What is Structural Integration?
Relieves Chronic Tension
Increases Range of Motion
Reduces Scar Tissue
What is Structural Integration?
Structural Integration is the culmination of a body of work developed by Ida Rolf PHD. It is a system of Manual Therapy and Sensorimotor Education that aims to improve human biomechanical functioning as a whole rather than to treat a particular symptom. Rolf began developing this system in the 1940's and spent 30 years perfecting it. Her main goal was to organize the human bodily structure in relation to gravity. Rolf called her method Structural Integration, now also commonly known by the trademark Rolfing.
In our modern world we don’t consistently use our bodies entire range of motion. Our limited daily activities lead to imbalance and affect our entire fascial system. How much do you walk, stand, sit at a desk, drive, run, jump, squat, play, climb, dance, sleep, or read? How often are you moving? Are you doing the same activities for hours and hours? What about surgeries, falls, bruises, breaks? As a result of overuse,underuse, or injury, we experienced tension in our fascial systems. We usually look to massage therapists to help relieve this tension.
How SI is different from massage.
SI was developed by Dr. Rolf as a long term Therapy, the changes are lasting. SI feels very much like Massage Therapy and shares its benefits, including reducing stress, and increasing circulation. However, SI is not focused on specific muscles or areas of tension, rather SI is a systematic approach to balancing the whole fascial system. Once the myofacial system is balanced, areas of chronic tension are relieved. SI doesn’t seek to eliminate the symptom, which is usually pain, it gets to the root of the problem, imbalance. As balance is acheived, space is created, pressure on the joints and nervous tissue is alleviated. The process starts at the most superficial layers of fascia and works slowly to balance the layers, superficial to deep. There is also a neurological component to SI. In order for the body to be aware of the improved posture and function, SI therapists ask many questions and work to bring awareness to the client before, during and after the session. Once new neuro pathways are developed, a new habit of being can begin. Awareness is the healer. The therapist creates the space necessary for ideal hydration and better function. The body can now move as it was meant to. No longer bowing under the forces of gravity, but accepting the load of gravity with ease.
What is Fascia?
Take care of your fascial system:
Fascia is a permeating tissue that is heavily loaded with nerve cells. It surrounds and positions every aspect of the body including cells, muscles, bones, nerves, organs and skin. It is the organ of structure.
Adhesions or knots are caused by fascia that is stuck together. Scar tissue is a buildup of fascia.
Structural Deviations such as scoliosis, kyphosis (hunchback), lordosis (swayback, anterior tilt), Genu Varum (bow-leggedness), Genu Valgum (knock-knees), splayfoot or duckfoot, and pigeon toes are common Major Imbalances in the fascial system. Though these are usually viewed as genetic issues, they can be improved or corrected through SI therapy.
Minor Imbalances in the fascial system are caused by underuse, overuse or injury, these small imbalances lead to compensation and can eventually create major dysfunction and pain. This feeling of imbalance is normally ignored and often described as tension or stress. Most people do not know that this feeling is something they do not have to live with. SI work reduces this feeling of tension in the body and creates a feeling of lightness and ease. Take care of your structural imbalances, before they lead to major issues!
Over time, the affects of gravity on an imbalanced body can lead to compression, joint deterioration, disc damage, and excruciating nerve pain. Most people resort to surgery a this stage. However, in many cases, SI therapy is a great alternative to surgery. The Therapy re-hydrates chronically stuck areas,allowing new flow, increasing space and reducing inflammation. It can solves the root of many problems without creating additional trauma or scar tissue.