Structural Integration and Fitness
“If you can imagine how it feels to have a fluid, light, balanced body, free of pain, stiffness and chronic stress, at ease with itself and the
earth’s gravitational field, then you will understand the goals of Structural Integration.” -Ida P. Rolf, PhD.
Structural Integration is a widely-recognized way to balance and align your body with gravity for greater ease in breathing, movement and well-being. Dr. Ida P. Rolf developed the 10 session process of Structural Integration as a holistic system combining soft tissue manipulation and movement education to align your body in the field of gravity by lengthening, restoring, and reorganizing the fascia, the connective tissue matrix of the body.
Your Body Parts are All Connected
Imagine balancing a broomstick on the palm of your hand. When balanced, the broomstick feels almost weightless, easy to hold. But when the broomstick is not properly balanced, it feels heavy and cumbersome - it wavers and falls.
Similarly, when an area of the body is misaligned or out of balance with gravity, other parts must compensate. And strain, adhesions and tension patterns deep within the layers of fascia are created. Compromised fascia is thick, hard and stiff, and can cause you to feel pain and stiffness. Healthy fascia is fluid, flexible and responsive. Structural Integration re-educates you and your body to live and move in harmony with the field of gravity instead of being in conflict with it, allowing you feel to supported, lighter and more energized.
Since the fascia is a web that encompasses your entire body, an injury in your toe can eventually cause a problem in your shoulder if the fascia is not realigned. In the same way, patterns of slouching at your desk, emotional strain and strenuous movements also affect the fascia, which in turn can lead to a variety of ailments and “dis-ease.”
There are psychological-emotional relationships to strain, pain and “stuckness,” which are also released through the bodywork and verbal dialogue during your sessions. Structural integration restores the fluidity in the fascia for you to experience more ease and grace in your life.
Alignment First draws on the experience and wisdom of Structural Integration founders - Dr. Ida Rolf, Joseph Heller, and Judith Aston - while incorporating the latest developments in fascial research, outcome facilitation, neurophysiology, and bio-mechanics to deliver the most efficient and effective sessions possible.
To empower clients and sustain the benefits received, all Alignment First Structural Integration sessions include movement coaching to help you perform everyday activities (like getting up from a chair, talking on the phone, sitting at a computer) with alignment that energizes, relaxes and rejuvenates you with every movement. Alignment First is a way for people of all ages and walks of life to become more fully engaged, effective, and deeply fulfilled in their lives.
Structural Integration Benefits include:
- Improved body awareness
- Fuller and easier breathing
- Improved postural alignment and body shape
- Increased length and ease in the body
- Improved skin tone and reduced cellulite
- Freedom from chronic pain and injuries
- Enhanced range of movement
- Reduced stress and tension
- Greater energy and sense of vitality
- Improved organ functioning
- Increased metabolism
- Greater empowerment and engagement in life
“When the body gets working appropriately, the force of gravity can flow through. Then spontaneously, the body heals itself.” (Ida P. Rolf, PhD.)
The series of 10 sessions:
The foundation of Structural Integration is a series of ten sessions. Dr. Rolf discovered that the body is organized in layers and in order to create lasting change, the Structural Integration Series must create length and space in the outermost layers before working with deeper, more core layers in the body. The first three sessions are called “The Sleeve” and cover the superficial fascia, the middle four sessions are called “The Core” and cover the deeper myofascial structures, and the last three sessions are called “Integrative” and create structural and functional adaptability within the whole body.
What to expect in a session
Alignment First is known for its respectful and responsive quality of touch. Sometimes, “Rolfing” has the reputation of being painful. We believe it is counter-productive if a client is bracing against the force of the bodywork. Rather than plowing through tissue, our practitioners encourage clients to breathe and become present into the area being worked on. We then follow your body’s natural rhythm for relaxing. We have found this to be more effective and enjoyable for our clients.
- Sessions are 90 - 120 minutes.
- To track progress photos are sometimes taken and your privacy is always respected.