Structural Integration / Visceral Therapy
Structural Integration – an Awareness-oriented Structural Therapy – is a systematic hands on body work technique where 10 consecutive and systematic sessions take place. The material of the body we are treating is called fasica, or connective tissue. The Rolf Method of Structural Integration (SI) is a systematic, educational hands on body work modality focusing on the realignment of your body in the gravitational field. In essence, we are reorienting the imbalances in your structure, while releasing chronic holding patterns that have been neglected over time.
Classically this work is done over a series of sessions called “The 10 Series”, in which different areas of the body are addressed each session. Much like peeling an orange or an onion, your connective tissue relates the same way thru your body – one layer after another we call ‘Sleeve to Core’. Often when we have an area of disease say, your right shoulder, the problem might actually be in your left hip then traveling down into your foot. Your connective tissue is the story board where all cellular memory is held – every trauma be it physical, mental, or emotional. SI helps to find resolve with these issues, while bringing clients to a greater sense of ease overall.
Reduce Inflammation | Sports Injuries | Concussion | Anxiety | PTSD | Senior & Infant Care
Simply put, this work is about loosing the ‘grip’ and resolving chronic aches and pains that exist in the body. Structural Integration can feel like a deep tissue massage, yet it is not. Consider the years of strain collectively bringing you to where you currently are – we’ll look to resolve most of that strain and stress during the sessions and thru movement cues while correcting inappropriate patterns and rebalance the body and nervous system.
Structural Integration is the belief that the fascia is not a series of single units enveloping muscle, rather an interconnected system that extends from the top of the head to the toes; according to this notion, disease occurs when the fascial system becomes indurated and constricted through the vicissitudes of emotional stress, habitual poor posture, repetitive use syndrome, trauma and others.
Structural Integration is also effective for allergies, arthritis, flat feet, gastrointestinal complaints, low back pain, sciatica, scoliosis, tennis elbow, TMJ syndrome and other conditions.
Visceral Manipulation, or VM, of the abdomen is also woven into the sessions as needed – not thorax or pelvis which would include the entire abdominal viscera. L’s training on VM (Visceral Manipulation) is thru the Barral Instutute.
VM assists functional and structural imbalances throughout the body including musculoskeletal, vascular, nervous, urogenital, respiratory, digestive and lymphatic dysfunction. It evaluates and treats the dynamics of motion and suspension in relation to organs, membranes, fascia, and ligaments. VM increases proprioceptive communication within the body, thereby revitalizing a person and relieving symptoms of pain, dysfunction, and poor posture.
An integrative approach to evaluation and treatment of a patient requires assessment of the structural relationships between the viscera, and their fascial or ligamentous attachments to the musculoskeletal system. Strains in the connective tissue of the viscera can result from surgical scars, adhesions, illness, posture or injury. Tension patterns form through the fascial network deep within the body, creating a cascade of effects far from their sources for which the body will have to compensate. This creates fixed, abnormal points of tension that the body must move around, and this chronic irritation gives way to functional and structural problems.
Imagine an adhesion around the lungs. It would create a modified axis that demands abnormal accommodations from nearby body structures. For example, the adhesion could alter rib motion, which could then create imbalanced forces on the vertebral column and, with time, possibly develop a dysfunctional relationship with other structures. This scenario highlights just one of hundreds of possible ramifications of a small dysfunction – magnified by thousands of repetitions each day.
There are definite links between somatic structures, such as the muscles and joints, the sympathetic nervous system, the visceral organs, the spinal cord and the brain. For example, the sinuvertebral nerves innervate the intervertebral disks and have direct connections with the sympathetic nervous system, which innervates the visceral organs. The sinuvertebral nerves and sympathetic nervous system are linked to the spinal cord, which has connections with the brain. In this way someone with chronic pain can have irritations and facilitated areas not only in the musculoskeletal system (including joints, muscles, fascia, and disks) but also the visceral organs and their connective tissues (including the liver, stomach, gallbladder, intestines and adrenal glands), the peripheral nervous system, the sympathetic nervous system and even the spinal cord and brain.
What to expect during a session:
After determining SI is a good fir for you thru an assessment, generally we will meet weekly for up to a 90 minute session including RolfYoga movement. Prepare to bring or wear undergarments such as what is shown in the images on this page, men in shorts or briefs. The first session is usually longer than the follow up visits of 60 minutes. Please allow for time after your session to integrate either by walking, or sitting relaxed for 30 minutes or so. This work is deeply transformative, as L’ prides herself by offering specifically designed movement ‘prescriptions’ (RolfYoga) to bridge the work from the table to floor to life.
“We are not changing bodies, we are changing the way we live in our bodies” Peter Melchior
Allow For Change And See What Happens
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