Structural Integration is a holistic approach to bringing the Human Form into greater ease and alignment with gravity. There are lines and patterns of stress and strain that run through the structure of the body. Like a catch on a sweater the whole form tends to organize around these misalignments and creating long lasting problems from accidents and injuries.
These patterns as well as the shape of the body are held by the connective tissue matrix (fascia). By Going through and working with each joint and angle of the body to release tension so that the weight of the body can transmit and drop all the way through to the ground, rather than get caught at joints (knees, low back…) . Postural habits, ergonomics and and repetitive motion in Modern western life can lead to these misalignments and cause chronic pain.
This is different from most methods of bodywork, because the Practitioner understands that any injury or incident to one part of the body is spread into the whole body matrix, often creating postural deviations. Thus to find a more lasting change and relief from the pain/pattern, the whole body must be addressed. For this reason, the 10 series was developed, to bit by bit bring a higher level of organization and flow into the body system. Movement education is an integral part of the series, so that the changes in structure can be processed by the Nervous system and “movement brain”, and the integration can take hold on a movement level. To the degree that this crucial education is embodied, the structural integration will last. Conversely if we move in exactly the same patterns we moved in before the series, our body will go back to it’s old pattern for the most part. The ten series is ten sessions that each focus on a different aspect of the body. The sessions are cumulative, each one preparing for and making way for the work of the next.
The Ten-Series can be divided into three distinct units:
Sessions 1-3: Called the “sleeve” sessions, session 1-3 strive to loosen and balance surface layers of connective tissue. Specifically, the first session is devoted to expanding the capacity for breath with work on the arms, ribcage and diaphragm. As well Integrating the 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. The third session Balances the lateral “line” of the body by working with the relationship of the shoulders,ribs, lumbar spine and hips.
Sessions 4-7: Sessions 4-7 are referred to as “core” sessions and examine terrain found between the the inside line of the leg ,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. Session four begins this journey, its territory extends from the inside arch of the foot and up the leg, to the bottom of the pelvis. The fifth session is concerned with balancing surface and deep abdominal muscles to the curve of the back. Session six seeks to enlist more support and movement from the legs, pelvis and lower back, while the seventh session turns its sole attention aligning the neck and head with the rest of the structure.
Sessions 8-10: Integration is emphasized throughout the remaining three sessions, as session 8-10 provide an opportunity for the practitioner to blend previously established advancements 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 Rolfing Ten Series will drive and support the body with health for years to come
The principles of SI can also be incorporated into a single session or a series of 3 session depending of your individual interests and needs. SI can also be a great support for those looking to expand their athletic, training and performance as well recovery support after injuries.
Structural Integration can be a great compliment to a range of other modalities such as Acupuncture, Chiropractic, massage, and physical therapy.
Through the equipoise of the inner structural relationships and your external environment,
explore a new way of interacting with the world through expanded internal presence, increased range of motion, better posture, and a more efficient gait.