WHY DO YOU NEED STRUCTURAL INTEGRATION?
Few people, if any, have the perfect body... meaning an upright and relaxed posture and free from pain. This is because our bodies encase and reflect our cumulative life experience by absorbing them into our connective tissue. Everything from birth trauma, childhood injuries, illnesses, emotional scars, sports injuries, surgeries and car accidents are elements that become incorporated into our connective tissue and become part of who we are. Injured and affected tissues shorten and contract into fixed movements causing rigidity and pain. Because the body always seeks to adapt, it compensates in another area, again affecting posture and movement. Over time, these constrictions and compensations have resulted in the body you have today.
The Structural Integration process addresses the connective tissue or "fascia" of the body. This fascia surrounds every muscle and muscle fiber, penetrating every cell and connects right down to DNA itself. The connective tissue is all-pervasive and is essentially the "organ of form" in regard to our structure. Our bones, spine and posture are how they are because the fascia holds and shapes them.
HOW STRUCTURAL INTEGRATION WORKS
Structural Integration works through slow, deep, yet respectful pressure. The Rolfer may use his fingers, back of the hand, forearm, or even an elbow, depending on what layer of tissue needs to be addressed.
The Structural Integration technique frees a myriad of strains, tightness and old injuries in our bodies. In a powerful way, Structural Integration re-educates the body by telling the tissue to "release here, untangle there". This promotes a return to normal stability, restoring normal function and balance, free of accumulated trauma and is a re-patterning of our connective tissue. This process occurs over a ten session interval, where each session is different and targets a different set of goals meant to unwind our bodies. Each session is approximately one hour in length and appointments are usually spaced one to two weeks apart.
One immediately notices a change in movement, posture and flexibility after the first session. The most consistent and common results clients realize are a better posture, greater balance and ease of movement. One regains a dramatic increase in flexibility, free from chronic aches and pains.
More benefits include a better mental attitude, more energy and a decreased susceptibility to stress, all which in their own way lead to other quality of life results. It is noteworthy that many people receiving Structural Integration are often asked if they work out...because of a greater muscle definition, that results from freeing up the fascia.
The benefits of Structural Integration are very long term. Because we are changing the way we move and stand, the perpetual loop of strain is released from the body. Many people report huge changes in the six months after treatment
Structural Integration is for anyone who wants a healthier, more flexible, youthful and beautiful body. Structural Integration is the foundation for most other forms of bodywork.
WHAT IS THE STRUCTURAL INTEGRATION TEN SERIES?
The hallmark of Rolfing Structural Integration is a standardized "recipe" known as the Ten Series, the goal of which is to systematically balance and optimize both the structure (shape) and the function (movement) of the entire body over the course of ten Rolfing sessions. Each session focuses on freeing restriction or holdings trapped in a particular region of the body. A practitioner also maintains a holistic view of the client's entire system during each session, thus ensuring the transformational process evolves in a comfortable, harmonious way.
The Ten Series can be divided into three distinct units:
Sessions 1-3: Called the "sleeve" sessions, numbers one through three strive to loosen and balance surface layers of connective tissue. Specifically, the first session is devoted to enhancing the quality of breath with work on the arms, ribcage and diaphragm. Opening is also started along the upper leg, hamstrings, neck and spine. The second session helps give the body a stable foundation by balancing the foot and muscles of the lower leg. Number three typically involves a "side view" for an understanding of how the head, shoulder girdle and hips are positionally related to one another when standing under the influence of gravity. Then, the body is addressed within the context of this new vision.
Sessions 4-7: Four through seven are referred to as "core" sessions and examine terrain found between the bottom of the pelvis and top of the head. The idea of core also includes the deep tissue of the legs for its role in support.
Sessions 8-10: "Integration" is emphasized throughout the remaining three sessions, as eight, nine and ten provide an opportunity for the practitioner to blend previously established advancements, and ones yet to be made, into the body in a way that encourages smooth movement and natural coordination. During sessions eight and nine, the practitioner is free to decide how best to achieve this integration, as the protocol is unique for each individual. The tenth and final session is also one of integration, but more importantly, serves to inspire a sense of order and balance. Once completed, the wisdom of the Rolfing Ten Series will drive and support the body with health for years to come.