Structural integration (SI) is a system of manual therapy and sensorimotor education that examines your posture and alignment.
The goal of structural integration is to unwind structural strain patterns, assisting your muscular and fascial system to be restored its natural balance, alignment, length, and ease. SI looks holistically at the body’s structure and uses a global lens to understand the root causes of pain, restriction, and imbalances.
This work can be seen as a companion to osteopathic or chiropractic care, but rather than adjusting bones back into place, we adjust the fascial ‘guy-wires’ so that they stay in place, along with recommendations to movement work.
THE THREE SERIES:
The Three Series is a great introduction to Structural Integration. These 3 sessions focus on examining the alignment in the lower body, the upper body, and the spine respectively to produce a body more at ease with itself. If you’ve done the Twelves series prior, this series can be used as a tune-up for your body.
SI is a collaboration between practitioner and client. The work goes well beyond the time spent together in a session and continues through newfound awareness and movement homework.
SI employs hands-on manual therapy and movements that work with underlying somatic patterns that restrict freedom of movement. If you are looking for a change in posture, body uses, awareness, and overall somatic experience, SI is for you.
THE TWELVE SERIES:
The Twelve series is a series 12 sessions that are organized into three focus areas.
four sessions to address the superficial tissue layer
four sessions to address the deeper core tissue layer
four sessions to integrate the changes of these two tissue layers while doing movement re-education (This will prepare you for continued change and progress even after the completion of the series.)
ACTIVE FASCIAL RELEASE
Active Fascial Release (AFR) blends functional movement principles with hands-on manipulation of the soft tissue. AFR combines elements of motor control theory with a neuro-myofascial approach to identify, treat and finally re-educate the client’s movement patterns. The blending of guided movement with various soft tissue engagement protocols has created a method that addresses the body as a whole and acknowledges the roles of the body’s various tissues and their interrelationships.
What Should I expect?
Each session begins with a body reading that examines how your joints are positioned in relationship to one another, and how your soft tissue is being pulled, twisted, compressed, or over-stretched. This helps determine where you are tilted, rotated, shifted, and bent in your body. The treatment will be performed with you lying on a massage table, seated on a bench and you will often stand and walk many times throughout the session to evaluate the changes that occur. There is little to no lotion used. The work is focused, slow, intentional, and works at the level of the soft tissue restriction so the depth of pressure can vary from superficial to deep. The work is different than receiving a massage, and people often report feeling more free, expanded, lifted, and grounded.
Will I need to undress?
Most SI sessions are conducted in fitted boxer briefs or running split shorts for men and full coverage underwear and bra, sports bra and fitted shorts or two-piece swimsuit for women. I can work within most people's comfort level but the more that we can see and access, the better results you will have with the series.
Why will Structural Integration benefit me?
We are actually one integrated system, but we are accustomed to dictating to our bodies from above, believing a cultural myth that our minds and our bodies are separate. When we deepen our awareness of the subtle messages we are constantly getting from our body, telling us when we are getting off track, we are empowered to readjust how we are moving and holding ourselves. Benefits of these sessions vary from person to person, but results such as these are often reported:
Greater energy and vitality if you’ve been feeling “old” and worn down
More open and positive attitude toward yourself and the world
Increased efficiency in movement
Improved mechanical function
Increased awareness, and mindfulness of one’s self
Who can benefit from Structural Integration?
Structural Integration is ideal for anyone who wants to experience change and feel better in their bodies, such as:
Mothers who have had difficult deliveries and your body never felt quite right since
Change makers, visionaries, and creatives
People with demanding manual jobs and those who sit a lot - who are tired, immobile, and in pain.
Survivors of sexual trauma and/or physical, mental, or emotional abuse