Treat aches and pains with massage alternative

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by Tami Hoey

azfamily.com

Posted on July 8, 2013 at 3:06 PM

Updated Monday, Jul 8 at 3:21 PM

PHOENIX -- When we get a massage, we think about working on the muscles to help us loosen up and feel relaxed. But there's a new technique gaining popularity that focuses on the tissue that covers the muscles, called the fascia.

The technique is called structural integration, and can be considered an alternative to traditional massage. It's one part massage, one part stretching and one part exercise, usually combined in an hour-long session.

Tate Hardcastle of Structura Body Therapies is one of the first people to practice in the valley, and he visited us on Monday's Good Morning Arizona to show us how it works.

"We focus more on the fascia, which is the connective tissue of the body," Hardcastle tells us. "The connective tissue is really what causes a lot of those problems."

Hardcastle says structural integration can help lots of folks avoid injury, especially fitness enthusiasts. For those who run, spin, lift, play basketball or participate in virtually any physical activity, a healthy fascia can make a dramatic difference.

"A lot of the techniques we do utilize movement," says Hardcastle. "And if we focus on that movement, we help lengthen the connective tissue."

Tate trained with one of the pioneers of structural integration, and now he's helping Valley folks put it into practice.

Structura Body Therapies is located at 1600 W. Chandler Blvd. in Chandler, between Dobson and Alma School. You can contact them at 480-686-8647.

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