Structural Integration is amazing work.
Often, after the first session, people will stand up feeling like they are in a different body. After the ten sessions, it can feel like you’ve hit the reset button on ease and vitality, releasing the many traces of old injuries, habits of restricted movement, and nagging discomforts that accumulated through the years.
Structural Integration is a ten-session bodywork series based on the work and discoveries of Dr. Ida Rolf.
Unlike massage, Structural Integration focuses not as much on the muscles, but on the complex web of connective tissue known as fascia. Fascia surrounds all of your muscles, bones, and organs. It is, literally, the tissue of connection. Like John Muir said,
“When you tug on one piece of nature, you find it connected to everything.“
So it is with your fascia.
Over time, with the effects of gravity, poor posture, or injury, adhesions form in the fascia which restrict efficient functioning of your muscles, organs and bones.
When there is an adhesion in one part of the fascial system, its effects are experienced throughout the body.
In our culture, with years upon years of sitting in chairs, in front of computers, in cars, or walking with heavy backpacks or a purse slung over a shoulder – our support network of connective tissue begins to adapt to the shape of its limited and non-optimal use, thus becoming shortened and causing our bodies to collapse under the force of gravity.
Standing and moving in the field of gravity thus requires more muscular effort and energy which can result in (among other things) an increase in migraines, back and neck pain, hip and shoulder troubles, and symptoms associated with chronic fatigue or fibromyalgia.
The series of ten hands-on sessions are designed to invite your fascia back into its natural elegant pattern, thus allowing your muscles to expand into their full range of motion, while allowing your skeleton to serve as the supportive frame in the field of gravity. The structure of an aligned body is actually supported and reinforced by the flow of gravity and thus alignment frees up all of the energy previously required to maintain and hold an unbalanced body in the gravitational field. In essence, through this work we steer ourselves back toward more optimal organization, integration and wholeness.
“When the body comes into alignment with gravity, it spontaneously heals itself.” – Ida Rolf
People often wince when they hear of Rolfing work; like it is a painful initiation to be endured. I don’t believe that deep fascial work and pain are synonymous. I believe that in the words of Hugh Milne, “You can’t go too deep, only too fast.” There is an intensity to the work, as while we are on the table we are often feeling aspects of ourselves that we may have not felt in years, but it is not painful.
My sessions are unique in that they include movement explorations and include the brilliance of Functional Integration (hands on Feldenkrais work) to help you deeply integrate and embody the shifts that occur for years to come.
Feldenkrais and Structural Integration
People are often amazed by how much changes in such a short amount of time through the series of 10 sessions. Even for people who have had longtime movement practices like yoga, tai chi, or Pilates, the felt sense of lightness, ease, congruence, and naturalness that comes through the series can be delightfully astonishing. It certainly was for me!
Often a question arises after the series is complete: “How do I keep this?” “How do I not return to all of the weird habits that got me all out of whack in the first place?”
This is where incorporating the Feldenkrais Method is invaluable. Part of what drew me to study Feldenkrais after practicing Structural Integration for years was the strong emphasis the Feldenkrais Method places on our capacity to learn and improve at any point in life. No matter what our history, our age, our habits, injuries or surgeries, we can always meet ourselves where we are and learn how to bring more efficiency, ease, awareness and grace to our movement.
As Moshe Feldenkrais said:
“If it is possible for a person to reach a condition in which he registers improvement every time he does something, there is no limit to his possible achievement.”
The unique combination of Structural Integration sessions with Feldenkrais movement lessons provides a potent container for transformation and growth like no other.
Though the 10 series, it’s like you get a “do-over,” a slate cleaned of your accumulated habits and injuries. Through the Feldenkrais movement lessons, you will directly learn ways of moving with intelligence and ease, and can then improve for the rest of your life.
When you work with me, I ask that you commit at least one hour to practicing Awareness Through Movement lessons on your own between sessions. I am happy to provide these unique and powerful lessons for you.