Structural Integration

Structural Integration is a system of manual therapy and sensorimotor education that purports to improve human biomechanical functioning as a whole rather than to treat particular symptoms.

Joint Capsule

The joint capsule resembles a sac-like envelope that forms a sleeve around the synovial joint and encloses its cavity. The joint capsule is a dense fibrous connective tissue that is attached to the bones via specialized attachment zones at the end of each involved bone. It seals the joint space, provides passive stability by limiting movements, provides active stability via its proprioceptive nerve endings, and may form articular surfaces for the joint. It varies in thickness according to the stresses to which it is subject, is locally thickened to form capsular ligaments, and may also incorporate tendons.

The release technique in the Shaolin methodology is a gentle procedure using intended energy to open and release areas within the joint capsule which may be limiting mobility and causing pain.

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Chinese Medicine

Growing interest in the martial arts has been accompanied by curiosity about Chinese sports medicine, and the healing power of Shaolin treatments for traumatic injuries, both acute and chronic, is no longer a secret.

In China, the official practice of Chinese medicine was reduced to internal medicine during the 20th century, mostly for political reasons too complicated to explain here. The traditional wisdom and expertise of martial arts masters practicing kung fu medicine were suppressed and had to survive in secrecy, which explains why most university-educated doctors of Chinese medicine don’t know much about treating sports injuries. But some of this knowledge survived and has found its way to the West.

The Shaolin Temple, the center of the Shaolin tradition of Buddhism in China, played an important role in the Chinese martial arts and was a storehouse of practical information on treating warriors injured during combat or training.

This knowledge was closely guarded because it bestowed a competitive edge on those in its possession. In the end, some of the last surviving guardians of these powerful medical insights felt the need to preserve and pass along this information before it got extinguished.

We are fortunate that this happened because many of those strategies are safe and very effective, and can help not only martial artists but modern athletes from across the spectrum of sports to heal acute and chronic injuries and learn how to prevent them in the future.

The types of injuries these methods can treat effectively include bruises, strains, sprains, slow-healing fractures, and the associated cramps, pain, soreness, aches and fatigue.

Acupressure

Authentic Shaolin acupressure, called tuina (twee nah) in China, uses specific hand techniques, or sometimes tools, to stimulate acupoints and meridians. With acupressure, Qi that is blocked or stagnant can be released and allowed to flow freely once again. Though different than acupuncture, acupressure can be just as effective. Actually, for some conditions, like sports injuries and simple sprains, it’s more useful and easier on the person receiving treatment.