What is NeuroSomatic Integration™?
NSI is a comprehensive, hands-on form of NeuroMuscular Reeducation that teaches your body how to resume its original balanced, more flexible, more pain-free condition by entering into the conversation your body is having about the imbalance, then suggesting other options.
NSI uses a derivation of Feldenkrais-based work in the tradition of Dr. Thomas Hanna to retrain the system, teaching it how to release the contracted muscles or stiff achy joints and resume to relaxed, openness. Dr. Hanna always used to say, "The muscles only do what the brain tells them to do!" and the brain gets its cues via feedback from the muscles.
In addition to the techniques springing out of the works of Hanna and Feldenkrais, several other osteopathic and manual therapy principles and methods are incorporated into this approach to insure that the system is being communicated with on the variety of levels that injury and trauma happen on. In this comprehensive way, the results can be more lasting and the understanding of the origins of dysfunction can be more profound so that the client can more easily become self-regulating and prevent the same thing from recurring. NSI is just as valuable to prevent issues from cropping up or to maximize physical performance as it is in relieving symptoms of dysfunction.
NSI is able to facilitate changes by presuming the following about your body:
- It is very sensitive, responsive, aware, and intelligent
- It has specific ways of transporting information to itself about itself
- These forms of communication happen on many levels
- When disease, dysfunction, pain or discomfort happen, there is an obstruction or mistake in the information delivery systems accompanied by loss of awareness on a conscious level
- Re-opening the flow of communication and awareness serves the system in being able to reorganize itself - with guidance/facilitation of the practitioner - back into a state of health and well-being
- The body learns how to react or respond to situations, and if you show it how to unlearn what isn't working, it will be available to learn what does work.
- The brain isn't locked into time or old habits, so no matter how long they've been there, they can be replaced by a new and better pattern
How Does it Work?
In a nutshell, the practitioner steps into that feedback loop and provides new info to the brain, whereby the brain can say, "Okay, so that's where the joint is now and you need to have the muscle at the right length to let the joint remain in that spot - I got it! I'm rebooting the muscle now." After a few repetitions to reinforce the release to the brain, the muscle and the joint that this is indeed the corrected length to support that range of motion and it's verified with both position and motion, the system resets.
Another way that it works is that techniques are used to bring conscious awareness to the part of the system that has become numbed due to shock, surgery, or adaptation to pain and discomfort so that you just don't feel it anymore. It's also very common to have begun using compensatory patterns that 'turn off' the weakened area and substitute other muscles. When methods are used to re-awaken these deadened areas, the body's intelligence.e and self- corrective mechanisms can kick in more easily.
One of the most important aspects of this approach is in the way the nature of the contact itself establishes a measure of safety to the system so that it feels comfortable in releasing its guarding around an old injury, and then the forces holding the injury syndrome itself can let go. It's always best to address the body's reasons for introducing a pattern into the system before asking it to change. It needs to have its information updated first, otherwise it may cooperate initially, but will then reinstate the old pattern. Here's an example:
A common pattern that is so easy for us to create in our bodies from
a basic daily activity is the one of cranking the neck over to the side
to hold a phone while your hands are busy doing something else.
The muscles on the side of your neck will assume that the muscles
will be needed to be shorter for that function that they're used for on
a regular basis, so they become contracted, tight, then eventually stiff
and sore for no other reason that forming a new habit, an adaptation.
The same thing happens with wearing high heel shoes. An activity
or position that you are in repeatedly forms a habit. If you want to
avoid tension patterns developing based upon these habits, one
way to do that would be to use a simple exercise at the end of the
day to open them back up to their original length with gentle motion
that uses the opposing muscles to reset their desired relaxation.
What can it Help?
NSI can help a variety of conditions including:
NSI is also preventative! Dancers, athletes, yoga practitioners,
- muscle spasm
- repetitive strain
- arthritis symptoms
- joint stiffness
- post-operative adhesions
- computer syndrome
- stress-related tension
- reflexive imbalances from poor posture
- compensatory patterns from old injuries
fitness trainers, runners, cyclists, martial artists, climbers, and
surfers are some of the types of people who could improve
their workout or maximize performance with this work. It's not
always easy to recognize when some compression or shearing
patterns have set up in the joints, soft tissue, or within the bones
Very often the muscles and connective tissue like tendons
or ligaments become more tight as a reaction to bone
compression from weight-bearing activities like jogging,
dancing, lifting (including carrying groceries, purses and
children),or more work-related ongoing pressures from
delivering packages, hammering, stocking shelves, etc.
Holding the arms out in driving or using the computer compresses the upper back in a way that can fixate or rotate vertebral segments and cause a chain reaction all the way down the back. At the other end, the compression onto the tailbone and up the spine from sitting can also trigger tightening in the low back and hips.
Although a great exercise like cycling can offer tremendous benefits in strength and aerobicconditioning, the repetitive action of peddling while being seated will tighten the psoas and gluts, and compress the shoulders and neck from leaning forward onto the hands while lifting the head. This and other types of positional strain can very easily be undone in time to prevent more serious inflammatory or degenerative issues arise. Be aware and take care when their early warning signs come. Get some work done first as soon as you ongoing stiffness or pain.
It's always helpful to balance a workout like this with one like swmming, where the muscles are being used in a more lengthened position, or to stretch into the opposite position than the one you've spent the most time in. If you've been sitting and leaning forward, stretch standing leaning backwards against a wall or over a large exercise ball.
Whether active or passive while sitting, the point being made is that the muscles begin to learn that this position is being used so often, they might as well reset the 'thermostat to keep it there because there is where it's often needed. When you stand up, the muscles won't automatically return to their original length after they've reset at the shorter place.