Also known as Rolfing®
If you can imagine how it feels to have a fluid, light, balanced body, free of pain, stiffness and chronic stress, at ease with itself and the earth's gravitational field, then you will understand the goals of Structural Integration.
What are the Benefits?
Structural Integration (S.I) ,also known as Rolfing® is a form of bodywork based on the teaching of Ida P.Rolf.
S.I is extremely effective in improving posture, eliminating chronic pain, treating back and neck problems, increasing breathing capacity, and improving energy and vitality. S.I is a powerful therapy that facilitates the personal transformation process. S.I effectively removes blocks and restrictions on all levels- physical, psycho-emotional and energetic.
Before Session 1 (Left) and After Session 10 (Right)
What is Structural Integration?
S.I is a scientifically validated body therapy.
S.I primarily deals with the person's relationship with gravity. When a person is out of balance and alignment, gravity drags on their structure. Then posture is rigid or slumped, movement is compromised and restricted, and chronic pain may be present.
To take the person towards balance and alignment, the practitioner repositions and releases restrictions in the myofascia. The myofascial system is the muscles and the web of connective tissue called fascia. Fascia surrounds and penetrates the muscles and other structures of the body. Fascia gives the body it's form and dictates the quality of movement. Fascia is so pervasive, that if you could remove everything else completely from the body and leave the fascia intact, you would have a perfect three-dimensional blueprint of the entire body.
When a person is misaligned it directly involves the fascia- shortening, thickening, dehydrating and glueing it together. This results in restriction of movement, chronic pain and strain, and poor posture.
How does Structural Integration work?
Over a course of ten 1&1/2 hour sessions (1 to 2 weeks apart) the practitioner applies refined and purposeful pressure to the fascia (carefully using his fingers, hands and elbows). This is done in a systematic way, with each session building upon the balance and integration of the previous sessions. With the client breathing into or slightly moving the area being worked, the fascia will soften, lengthen and be freed. Then as a result the body will effortlessly right itself.
The process of S.I includes achieving vertical alignment of the body by balancing front to back, side to side, top to bottom and inside to out.
What will I experience in a S.I session?
At the beginning of the first session the practitioner will ask you questions about any physical and medical conditions you might have. Male clients receive work in underwear or swimsuit, women in two piece swimsuits or bra and underwear. The practitioner will observe the client - how they stand, walk and other general movements. In some cases a digital photograph may be taken if the client is interested in seeing before and after results. The practitioner will discuss various intentions and goals of the session as they relate to the client's unique situation and structure.
Most of the soft tissue manipulation is performed with the client lying on a massage table or sitting on a bench. Often the client is asked to make small, specific movements or intentionally breathe in certain ways.
Sensations experienced in this work vary from pleasurable to momentary discomfort. The practitioner applies the appropriate pressure, working with (not on) the client, always being sensitive to the person's needs and feedback.
The last 5 minutes of the session are for the client to quietly and deeply relax the body and mind while lying face up on the massage table. The practitioner gently does energy work to balance subtle energies and help deepen the integration process.
Does it last?
Yes! Photographs taken of clients years after the sessions show that the changes last. In fact the structure often continued to improve after the ten sessions. It is the client's openess and awareness during the sessions that allows the changes to integrate, stabilize and become permanent.