While attending massage school I chose Integrated Muscular Therapy as the name for my business. At the time I was impressed by the concept of Integrative Medicine, a combination of skills (allopathic and alternative medicine) with a focus on wellness and treating the whole person. What stood out to me then (and now) is how we as a society look at the human experience in a fragmented way. In the health care field this is evident in how many specialists there are with narrow skill sets and expertise in a particular body region or system. Integrative Medicine seemed like a sensible and creative approach to health care.
The word integrate has several variations on the theme to make whole: bringing parts together, combining, creating equality/balance/unity. The concept of integration is applicable to the therapeutic process, fitness training and wellness coaching. Clients present with a long history of injury, emotional complexity and adaptation. The injury process itself can be experienced as a sense of self disconnection. Conversely disconnection, or lack of self awareness in how one feels, moves and experiences life can lead to a host of negative health consequences.
The process of integration begins by listening with ears, eyes and hands. People say a lot with their bodies as well as their voice. I reflect back what I see and hear. The process can be subtle, creative and practical. Exercise is more than moving a weight or one’s body. It can be an experiment or exploration of one’s self and the sensation of feeling connected or admitting disconnection. That’s how it begins.