How it Works
Structural Integration corrects posture, tension, and imbalance in the body, allowing for new possibility in movement and a sense of well-being and uprightness. This is accomplished by working with direct pressure on the connective tissue that envelopes each muscle, organ, bone, and nerve.
“When I talk about balancing muscles, I’m talking about balancing the right side with the left side. Balancing the front of the body against the back of the body, and finally, balancing the innermost muscles with the outermost, the inside working with the outside, this is the most important of these balances, and we start from the outside working in…”
– Ida P. Rolf, Ph.D.
This connective tissue is called fascia and is the organ that gives you your shape. When you get stressed, or are in fear, the connective tissue contracts, just as by stretching you can lengthen it. Fascia is plastic-like and highly adaptable.
Physical stresses, accidents, traumas, along with emotional pain can cause knotting or a shortening of the tissue. Think of the people who sit all day with their head forward looking at a computer screen – think of what the body must do in the way of compensation to hold the ten pound head in a forward position. Or what the arm does as the dominate side of those working a “mouse” or doing a labor type job for hours each day, 40 hours a week. Plus we all live under the weight of gravity.
Cause and effect – Form follows function. Patterns get formed that cause people to get out of alignment and out of balance. What happens on the right side affects the left side, and the loads we place on the front of our body will demand something from the back of the body. Most people suffer at one time or another from back, shoulder, or neck pain which are all symptom’s of structural imbalance or repetitive stress.
Muscle and connective tissue have a memory and pattern that it holds onto. By direct pressure on connective tissue and manipulation along with the efforts of the practitioner and client to release holding patterns, the fascia learns a new and better way of being. As an example – hold your breath and make a fist at the same time – experience this static position and then let it go and feel the contrasting relief and sensation. Some say that Rolfing “hurts so good”as they experience the sensation of “letting go”.
Integration is the act of bringing things together that were isolated or ignored. Guiding components and segments of the body into a single system that functions as one.
Essential, smooth, flowing – seamless coordination.
Integrity: Uprightness, Wholeness, Courage, Consciousness.
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