Is it like massage?
There are many similarities, but Structural Integration is actually very different. The goal of most massage techniques is to relieve stress, improve circulation and relax muscles. Structural Integration can feel great too, but the primary goal is to realign the tissues of the body toward the optimal structure. By re-educating the entire system to move efficiently, most chronic pains and tensions are alleviated.
The touch of Structural Integration is slow and deep. My goal is to feel for the restrictions in your body and encourage them to move using consistent even pressure. Because each session focuses on different lines of tension in the body, the contact will be with everything from the bottom of the feet, to the top of the head. Where areas are most restricted the contact may feel intense, but communicating with the practitioner and remaining open ensures the process is effective and safe.
Why multiple sessions?
The standard Rolf recipe is ten sessions. Each session of Structural Integration creates changes that build toward optimal structure. Ida Rolf designed the work as a complete system that addresses the entire body because everything is connected through fascia. Work on the feet may effect the back, and work on the arms may effect the neck. By working through the entire ten-series "recipe" we are more likely to address the underlying imbalances that are causing pain.
Structural Integration has a beginning, a middle, and an end. No ongoing treatments with no end in sight. As a result of the process people may attain more upright posture, a change in gait, and chronic feelings of discomfort or pain are often alleviated. Others experience greater flexibility, a feeling of lightness, better balance, increased breathing capacity, increased energy and greater self-confidence.
What should I expect?
A typical session starts with taking a look at your structure to see what patterns may be causing you issues. We take pictures to see the changes taking place throughout the process. Then we work together as practicitioner and participant to reeducate the body through hands on manual manipulation (bodywork), movement and attention to breath.
Structural Integration produces the best results when the practitioner and client are working together as a team. An active participant in the process will communicate with the practitioner during the session and give feedback about how things feel.
While Structural Integration is primarily concerned with physical changes in the body, it does effect the whole person. We are made up of emotions, attitudes, belief systems and behavior patterns as well as the physical form. All are related. Clients often report positive changes, stating less stress, greater self-confidence and improved ability to handle life’s changes.