Welcome to my new blog and website! For some, this is a reintroduction to me and my work, for others... thanks for your interest and I hope to meet you soon!
Structural Integration Overview and First Session Intro
Balancing the Breath, Rib Cage and Hips
Structural Integration - As I Understand It… so far! Structural Integration is a system of manual therapy (massage) and movement education which improves physical function of the body as a whole instead of treating specific symptoms. Through our patterns of movement, interactions with others, and our interpretations and reactions, we adapt physical and mental postures which become expressions of our personalities and identities. The human body appears to be symmetric with equal parts (limbs, fingers, eyes, etc). However, we are predisposed to dominance in our patterns and eventually we become even LESS symmetric. Thus dominance in our habits creates leverage or torque which twists our bodies. Structural Integration was developed by Dr Ida Rolf PhD, starting in around 1940. Her work became the origin of all Structural Integration as we know it today. Hellerwork is an early development growing from this work, developed by Joseph Heller.
The purpose of Structural Integration is to restore balance within the tensional relationships of fascial structures in the body. Through established protocols of manual therapy over 10 to 12 sessions, an SI Practitioner will work to release, balance and integrate tensions of these fascial structure. When I consider the Integration aspect of my work, I think of the relationships within the body and mind of my client. I also believe the relationship between myself and my clients is a fundamental required for quality results.
Benefits - Return the body to maximum potential. Relieve the manifestations of experience, trauma and dis-ease in the body and reinvigorate the relationships between physical and mental health.
There are 3 features of each of the Hellerwork Structural Integration Sessions which combine to build a solid foundation for moving forward in a logical and sustainable manner all focused towards the goal of achieving Structural Integration. Each session consists of 1) Specific Fascial Structure Releases after Assessments 2) Somatic Themes and 3) Movement Lessons which help the client re-educate their movement system and reinforce the fascial work.
The first three of eleven sessions focus on accessing superficial layers of fascia in order to prepare the body for intrinsic/deep fascial work. Sessions 4 thru 7 focus on working the deeper layers of fascia. Sessions 8 through 11 focus on Integration and Specific Structural work. Structural Integration can take place over ten, eleven or even twelve sessions.
What Inspires You?
Session #1 - Inspiration - Beginning the 10 Series with intention towards improvement of our lives’ most fundamental process and essential function (our breath) is symbolic of the theme of inspiration, new beginnings, transitions and moving forward. “the metaphysical taking in of spirit or life force.” (Joseph Heller, Body Wise Chapter 6 Pg 103). In order to complement this theme with touch, the muscles of respiration (the rib cage) must be accessed, released and balanced. This includes all structures connecting the shoulder blade and the ribs as well as the shoulder blade to the arms.
The goal of creating a horizontal pelvis is essential to this session to accommodate the repositioning of the rib cage over the pelvis. The rib cage contains its own centre of gravity and the pelvis is key to managing this new position thru transfer and transmission of ground forces. MOVEMENT LESSON: Sitting with both “sit bones” on the chair, knees slightly lower than the hips, feet flat on the floor. Engage the core to find balance of the rib cage over the pelvis. This can be expanded with squatting body weight or austere equipment.
This is the first blog post of my new career. Writing has always helped me clarify my purpose and passions which in turn motivates me towards a grounding and presence in my day to day life.