Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Structural Integration/Rolfing


Structural Integration is a type of
Alternative medicine which aims to align the human body in the gravitational field. The claimed benefit is that the increased use of balance at finer levels of the neuro-fascial-musculo-skeletal system allows for increased general well-being and physical adaptability and resilience as well as reduced pain from biomechanically caused pain.
Structural Integration practitioners are trained in the application of functional biomechanical and kinesiological analysis and in effective ways of changing a client's structure. Often connective tissue, in the form of fascia, is manipulated to allow body segments to shift to a more balanced position. Re-education of the clients movement patterns and other modalities are commonly used to achieve or support the goal of improved alignment.
First developed as a separate field by Dr.
Ida P. Rolf, Structural Integration, from the 1930s, evolved out of a number of sources including osteopathy, (including cranial osteopathy), yoga, Alexander Technique, and Feldenkrais.
By the 1950s Rolf was teaching Postural Release. In the 1960s this work was named Structural Integration and then "
Rolfing". Other schools teaching Structural Integration have since formed from the 1960s such as Kinesis Myofascial Integration".
Structural Integration is now taught by a number of individual schools. (see below) Techniques originally developed in Structural Integration are now found in deep tissue massage, myo-fascial massage and soft tissue work and other forms of bodywork, massage and physical therapy.
In an effort to preserve the essential elements of Structural Integration in its teaching and practice, practitioners from a variety of schools formed the International Association of Structural Integrators in 2002.
What to expect from a session?
Structural Integration is typically done over a series of sessions with a beginning middle and end. This is known as the "series" and is usually between 10 and 12 separate and progressive sessions. Before the first session begins a detailed history is taken, realistic goals are made and a postural assessment is done to determine any imbalances.
Most structural integration sessions are done in underwear or a bathing suit. Your comfort is paramount, but we need to get directly to the tissues that are restricting the free flow of movement. Much of the session work is done on a treatment table, though some moves are done on a stool or even standing.
The goal of the treatment is to free old restrictions and encouraging the tissues back to a freer place called for by your body's inherent design. This is done by contacting the tissue and asking for movement, thus you and your practitioner can work out how deep or how gentle you want the progression to be.
The sessions progress through the body as following:
Typically the first four(4) sessions are generally more superficial, freeing the tissues on the front, back, and sides of the body and freeing the shoulders and arms from any binding to the trunk. The middle four(4) sessions address the "core" of you body, working into the central stabilization muscles closer to the spine. The last four(4) sessions integrate "core" and "sleeve" into your habitual movement (and address specific problems you bring to the table). If issues are myo-fascial in nature, structural integration will be highly effective aiding their resolution.
Places where it is taught (you can contact them to study or do a short term course)
The International School of Structural Integration
Core Institiute
Guild for Structural Integration
Guild for Therapeutic Bodywork, Inc.
Hellerwork, International
Institut fur Strukturelle Korpertherapie
Institute for Structural Integration
Institute of Structural Medicine
Kinesis Myofascial Integration
Mana Integrative Therapies
Northwest Center for Structural Integration
Professional School of Bodywork (IPSB0)
Rolf Institute
The School of Integrative Therapies
Structural Integration for Horses
Professional Organizations

International Association of Structural Integrators

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