“When the body gets working appropriately, the force of gravity can flow through; then spontaneously, the body heals itself.” -Dr. Ida P. Rolf
What is Structural Integration?
Structural Integration is a bodywork therapy that aligns and balances the body structure and tissue by focusing on the fascia, the connective tissue that wraps, protects, and connects all of the body’s muscles and organs. Also referred to as Rolfing, Structural Integration was the life work of Dr. Ida P. Rolf. Dr. Rolf came to understand through her research and work that chronic holding patterns in the body (e.g. poor posture, repetitive movements, etc.) create shortening and adhesions in the fascia, which in turn prevent the muscles from working efficiently and the joints from moving in their optimal range of motion. These patterns become stuck in the fascia, thus preventing the body from achieving and maintaining a relaxed, aligned posture.
The Rolf Method of Structural Integration is a series of 10 sessions, focusing on all areas of the body, in turn, freeing fascial adhesions, removing strain, and balancing muscle groups. Each session builds a foundation for the following sessions as it opens up layers and prepares the body structure to align with gravity and begin the process of healing itself. Over the course of the sessions, the body finds its “line” and is able to rest into gravity. The client tends to feel a greater sense of ease in the body as the process unfolds. Relief from chronic pain and quicker recovery from injuries are often achieved through Structural Integration.Schedule Appointment
What Should I Expect in a Structural Integration Session?
Each Structural Integration session lasts approximately 75 minutes. The client will be asked to wear viewing clothes for each session, which for men consists of speedo or boxer brief (snug fitting) shorts, and for women consists of a full-coverage bra (preferably NOT a sports bra) and underwear (boy short style is ideal). At the start of each session, the client will be observed or “viewed” very briefly by the Practitioner to identify areas of strain and imbalance relating to that session. The client may be asked to perform some very basic movements. The client will then lie on the table and the practitioner will work different areas of the body, requesting participation from the client in the form of small movements and breathing into the areas being worked. Toward the end of the session, the client may be asked to move to a seated or standing position for additional work.
Does Structural Integration Hurt?
Structural Integration is not an exercise in pain and torture. It is common to feel some amount of pain or discomfort in certain areas of the body that have rarely if ever, received work before. However, this discomfort should make up only a brief part of any session. Any pain that lasts more than a few moments and causes the client to hold their breath, tense up, or pull away from the Practitioner is counter-productive and should be communicated to the Practitioner. Please remember that the Practitioner is not a mind reader. If it hurts, let them know!
How Can I Attain the Greatest Benefit from my Structural Integration Sessions?
The individuals who receive the greatest benefit from Structural Integration are those who bring or develop body awareness throughout the sessions. Awareness is essential as the body shifts from a state of disorganization to a state of alignment, balance, and organization. Although this work can have a dramatic positive impact on the body structure, the progressive shifts from one session to the next are subtle enough that a person with little or no body awareness may miss them entirely. These positive changes are less likely to be maintained over the long-term if they are not acknowledged and perpetuated in day-to-day life.
At the end of each session the Practitioner will give the client a homework assignment. This homework is meant to assist the client in developing their body awareness. Making an effort to do the homework will greatly improve this awareness, therefore improving the outcome of the work and enhancing the healing benefits of Structural Integration for each client.
Is Structural Integration right for me?
If you suffer from chronic pain, tension, old injuries that don’t seem to heal, poor posture, lack of flexibility, shortness of breath, frequent injuries, or a general lack of ease in your body, then Structural Integration is for you. By releasing fascial adhesions and strain, Structural Integration helps you to get aligned with gravity and, thus, to begin to heal.
“Some individuals may perceive their losing fight with gravity as a sharp pain in their back, others as the unflattering contour of their body, others as constant fatigue, yet others as an unrelentingly threatening environment. Those over forty may call it old age. And yet all these signals may be pointing to a single problem so prominent in their own structure, as well as others, that it has been ignored: they are off balance, they are at war with gravity.” -Dr. Ida P. RolfSchedule Appointment