Posture & Body Use 

Click on image to enlarge. Illustration © 2014, Andrew Mannino

In the image to the right, the red lines represent deviations from the vertical and horizontal axises (grey lines), and I've numbered some "areas of interest" where the relationship between body segments can be optimized. Although in good general health, this individual is working harder than he needs to just to stand, and even harder when he brings himself into movement. Wear and tear of joints and tissues will be slightly accelerated. Because he is leaning forward in relation to the vertical axis of gravity, his feet, calves, low back, and posterior neck have to work overtime to keep him upright. However, a release and lift in the anterior portion of his body at the front of the ankles, hips, pelvis, rib cage and neck will be necessary for the tension in the back of the body to truly let go of its tension. He is a good candidate for SI, because although his low back and neck may be symptomatic from the excess tension/holding, or his calves and feet cramp up, it is the result of a certain pattern of use. His whole body system is contributing to this pattern, and thus, the whole body system needs to be addressed for the long term change that comes from a different, more efficient pattern of use that he currently does not have access to. This is an example of the kind of strategy/thinking that is involved in SI work. 

Your structure and it's function are strongly influenced by the balance within tensional forces of your soft tissue system. As such, the connective tissue system is constantly remodeling itself in response to the demand you put on it. The longer you "practice" any posture, shape, movement, or behavior, the more it becomes hardwired into your body. What postures do you "practice" throughout the day?

why a systems approach is important

If there is an area that holds a high level of tension, not only will the local tissues in the area "hold that thought" and adhere itself around that tension, but it will also effect the surrounding regional tissues and bony structures. Over time, compensations form on top of compensations and the tension becomes a body-wide issue, which has both structural and functional repercussions. This is why, more often than not, the whole body is playing a role in local pain and discomfort, especially for recurring symptoms.  It is why freeing and repositioning the entire fascial system, along with re-integrating movement patterns so that they stay in this proper positioning is necessary for long lasting or permanent results. This is the work of Structural Integration.