Structural Integration is a form of deep soft tissue bodywork with movement education. It releases patterns of stress and tension that inhibit the body from moving freely by balancing the “structure” in gravity.
Structural Integration enhances the body’s pattern of organization. When the body is balanced in gravity it functions at higher levels of efficiency, coordination, movement, balance, flexibility, strength, and ease.
The human body has to deal with gravity, people realize this force exists but most believe that they are immune to it. Gravity’s constant effect on the human body is to make it dense, fibrous and tough, leaving it in a state of imbalance. As we grow older, we often shrink in height, slowly lose flexibility and range of motion. Our bones stay the same length and our muscles still function but the fascia (connective tissue) shrinks and this is what prevents our body functioning at its best. Structural Integration is the perfect tool to reverse this process to allow you to feel younger and more flexible as life goes on.
Dr. Rolf recognized that structural imbalances early in life were causes of chronic complaints in many adults. Such deviations from the ideal, like a tipped head, sway back, protruding belly, or hooked foot, would show up as neck strain, lower back pain, pelvic pain, and constant knee and foot injuries. An unbalanced body will compensate to combat the downward pull of gravity. The resulting distress is cumulative, the body becoming more and more out of balance as time passes. Fascia is strong connective tissue which performs a number of functions, including enveloping and isolating the muscles of the body, providing structural support and protection. Fascia shortens and thickens in response to repetitive strain, misuse, trauma, and disease. This further pulls the body away from ideal alignment and causes more discomfort in the body.
The effects of gravity on a misaligned body can show up as back pain, poor posture, tight, restricted muscles and movement, compressed and painful joints, chronic fatigue and depression.
Structural Integration works by lengthening and releasing the patterns in the fascia. As a result, the thickened toughened tissues become soft, re-hydrated and more pliable. Structural Integration changes the body’s patterns and it organises the imbalances in the tissue, therefore shifting the weight and balancing the body more evenly in gravity, giving the muscles the ability to relax and loosen, leaving a more upright and balanced posture with greater flexibility, range of motion and ease.
Dr. Rolf used to say: “Anyone can take a body apart; very few know how to put it back together”. The true genius of her method is the art and science of reshaping and reorganising human structure according to clearly defined principles in a systematic and consistent manner.
What is the basic ten series?
The ten sessions is broken down into 3 categories. The superficial session, the core sessions and the integrating sessions.
Sessions 1 to 3 focus on releasing the superficial layers of the connective tissue that can be described as the muscles close to the surface of the body also being called the sleeve muscles.
Sessions 4 to 7 are considered the core sessions. When I say this I mean the deep musculature and connective tissue of the body. Also called the intrinsic muscles, these help us with fine motor movement and produce graceful and fluid movement.
Sessions 8 to 10 are designed to integrate the core and the sleeve. The practitioner balances and aligns the patterns of the body and looks at re-ordering rotational patterns in the structure. The tenth and final session is also one of integration, but more importantly, serves to inspire a sense of order and balance
Are All the sessions needed?