Structural Bodywork



Structural Bodywork 3 (SB-3) Series

An Informational Handout For clients of Anatomy Trains Structural Integration (ATSI) Students in Training

Structural Integration work is a new way of exploring your body and the interdependent relationships among its parts, aka, its structural relationships. The intention of an SB-3 Series is to initiate change for the better in your posture, your movement, your energy, and your knowledge of how your body works.

The SB-3 Series is a great introduction to structural bodywork. These 3 Structural Bodywork sessions endeavor to illuminate possible causes of difficulties in troubled areas, which may have been overlooked.

The SB-3 Sessions are a collaborative process between the practitioner and the client. Here are a few notes to help you get the most from this experience:

1) You’re in competent hands! Every ATSI student is already a professional practitioner in another manual or movement modality (e.g., massage/bodywork, physical therapy, nursing, yoga, pilates, etc.). Each ATSI student has completed the first 1/3 of their training. He/she has also been evaluated academically and in his/her hands-on skills with fellow classmates and our Instructors.


2) SB-3 is a wonderful ‘tonic’ for your posture and movement, but it is no panacea. The tonic offered by the Series is one comprised of improvements in body awareness and alignment, soft tissue organization, tissue hydration, and homeostatic balance.


3) Do not undertake SB-3 without medical permission if needed, and let your practitioner know about anything medically relevant to your sessions. SB-3/ATSI can be remarkably effective for chronic pain patterns of a structural nature, but is not designed as a ‘curative’ for any disease, a ‘first aid’ remedy for a recent injury, or a substitute for medical attention where needed. Check with your practitioner if you are unsure whether SB-3 is appropriate for your situation.


4) The SB-3 process begins with a fairly extensive interview about your history and current habits. Most SB-3 Sessions are conducted in underwear or a two-piece bathing suit. Your Practitioner will need to observe you standing (and sometimes walking or performing other simple tasks) before the sessions start, to assess your current structural restrictions and patterns. Instructors will review the Student-Practitioner’s session strategy and implementation before, during and after every session.

5) The SB-3 work itself is done on a professional treatment table or a specialized bench. The Practitioner will use his or her fingers, hands, or arms to contact certain tissues and then ask you to move in specific ways while these tissues are opened and realigned.


6) The process of opening our myofascial tissues can be ‘sensation-ful’ - involving feelings of stretch, or perhaps some burning, as in a yoga stretch or when exercising long unused muscles. The level of this sensation is in your control and entirely up to you. Pain, if the sensation gets that far, should be short and easily tolerated. This kind of pain is frequently described as a “good hurt.” It is the feeling of being touched in an area that is painful, in a manner and at a depth sufficient to help release that pain.

Please converse with your practitioner to find the right level of depth for you that allows the maximum value from each session, consistent with your comfort and acceptance. The idea is to achieve a balanced body that is pain-free. You may have to feel some of the stored pain as it is released from your body, especially in traumatized areas, but any feeling of pain being inflicted or that is at all overwhelming, is at least counterproductive and at worst, potentially harmful. Your honest feedback helps us help you and is most appreciated in a learning environment.


7) Each SB-3 Session deals with a different fascial plane or set of relationships in the body. The Sessions will work progressively around the body, from superficial to deep and back again. Your Practitioner may not work where you are reporting the symptoms, as the patterns that feed that problem may be body-wide. A whiplash, for instance, is a problem of the neck for some days, a problem of the whole spine within a few weeks, and is linked to a whole-body pattern within a few months.


8) Traumatized tissue can also contain emotional pain. Although we are not practicing psychologists, your SB-3 Practitioner has been trained to sensitively work with you around these releases as they relate to your body structure. Again, feel free to work with your practitioner to find the right level of work for you. Emotional feelings related to the work may come up during the Session or between Sessions.


9) It is not unusual to have odd feelings - physical or emotional - between sessions. Please contact your practitioner if they are cause for concern. Often, old, long-forgotten pains will resurface for short periods of time - this is usually a positive sign that the process of unwinding is underway.


10) View your SB-3 Series a project with a beginning, a middle and end; not an ongoing and endless therapy. Clients often return after this Series for the full ATSI -12 Series, or once or twice a year for a ‘tune-up’ session to ease the effects of life’s trials and tribulations. Others simply go on to some other maintenance routine such as Yoga, Pilates, Tai Chi, Feldenkrais, a workout routine - or whatever is appropriate to them.

Please feel free to ask your Student-Therapist or the Supervising Instructors any questions about the benefits and limitations of this Process. In the words of Marcel Proust, “The real voyage of discovery lies not in seeking new lands, but in having new eyes.” We sincerely hope your SB-3 Series will be such a voyage.

The cost for the SB-3 Series is $110 per 90-minute session with a total of $330 for all three visits.

The normal price for Structural Integration is $130 per 60-minute session. 

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Barefoot Massage Studio Durham, NC


+1 919 477 9887