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Myofascial Balancing for Structural Integrators

This presentation of our Myofascial Balancing (MFB) series is specifically targeted for a SI practitioner. Each course deals with a different region of the body in line with the traditional SI 3-series: pelvis and lower body, shoulder girdle and upper body, and spine, neck and head.

The work is based on a few simple ideas, delivered with a good deal of experience and sophistication. Some of the ideas are:

  • Muscular stabilization is the force that organizes our bodies in gravity. Improving stabilization is at least as important as improving relaxation or mobility.
  • Our posture turns our stabilization on or off; the best thing we can do to enhance our stabilization is to improve our alignment.
  • While most practitioners learn to evaluate alignment visually, we find that much more detailed and accurate information can be gathered through palpation of standing clients. Learning to palpate in this way often radically improves students’ visual evaluation skills as well.
  • Students learn to feel the directional imbalances in the soft tissue and to use gentle, unlubricated techniques to balance the position and mobility of the tissues.
  • One of the most useful services practitioners can provide is to teach clients how to improve posture and movement patterns in daily life. Students learn a clear model of posture and movement strategies designed to improve clients’ understanding of their necessary role in achieving long-term results.
  • In many cases, orthopedic problems (the ones with diagnostic labels) are simply exaggerated versions of the imbalances present in most people. In other cases, the problems have a different sort of cause (for example, osteoarthritis). It’s extremely valuable to be able to tell the difference! These classes include an overview of common orthopedic problems, including both assessment and treatment options.

Our primary focus is assessment-driven myofascial work. The work can be directed at deep or superficial layers, as needed. The amount of force used can be varied to be comfortable and appropriate for both the client and therapist. It is also non-lubricated, so it can be done on skin, through a sheet, or through clothes. Myofascial Balancing frequently uses the skeleton as a 'handle' and as a guide in evaluating alignment. The work is designed to keep the loop between evaluation and treatment as short as possible, so that the practitioner remains well-oriented and therapeutic goals can be attained quickly. We teach palpatory evaluation of the client’s alignment pattern in standing, and ongoing palpatory assessment of tissue mobility on the table. We also teach simple postural and movement strategies to help clients improve alignment and usage in daily life; we believe this is a critical aspect of successful treatment.


Balance in the Pelvis and Lower Body: Balance around the middle of the body is the heart of an optimal alignment pattern, and are built from the ground up. In this course, we will evaluate and treat many elements of the lower body, strategies and structures include:

  • weight-bearing dynamics and common postural patterns of the pelvis on the femurs
  • intra-pelvic patterns: tilts, inflare, outflare, and torsions
  • sacral balance and SI joint mobility
  • vertebra-by-vertebra alignment of the lumbar spine
  • contribution of nerve bundles and spinal dura to fascial strain pattern
  • soft tissue and bony mobility within the forefoot, arches, heel and ankle
  • myofascial structures of the calf and thigh
  • functional dynamics of the tibia, fibula and interosseous membrane
  • alignment patterns of the foot, ankle, knee and hip

In the orthopedic realm, we will discuss hip arthritis, sacroiliac problems and sciatica, common knee injuries, lower body tendon injuries, plantar fasciitis and ankle sprains. We'll also teach strategies for stable seated and standing posture and ease in walking.


Balance in the Shoulder Girdle & Upper Body: The shoulder girdle is easiest to understand when seen as a single unit—including the arms—that is poised on the upper ribcage. In this course, we will evaluate and treat common imbalances of the shoulder girdle, upper rib cage and arms, including:

  • gleno-humeral joint structure, function and common movement problems
  • rib cage shape and mobility, including diaphragm and mediastinum
  • imbalances and restrictions involving the rotator cuff and scapular stabilizers
  • common restrictions in the thumb, wrist and forearm, including inter-osseous membrane
  • neurovascular bundle restrictions in the brachial plexus and distal nerves
  • strategies for coordinated arm and hand usage, as well as scapular positioning relative to ribs and head.

Balance in the Spine, Neck & Head: To fundamentally improve balance in this part of the body, addressing all of the layers--including vertebrae, nerves and dura--is critical. In this course, we evaluate and treat postural patterns of the spine, neck and head; anterior, lateral and posterior myofascial layers; and, intra-cranial patterns. Specific techniques include:

  • local "Type 2" restrictions between individual vertebrae in the thoracic and lumbar spine
  • seated strategies for rib and spine mobilization
  • joint-by-joint alignment within the cervical spine
  • decompressive fascial technique for the anterior neck, appropriate for acute whiplash
  • mobility of the cranial and spinal dura, our deepest fascial layer
  • cervical nerve roots and upper brachial plexus
  • decompression of the sphenobasilar junction, a primary site of cranial imbalance

In the orthopedic realm, we will discuss how to apply all these techniques to the sometimes-complicated conditions of scoliosis, nerve root impingement and whiplash. In the postural realm, we focus on the feeling of support up the front of the body, from bottom to top.

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Seattle, WA 98103

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Shoreline, WA 98155

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