What is Structural integration Therapy?
Structural Integration Therapy (SI) may sound like medical terminology, but it is actually a holistic approach of bodywork and manipulation that focuses on the connective tissue—the fascia—of the body. Through a series of sessions, Structural Integration works to restore posture and heal tightened and thickened fascia due to injury, stress, work-related issues, and other factors—all of which can cause chronic pain and limited mobility.
At Tannenbaum Chiropractic in Beverly Hills, our team is dedicated to alleviating your pain and discomfort through individualized treatments using Structural Integration Therapy sessions. Curious as to how Structural Integration can benefit you? Here are 5 basic facts to get you started on Structural Integration Therapy and how it can help your body:
1. Structural Integration is also known as “Rolfing.”
Structural Integration was originally developed in 1971 by biochemist, Dr. Ida Rolf, for which Rolfing is appropriately named. Using a blend of osteopathy, yoga, and homeopathy, she believed in the importance of working on the body as a coordinated whole—if an area of connective tissue is misaligned or tight that tension could manifest as a myriad of painful or movement limiting issues. To correct this, Dr. Rolf designed Structural Integration Therapy to manually provide slow, deep strokes and apply direct pressure to areas that are tight or sore in order to relieve the connective tissue and treat structural issues.
Structural Integration Therapists, called “Rolfers,” must be certified in Structural Integration to practice. At Beverly Hills Tannenbaum Chiropractic, our team includes certified Structural Integration Therapists who specialize in both massage and SI therapy that focuses on healing and restoring the body’s fascia.
2. What is fascia?
While you may immediately think of spinal manipulation treatments when you think of chiropractic care, chiropractic prioritizes whole-body wellness, and looks beyond targeted spinal care, and instead to the connected parts of one whole. Rather than focusing on the spine, Structural Integration Therapy focuses on the fascia.
The fascia is the connective tissue that surrounds everything—every one of our muscles, organs, blood vessels, bones, tendons, ligaments, and nerve fibers. This network of connective tissue below the skin provides elasticity and movement, and also has nerve endings of its own. However, when the fascia’s natural function is compromised, it begins to shorten tighten and thicken and pull at our muscles and skeletal system, causing misalignment and poor posture that leads to pain and limited mobility. SI treatments work to resolve issues with the fascia by releasing tension, stretching, loosening, and repositioning the connective tissue to correct these issues.
3. Anyone can benefit from Structural Integration Therapy
Whether you sit at a desk all day, are a seasoned athlete, or are beginning to feel the signs of aging, compromised connective tissue can affect anyone. The fascia can tighten, shorten, and thicken due to a number of reasons including:
- History of physical injury
- Work-related issues
- Repetitive movements
- Poor posture
- Natural effects of aging
- Prolonged athletic performance
As a result, you may experience chronic pain, discomfort, fatigue, and/or stiffness. Additionally, as a result of these physical ailments, even depression and anxiety can manifest as well. When our body comes into alignment however, these ailments can secede, and our bodies, minds, and spirits will improve. In line with chiropractic mindset, Structural Integration aims to heal the whole person physically and emotionally by naturally altering and aligning the physical structure.
4. Structural Integration is more than a massage—it is a form of somatic bodywork
Like other chiropractic treatments, structural integration therapy is a hands-on treatment. This somatic practice utilizes fascial manipulation, awareness, and movement education to improve overall wellbeing. SI is a tool that can be used to release the chronic tension and stress in our bodies and engage in a healing relationship with ourselves from the inside out, allowing our bodies to work as functional as intended.
You may already be familiar with some of SI techniques, as it incorporates methods similar to deep tissue massage techniques known as myofascial release. These myofascial release bodywork sessions use gentle pressure to release fascia—your connective tissue—to loosen up what feels tightened, knotted, and painful.
5. Structural Integration is performed as a series of several sessions
A typical Structural Integration session will include a 10 to 13 session treatment plan. This allows your practitioner to systematically address your personal habits, issues, and goals, with each session building on the last. A range of manual manipulation of the fascia is used with varying degrees of pressure, similar to a deep tissue massage. Each session will work on balancing your structural integrity, designed to work on your body in segments, or layers. Your practitioner will also assess your personal history, work habits, posture, and other factors to include movement education into your treatment, allowing you to perform in and out of office.
No matter what finds you in need of a healing path, through Structural Integration Therapy, you will begin the process of restoring your body and improving your emotional awareness, energy, and whole-body wellbeing.
Call Tannenbaum Chiropractic today for a free consultation about how structural integration can heal and restore your body!