Brian Esty BS, CMT
has been in private practice in San Francisco since 1983 blending Structural Integration Bodywork, Reflex Integration, NLP, Craniosacral Therapy and Specialized Kinesiology. His grasp of sensory-motor dynamics is grounded in both his engineering background and approximately 3000 hrs. training in across the spectrum of Manual Therapy modalities. He is passionate about the Art and Science of Bodywork and Healing Touch. He has been been a Touch for Health Instructor since 2006 offering classes in Touch for Health in San Francisco and other cities in the US, and served three years on the board of the Touch For Health Kinesiology Association. He is currently a Touch For Health Consultant. He has written several articles and presents at conferences. He is a Clinical Core Specialist in training in Neuro-Motor Reflex Integration working under Dr. Svetlana Masgutova in the US Masgutova NeuroMotor Reflex Integration (MNRI) camps.
Brian is on the roster of Complimentary Care Providers for the San Francisco Waldorf School, helping children embody their movement potential. He currently works with musicians associated with the San Francisco Symphony and Opera companies, and professional dancers and athletes in both SF and New York. He teaches Touch for Health locally, and in other states.
Brian additionally has 20 years experience as an independent electrical and mechanical design engineer, involved in contract design and manufacturing for the US and other governments as well as the private sector. He has several original inventions which have sold successfully worldwide.
BodyWork / Structural Integration
To Balance and Align Your Body Structure
Structural Integration / Hellerwork / Rolfing is rooted in the idea of re-aligning our center of gravity so that we apply our energetic resources efficiently, subject ourselves to the least amount of wear and tear and experience the greatest possible freedom of movement. It is the form of deep tissue bodywork where the focus is on reorganization as well as release, thereby creating long lasting change. Often this work is done as a planned series of sessions which work into all of the primary musculoskeletal elements .
I gained certification in 1983 with Joseph Heller, first president of the Rolf Institute and closest associate to Ida Rolf, founder of Rolfing. As the most experienced teacher of the Rolfing style of deep tissue bodywork, he clearly transmitted Ida Rolf’s teachings, his own vast experience as well as his training and association with other groundbreaking teachers such as Virginia Satir, Dan Millman, Gregory Bateson, John Thie and many others from the foundation of the human potential movement. This training was my initiation into a 25+ year exploration of bodywork therapies and has always provided me a solid foundation. I continue to recommend Hellerwork to anyone looking for serious training in Manual Therapy (I also recommend Tom Meyers Classes).
How Structural Integration Works: Sheets of fascia, which look like “Saran Wrap”, surround all muscles and muscle groups. (This is the white “marbling” you see in meat) Slowly applied pressure melts adhesions between these sheets, re-creating the ability for them to glide over each other. By working towards the centerline of each body segment the muscle groups can reorganize and set to a more efficient relationship. By always working locally with a global perspective, the body can be coaxed to better posture and greater efficiency with easier movement, which is experienced as fluidity and physical freedom.
Few body structures have more influence over your health and well-being than your central nervous system. And few body systems have more impact on your central nervous system than the CranioSacral system – the soft tissues and fluid that protect your brain and spinal cord.
Every day you endure stresses and strains and your body absorbs them. But your body can only handle so much tension before the tissues begin to tighten and potentially affect the brain and spinal cord.
Unfortunately this can compromise the function of the central nervous system – and the performance of nearly every other system in the body.
CranioSacral Therapy releases those tensions to allow the entire body to relax and self correct. Using a gentle touch – starting with about the weight of a nickel – I evaluate your internal environment. I then use distinctive light touch techniques to release any restrictions I find.
By freeing the central nervous system to perform at its best, CranioSacral Therapy naturally eliminates pain and stress, strengthens your resistance to disease, and enhances your health and well-being. And because it’s so gentle, CranioSacral Therapy can be effective for all ages, from newborns to elders.
CranioSacral Therapy (CST) is a light-touch approach that can create dramatic improvements in your physical and emotional health. CST rejuvenates and balances the tension of our core. Many of the adaptations and compensations we adopt are a direct result of unbalanced tension in these membranes. Also, much of the chronic pain were accept as “normal” is influenced or directed by these layers of connective tissue. Consequently, any therapy which can actively balance and rejuvenate the function of these membranes will have a very broad reach and include:
- chronic Neck and Back Pain
- TMJ Syndrome
- Chronic Fatigue / Fibromyalgia
- Scoliosis / Kyphosis / Lordosis
- Central Nervous System Disorders
- Infant and Childhood Disorders
- Learning Disabilities / ADD / Dyslexia
- Orthopedic Problems
- Migraines and headaches
- Stress Disorders
Neuro-Motor Reflex Development
Developmental reflex training is therapy for postural and dynamic reflexes that has primarily been explored in the challenged child community. It is proven to be remarkably effective at removing developmental obstacles for children with challenges that are secondary to their primary challenge. It is also proving to be remarkably effective at removing barriers between high functioning children and adults and more of their potential. New-born children to the elderly benefit from working with the neuro-motor reflex system.
