Frequently Asked Questions
What is Structural Integration?
Structural Integration (SI) is a holistic form of bodywork (manual therapy) that works with your body’s interconnected fascial webbing in mind. Goals of SI include an increased sense of balance and ease within the field of gravity. SI often refers to fascia because it can be considered your body’s organizing tissue. It wraps and enfolds all the layers of the body from individual cells to the bones, organs and muscles and is the predominate tissue found in tendons and ligaments. This network, when functioning well, will distribute strain evenly through the entire system or web. Areas of this web can and do become short and tight and different “layers” can stick together or become undifferentiated, affecting their ability to move relative to nearby “layers”. This in turn creates a system where strain is distributed unevenly, often resulting in compensatory patterns of movement and behavior. Structural Integration addresses your interconnected system with hands-on bodywork (manual therapy), body awareness coaching (cultivating interoception) and movement coaching to restore length, fluidity and ease to all aspects of your fascial web.
“The body is a web of fascia. A spider web is in a plane. This web is in a sphere” – Ida P. Rolf
What makes a Structural Integration session different than a Massage?
- Within the context of SI, you are called upon to be fully present and actively engaged in the process of creating change within your system.
- SI is best explored fully as a series of sessions. I offer Anatomy Trains Structural Integration (ATSI) as a 12 session series. Introductory, Tune-up or Advanced sessions are often scheduled in shorter 3 – 5 session series.
- You will be asked to wear minimal clothing and can expect to shift positions several times during the session. Work is performed with you on a massage table, as well as standing and seated.
- We may or may not be directly addressing an area of discomfort or concern in any given session.
- While I do not practice traditional Swedish relaxation massage, I am happy to provide bodywork sessions geared more toward general relaxation.
What do you mean by minimal clothing?
- Please choose attire that will provide full coverage but allow access to the tissue being addressed.
- Women: Full coverage underwear and a bra are great. Also consider stretchy yoga/ workout style shorts, camisoles with built-in shelf bra or a two-piece swimsuit. (No thongs please)
- Men: Full coverage, fitted underwear like briefs or boxer briefs (no boxers please). Also consider workout or running shorts.
- For both men and women, I will have back-up “SI outfits” available should you forget.
- Draping will be offered and available for both modesty and warmth, but not required.
What to expect from my first appointment?
- During your first appointment, we will review your intake form, discuss your goals for yourself and the series, answer any questions that you may have and get to work!
- All sessions begin and end with postural and movement analysis.
- Before and after (after the full series) pictures can be taken for comparison with your camera or phone.
What is the ATSI 12-Series? What are the 5 and the 3-Series?
- The 12-Series offers what is essentially a complete exploration of your system and patterns. It consists of four “sleeve” sessions, four “core” sessions and four “integration” sessions. It is for folks seeking deep shift and change in their bodies and their lives.
- The 5-Series is great for advanced work after a completed SI Series. Again, it offers a full body approach. For folks who are post “full series” it is a great way to systematically reinforce and build upon the positive changes unveiled and discovered during your original series. (It is recommended that you allow at least 6 months to a year to pass before pursuing further series work.) This is also an option for folks who are unable to commit to the full 12 series but wish to see system wide shifts. The 5-series does not address the core as fully as the 12-series.
- The 3-series is essentially the first three sessions of the 12 series and sticks with the “sleeve” layers. It is a wonderful way to get a feel for the work, the flow of the sessions and to see if it feels like an appropriate modality for you.
Can I book just one session?
Yes, please do feel free to come in for a single session to see if my work resonates with you and if feels like it might be a good fit. I am more than happy to do issue-specific and injury-specific work. However, I will most often suggest at least 2 or 3 sessions if you are seeking to alleviate a particular set of symptoms. If however you are dealing with chronic and or reoccurring issues, you may wish to consider a 12-session series.
Is Anatomy Trains Structural Integration the same as Rolfing?
Q-tips and cotton swabs, Coke and cola, Kleenex and tissue. In this case, SI is a style and an approach to bodywork all stemming from the pioneering work of Dr. Ida P. Rolf. There are several “brands” of Structural Integration and ATSI is one of more than 18 recognized schools. Overall the work and the philosophies taught by each of the schools share more similarities than differences.
Does this type of bodywork hurt?
Many people associate Rolfing or Structural Integration with pain. The current thinking around pain and discomfort is to seek change within a sensation range that can be accepted and integrated by the central nervous system. What this means, is that we seek to work within a sensation range that is comfortable and does not exceed an individual’s tolerance. That being said, some of the work is of higher sensation and your communication about that will help your SI practitioner make adjustments accordingly.