What is Structural Integration?
+ Structural Integration
Simply put, structural integration is putting all the tissue and muscles in your body back where they belong. Through movement and touch, stress and impaired function are systematically released from the body.
+ How does it work?
There are four different analogies we can use to understand how structural integration works: Separating the Kids, Exorcising the Aliens; Breaking Up the Alien Parties; and Cooking the Roast.
+ Separating the Joints
Our joints are like three kids crammed in the back seat of a station wagon, poking each other, annoying each other, and periodically yelling, “Mom! He hit me!”. When joints lose their personal space, it affects your bones and arthritis happens. By separating the kids (joints), everyone’s happy because everyone has their space.
+ Trigger Points
Like a bad (or good) science fiction movie, aliens can inhabit our bodies and wreak havoc. These aliens usually reside in hard-to-reach places like under the shoulder blade and lead to tender areas and knots. Structural integration works trigger points to release these aliens from your muscles; no gruesome alien-birth scene necessary.
+ Eliminating Knots
Occasionally, the unexorcised aliens get together and throw a block party. The aliens (knots) gather together and get bigger, and when the party gets out of control, so does the muscle pain. I’ll work to eliminate the leader (main knot) when possible, or to break up all the little knots. End of party.
+ Power of Heat
Like a raw roast, our muscles are solid with a clear film around it. By putting pressure on your muscles, I create heat. And by “cooking the roast”, the heat allows me to move and elongate the melted muscle. Then like a roast in the fridge, the muscles stay in their proper places as they cool.
The Basic Ten Series of Structural Integration
+ Session One
To create lift so the body can receive more oxygen. We are increasing vital capacity. We begin lifting the upper Body off of the pelvis preparing the body for the work to come.
+ Session Two
To give the body a stable foundation by balancing the foot and muscles of the lower leg by addressing the knee, ankle, and foot.
+ Session Three
To address the lateral line/sides of the body from ear to knee. Help the muscles that are supposed to be in the front be in the front and things that are supposed to be in the back are in the back.
+ Session Four
Start the beginning sessions for the “core” work. The inner leg from the arch of the foot to the bottom of the pelvis is addressed. This helps the legs look good too!
+ Session Five
This session addresses the main hip flexors and to make the pelvis horizontal.
+ Session Six
Lengthen the backside from heels to the head.
+ Session Seven
Head and neck are the focus to bring it over the shoulders.
+ Session Eight & Nine
Balancing sessions. The shoulder girdle or pelvic girdle will get worked on again here.
+ Session Ten
Here, we put the finishing touches on the body. We will address the whole body and show how the whole body is connected.
Clients are shown specifically where their structural and functional imbalances are located and how to change habitual holding patterns. They are also taught how to re-pattern their chronic holding patterns and inappropriate movements, and how to match functional integration with structural integration. As a result the client is able to keep the beneficial effects of the ten-session system, continue to improve long after the ten sessions are complete, and assume responsibility for his/her own health and well-being.
What should I wear?
The ideal attire worn during the sessions for women is a two piece bathing suit, or if desired, loose short running shorts and a sports bra. For men, loose running shorts.
Awareness is an important aspect of the client’s experience and is emphasized throughout the Structural Integration process.
What are the effects of Structural Integration?
Structural integration restores your muscles to how they should naturally be, and Julie gives you guidance on how to continue to improve your body’s alignment. The cumulative nature of the series makes it a truly educational and life-changing experience.