Good function is built on good structure. A bedroom slipper has a different structure than an athletic shoe in order to perform a different function. When the athletic shoe wears, that change in structure changes how the shoe performs. It can change how the foot strikes and create pain in your knee or back. That small change in structure creates a big change in function. The human body is similar. Small changes in the length of a muscle or the position of a joint can have a big impact on range-of-motion, coordination, stiffness and pain.
Most of us want to have good social and academic skills. That is built on complex functions like vision and speech. Those complex functions are built on simple functions like balance, hearing and the ability to regulate our temperature. Those simple functions are based on structure built with good nutrition. Those structures need to contract, flex and transport biochemicals through the system.
This chart is a common tool used to help parents understand that when the child has problems at the base of the pyramid, all the levels above that are compromised. It is difficult to build good function on poor structure. The greatest bang for buck and fastest progress is gained by addressing the structural problems first.
Addressing Structural Governors creates longer lasting results and a body that is better at correcting itself. The beauty of the Holistic Approach is understanding how system are interwoven. Structural Governors help us understand how joints and muscles are interwoven in their action.
Muscles generate pain primarily through trigger points. Many of the sensations that we think are joint pain, overstretching and soreness are really trigger point referral.
Trigger points are closely governed by Local Joints. Little sensors called proprioceptors tell the nervous system about joint position and generate pain when there’s a problem. Want to read more about how this works? Here are a few pages for therapists from Preston’s Papers on trigger points.
Joints throughout the body are governed by the center of movement, the Pelvis. Any structural therapist knows that addressing the pelvis is essential for lasting pain relief. As the pelvis becomes tilted, or twisted, joints throughout the body are adjusted and trigger point patterns are activated.
Entire disciplines, like Grostic Chiropractic or Palmer Toggle are based how upper cervical health impacts the entire body. The volumes of information that flow throughout the body pass through this structure as the spinal cord exits the cranium. It also provides the pedestal on which the centers for balance, thought and emotion are supported. Integrative Craniosacral also addresses this joint.
The Craniosacral System serves as the housing for the central nervous system. It’s membranes cross through the cranium supporting the brain. The proprioceptors in the craniosacral system have a profound impact on joint position and muscle tone throughout the body. The centers for balance in the inner ear are embedded in the cranial bones.