Structural Integration is a systematic form of bodywork developed by Dr Ida P. Rolf. It combines tissue manipulation and movement education to restore the body's natural state of alignment and balance. Unlike traditional massage techniques that focus primarily on relieving muscle tension, Structural integration focuses on lengthening, restoring and reorganizing fascia. Fascia is the connective tissue matrix of the body. It surrounds and supports all of the muscles, bones, organs, nerves and blood vessels in your body in continuous web-like layers. This fascial net, or connective tissue matrix, is the body's internal system of flexible support - giving it strength and shape. By affecting the fascial system, in turn, we affect the muscular system as well as the neurological system.
Fascia is EVERYWHERE in our bodies. Due to injury, chronic tension and habitual movement patterns, your fascia shortens, thickens and becomes glue-like. Our muscles literally begin to stick it locks in less-than optimal patterns of strain and pulls your body out of alignment. These patterns create unbalanced muscle movements which can result in chronic pain, tension and stress. Structural Integration facilitates more efficient use of muscles creating ease of movement, allowing your body to conserve energy, and create more refined patterns of movement with less effort. This reduces chronic stress and enhances neurological functioning. Here are some of the changes you can expect to see after receiving Structural Integration:
Release chronic pain, tension and stress
Increase flexibility and ease of movement
Increase energy and vitality
Enhance physical performance
Improve athletic performance
Enhance body awareness
Reduce effort in activity
Look and feel younger
Expand your sense of well being
Dr. Rolf discovered that the body is organized in layers and that in order to create lasting change, the Structural Integration 10 Series must create length and space in the outermost layers before working with deeper, more core layers in the body. The 1st 3 sessions focus on the "sleeve" or the superficial fascia. These are the layers that "do" the fast movements in the body. The goal for these sessions is to open, lengthen, and organize these extrinsic layers. This will create space for the deeper layers to unwind and release. Sessions 4 thru 7 are the "deep" sessions. Focus is on the deeper intrinsic layers of the "core." The goal for these 3 sessions is to open, lengthen and organize these deeper layers. In the first six sessions the body is "taken apart" to improve the functionality of the individual parts. Sessions 7 thru 10 are the "integrative" sessions designed to bring the body back together to work more effectively as a whole. The core and the sleeve are brought together.
Structural Integration does not intend to cure specific symptoms. Although as a result of individual parts of the body working smoothly and effectively as a whole, it is common for pain and tension to subside and disappear. When these changes occur, they are generally long lasting. "When the body gets working appropriately, the force of gravity can flow through, then spontaneously the body heals itself." Dr. ida P. Rolf