way we can continue to value its importance is if this one thing is not truly understood. We somehow have all joined a secret cabal that believes in a great mystery. And together we have developed a paradigm of understanding where we do not even allow ourselves to question this mystery. Simply because if we understand the mystery, it is no longer a mystery and therefore has no value.
How many types of qi are there?
From a western perspective the idea of a living energy is completely fascinating. We truly have developed an amazing understanding of physiology. We know the human body down to the atomic level and are working on eradicating disease in unborn infants by altering the the DNA of the unborn fetus. In so many ways we recognize the absolute power of our medicine. We are also fascinated with the simple idea of qi or living energy. And we kinda think that anyone that believes in living energy is maybe just a bit insane.
Life, Living activity, Bioenergy, and the Biofield
The dynamic balance of Yin Yang and relationship to the meridians
Yin and Yang represent the the foundational relationship of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). Yin and Yang represent the the dynamic balance and interdependence of all natural holistic systems. Yang is up while Yin is down. Yang is out, where Yin is in. Yang is light, where Yin is dark. Yang is active, where yin is stillness. Yin and Yang represent a method to understand the natural world and persists throughout all of TCM.
In relationship to the physiology, Yang is the upper half and Yin is the lower half. yang is the outside of the body and yin is the inside of the body. Yang is activity, where Yin is stillness.
Acupuncture in Traditional Chinese medicine relies upon an intricate meridian system. There are the Yin meridians and the Yang meridians. Also there are the Meridians that relate to the hands, and the meridians that relate to the feet. And all of these meridians are in dynamic relationship with each other.
Yin, Yang and Structural Integration
Comparison of Acupuncture and Structural Integration.
The practice of acupuncture is over 2000 years old and is found in many systems of traditional medicine. Structural Integration was developed by Dr. Ida Rolf in the 1950's and 60's . Both acupuncture and and Structural Integration are holistic alternative medicine modalities. They are both extremely popular and practitioners can be found throughout the world. Both of these modalities are being presently being researched researched with modern methods. The findings show that both modalities may share many methods of action.
Meridians and Fascial Planes
Structural Integration and Traditional Chinese Medicine, Session by Session.
In TCM most of the important acupuncture points are found in the areas of knees to feet and elbows to the hand. It is stated that the meridian qi is more available in these areas. Furthermore, the strongest tonification or energy increasing points are found at the knees to feet level; and the strongest points for releasing stagnant meridian qi are found in the area of the elbows to the hands.
Although there is not a direct comparison between Structural Integration (SI)and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), it can be shown that important aspects overlap. What follows is a session by session comparison of Structural Integration and Traditional Chinese Medicine.
Is the Biofield transported by the fascia?