Structural Therapies – What is it?
Structural therapies are non-conventional treatment modalities that work within the body’s framework to maximize movements, optimize function, and enhance the quality of life. These therapies are different from the other forms of traditional treatments that primarily include medicine prescription. You might also know them by other names like “Alternative Therapies,” “Complementary Therapies,” or “Integrative Therapies.” The structural therapies can either be used as a sole treatment option or, more commonly, are used in conjunction with some other form of treatment.
You might have heard a similar term called “structural family therapy,” which is completely different from the structural therapies. To clarify, structural therapies are physical method of treatment, the structural family therapy is a form of psychological therapy. Structural family therapy is concerned with improving the relationships among family members and helps them live in harmony.
Advantages of the Structural Therapies
It holds various advantages over conventional or traditional medical treatment. They are natural, safer, and provide holistic care.
Here is how these therapies can be beneficial for you:
The therapy not only focus on the physical aspect of the healing but also consider the mind an integral part of human well-being. These therapies treat the person as a whole and positively impact their overall quality of life.
It Prevents Diseases
While conventional medical treatment takes place once the problem has occurred, structural therapy can play a significant role in preventing that problem by promptly assessing faulty body mechanics and correcting them before they can cause serious health problems.
Another advantage is that they are safe and do not carry harmful side effects like medicines. This advantage can be beneficial for people who are suffering from chronic pain conditions.
It Deals with the Root Cause
Traditional medical treatment is based on symptomatic relief. On the other hand, structural therapies assess and deal with the problem's root cause, providing a long-lasting solution instead of a temporary fix.
It Makes You Independent
One of the most significant advantages of structural therapy is that it does not make you dependent on the practitioner to get better. Most of these methods are applied in the form of patient education. Once the initial assessment is made and the necessary adjustments have been implemented, the patients are guided and given a home plan to carry by themselves.
What type of therapy is best for me?
The field of structural therapies is ever-growing. Although the evidence available to support the efficacy of these modes of treatment is not very thorough, they have been used for treating several different musculoskeletal conditions with good results.
There are many different types of therapy available that you can choose to get better. Selecting the right therapy according to your needs can get a little bit overwhelming.
Here are some standard structural therapies with their added benefits to help you make the right decision:
○ Feldenkrais Method
The Feldenkrais Method is a way of improving your movement efficiency. This method aims to improve your focus and become more aware of your movement patterns and gently guide you to perform your daily tasksmore refinedly. The Feldenkrais Method helps enhance flexibility, coordination, posture, and overall quality of life.
○ Alexander Technique
The Alexander Technique can help improve your quality of life by making you feel relaxed and teaching you to move freely. The purpose of this structural therapy is to correct faulty body mechanics developed over theyears and train you to perform your day-to-day tasks more economically. This technique uses a gentle touch of hands to feel the movement restrictions and guide you to the correct movement patterns.
Chiropody or Podiatry is a specialized branch of medical science that deals with assessing, diagnosing, and treating feet and lower limbs. This treatment uses different methods, including therapeutic, surgical, and orthotic, to correct foot ailments and deformities. It can help you with foot problems like diabetic foot, calluses, flat feet, arch pain, heel and foot pain, warts, fungal infections, etc.
○ Dorn Spinal Therapy
Dorn Spinal Therapy is a type of structural therapy for correcting malalignments of the spine and other joints to correct leg length differences. It is a non-invasive, non-manipulative method of correcting joint positioning using gentle pressure and active exercises. It helps eliminate pain, improve range of motion, and enhance the quality of life.
○ Emmett Therapy
Emmett Therapy is a highly effective light-touch therapy that helps release muscle tension. This technique uses light fingertip touch and gentle alternatives witches to signal the brain, resetting muscles to a more relaxed and functioning state. It is a way of healing muscle trauma, alleviating pain, improving muscle ranges, correcting posture, and improving the quality of life.
Osteopathy is a drug-free manual therapy treatment concerned with moving, stretching, and massaging joints and muscles. It deals with the issues of muscle and joint pain, reduced mobility, increased muscle tension, and improves the body’s natural healing abilities. Osteopathy boosts a person’s quality of life by positively impacting their nervous, circulatory, and lymphaticsystems.
○ Pelvic Floor Therapy
Pelvic floor therapy is a field of physiotherapy that deals with pelvic floor dysfunction, pain and weakness. It includes a structured exercise program to re-tone the pelvic floor muscles, especially in women after childbirth. Pelvic floor therapy is helpful for women, men, and children. It deals with urinary incontinence, constipation, pain during sex, and erectile dysfunction.
Physiotherapy is a vast health profession that includes preventing, diagnosing, and treating people suffering from injuries and mobility limitations.Physiotherapists help people with pain and disabilities by using manual therapy, exercises, and lifestyle modification.It provides complete rehabilitation as a stand-alone treatment or in conjunction with other therapies and medicine.
○ Sports Injury Therapy
Sports injury therapy treats injuries to joints, muscles, ligaments, and tendons mostly occurring during a sports activity. Starting from the acute care of injuries involving pain and swelling reduction and moving towards complete rehabilitation and strength training, this therapy aims at restoring optimal function. This therapy plays a huge part in an athlete’s performance.
Are There Any Limitations?
Structural therapies have been used for years to make people’s lives better. Some of these therapies are known to provide instant results, and people show great satisfaction with this form of treatment. Some of the limitations that can be associated with non-conventional therapies include:
- These therapies require a more extended treatment to provide a complete cure and are not considered a quick fix.
- Some people might find it hard to stick to the treatment as it requires their active participation in the treatment in terms of mental focus and physical activity modification.
- They are of no use in emergency situations.
Structural therapies have been in use for ages due to their numerous benefits. Where conventional medicinal treatment is used all over the world, and are still a preference for some. Due to their minimal side effects, a more natural healing approach, and treating the mind and body as one, they have provided relief from pain and movement restrictions and improved the overall quality of life for people. Some might question the lack of evidence to support this unconventional treatment method. Still, it is a fact that people of all ages have gained benefits from this type of treatment. Opting for this non-traditional mode of therapy can help you lead a quality life while making you independent on your natural healing journey.
Check out our related articles:
- Alexander Technique
- Dorn Spinal Therapy
- Emmett Therapy
- Feldenkrais Method
- Pelvic Floor Therapy
- Sports Injury Therapy