Masgutova Neuro-Motor Reflex Integration (MNRI) has been effective in helping challenged individuals of all ages across a range of diagnoses including sensory issues, autism, ADD/ADHD, Aspergers, Executive Function Disorder, Cerebral Palsy, Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, Emotional Disturbed (ED), Oppositional Defiance Disorder, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Learning Disabled (LD), Dysgraphia, and Dyslexia. It is also a complementary method with other modalties. MNRI is now taught in over 40 countries, and quite extensively here in the US.
I have over 650 hours of training as a Core Specialist with Dr. Svetlana Masgutova in her techniques for integrating primary neurological behavioral responses. I have used reflex integration in my practice for the last five years to work with people of all ages, across the spectrum of issues. In my sessions, I weave my Cranial Osteopath, Structural Integration and Energy Balancing skills into my work with reflex integration.
The premises of reflex integration are that:
- Our essential neurological behavioral patterning is “hard wired” in our genetic code.
- Our initial (embryonic – 5 years old) behaviors are exercise for these intrinsic neurological pathways. This is what we call play, which establishes consciously willed movements using the functional building blocks which we have labeled postural and dynamic reflexes.
- All of our more complex behavioral development rests on top of whatever is established as the norm for our utilization of these reflexes.
- If there are compensations, adaptations, incomplete development, stress, trauma, blocks etc. attached to or built into these strategies, our further development will unfold on top of this. This is the same as not being able to build a solid structure on a unstable foundation. Our actions and further development will invest energy adjusting for the unstable foundation.
- Exercising these primitive reflexes at any point in our life will gradually bring these reflexes to fuller maturity, removing stress.
- This de-stressing can be experienced as a burst of energy as the resources that were tied up in adaption is released and made available.
- Everybody benefits from reflex integration.
MNRI is usually offered as a combination of specific home exercises and Reflex Therapy. The home exercises are easy for a parent to do with their child or for partners / friends to do with each other.
“The level of development and humanity of a government can be measured by its policies regarding children with developmental challenges.”
Dr. Svetlana Masgutova
Acupressure and Kinesiology
Kinesiology is the language of the body. If our body has some form of reaction to a stimulus or stressor, it will weaken or become rigid, and this change can be observed by monitoring how our muscles respond, essentially a form of bio-feedback using touch. This information includes our emotional, electrical, physical and other energetic systems. These patterns can originate from stress, diet, old fears, any trauma or really from almost anything in our environment or past. Fortunately to “reset the system”, or as practitioners say, “balancing”, is simple and easy. The results can be stunning, and include relief from chronic pain, greater flexibility as well as expanded optimism, vitality and enthusiasm for life.
I use a range of Kinesiologies for corrections. The protocol I choose is based on the specific needs of my clients. The intent is liberation from restrictions to my clients inner resources, which at a most basic level could be experienced as freedom from pain or easy, fluid and more efficient posture. At a more subtle level results may manifest as feeling more connected to their body, looking and feeling younger, feeling more vital or being more able to focus on or manifest a goal. It is common for a chronic pain issue, for example TMJ, Acid Reflux, back or neck pain to release in a matter of a few minutes. Integrating this release so that there is no recurrence may take longer as there are usually a group of associated issues to work through.
Notes on Energy (Chi)
Because we can’t see or feel energy (Chi) we sometimes have difficultly accepting the possibility that it exists. I like to think that we live in a sea of energy in the same way that fish live in a sea of water, and that we have as much trouble distinguishing energy from our background as we would as fish distinguishing water from an aquatic background. Other cultures, notably China, have used the energy model for many thousands of years for bolstering health and wellbeing. The channels energy flows through the body can be imaged thermo-graphically using infrared photography, and their electrical conductance can be measured using simple devices*. The National Institute of Health (NIH) has conducted multiple trials using acupuncture with clinically significant results. Using muscle testing we can search for energetic imbalances and make corrections to how our energy flows in ways that are both similar and very different from Traditional Chinese Medicine.
*These devices are commonly used by acupuncturists (and myself) to locate and treat meridian points.