Welcome to Structural Integration Perth
There are a number of Structural Integration (SI) schools and thus different 'brands' exist for the technique (such as Rolfing, Hellerwork and SOMA). All SI schools have the same objectives, with different 'bents' on how to achieve it. Here at SI Perth, we learnt directly from Tom Myers - founder of KMI. We differ from traditional 'Rolfing' in that we include Anatomy Trains - a unique way of assessing and treating movement and pain.
What is Structural Integration?
SI is an advanced form of structural bodywork that aims to align and balance the body to provide physical, energetic and emotional health and wellness. The body is looked at comprehensively, including the bones, muscles, fascia, nervous system and even habitual movement patterns.
SI achieves this through the manipulation of fascia, the scaffolding system that supports and connects every cell in the body. Poor posture and habits, physical injuries, surgeries, as well as emotional stress and trauma, all have an impact on us. These result in various compensation or strain patterns in our body that deplete energy, increase risk of injury, increase stress, decrease metabolism, and decrease psychological and overall well-being.
Because these compensation patterns are held in our fascia, SI frees the body of these accumulated patterns, thus allowing the body to find better support and adaptability to prevent/recover from injuries - so that you can truly heal for long-term relief. A significant part of SI also involves perception and movement education, so that not only can you return to your structurally optimal position, but you also have the tools to maintain this health over your lifetime.
Benefits of Structural Integration
SI is commonly sought for treatment of chronic injuries. However, as SI works at resolving the deeper structural patterns that make us susceptible to injuries or chronic pain, it allows for true healing with long-term relief - from a wide array of issues.
SI can be used to address:
Enhancing Athletic Performance
Increase range of motion, flexibility and balance
Improve co-ordination & integration of function
Better breathing and increased energy
Correct postural problems
Increased body awareness/pattern recognition
Insomnia and other sleep disorder
Improving emotional & spiritual wellbeing
Address anxiety, depression and other mental health concern
Resolution of past traumas
What happens in a session?
Sessions begin with an interview about your history and current habits. Your practitioner will then observe you standing and walking before the session starts, to assess your current structural patterns. Your practitioner can also take photos in order to give you a visual sense of the before and after, as there can be some fairly dramatic changes in your shape.
SI is done on a massage table, or for certain moves, on a stool or bench. Sessions are done in underwear or bathing suit, without draping. The practitioner will use his fingers, hands or arm to contact certain tissues, and then ask you to move in specific ways while he or she opens and repositions those tissues.
The process of opening these tissues can involve some burning, although the sensation felt varies between individuals. Pain, if the sensation gets that far, should feel manageable, appropriate, and overall - safe. Please converse with your practitioner to find the right depth for you that allows maximum value for each session consistent with your comfort. The idea is to achieve a balanced body that is pain free. You may feel some of the stored pain as it leaves your body, especially in traumatized areas.
Post-session, your practitioner will give you movement or stretches to do at home to enhance your process.
Structuring of Sessions
SI is scheduled as a series of progressive sessions. The objective is to align the body within a certain number of sessions – therefore this not an on-going treatment strategy.
When it is appropriate, individual sessions can be customized to address any physical, energetic, or emotional concerns you're experiencing at that time.
SI is an individual process, and thus a mini-series can be catered to your needs. For best results, the 12-session series offers a comprehensive overhaul of the entire body.
The 12 Series
The 12 Series is performed over 12 sixty- to ninety-minute sessions.
The sessions are administered progressively with each session dealing with a different fascial plane or set of relationships in the body, progressively working around the body from the superficial to the deep and back again. The 1st 4 sessions free the superficial sleeve, the next 4 sessions free the core, and the last 4 sessions put you back together again.
Your practitioner may not work where you are reporting the symptoms, as the patterns that feed that problem are body-wide. A whiplash, for instance, is a problem of the neck for some days, a problem of the whole spine within a few weeks and is linked to a whole body pattern within a few months.
After the basic 12 series is complete, usually need time for the body to adapt & fully integrate before more work. The waiting period can be anywhere from one month to one year based on the client's unique experience.
Do not undertake SI without medical permission if indicated, or if suffering from a ‘hot’ (inflammatory) disease. SI can be remarkably effective for chronic pain patterns of a structural nature, but it is not designed to be curative for any disease, or as a first aid remedy for recent injury. Check with your practitioner if you are unsure whether SI is contraindicated.