Structural Integration is a unique body therapy. Unlike massage, Structural Integration focuses not on the muscles but on their protective layer, called fascia (also known as connective tissue). Muscles are contracting tissues that give the body and organs physical movement. The fascia surrounds the muscles, bones and organs in the body. The fascia gives muscles their shape and the body its structure. Structural Integration aligns and balances the body by lengthening and freeing the fascia. As fascia is lengthened it allows the muscles to move more efficiently. The practitioner will apply pressure to the body, working the entire fascial system in a systematic way. When restricted fascia is released and lengthened the body can return to its structurally optimal position. The continuing pull of gravity, the stress of daily activities and physical emotional injuries can pull the body out of alignment. The fascia gradually shortens, tightens sticks together and the body adjusts to accommodate the misalignment. When the body is out of alignment it creates inefficiency and imbalance resulting in stiffness, pain, discomfort and loss of energy. When a body is aligned and balanced it moves with greater ease. It requires less energy to function. “Good” posture is effortless and breathing is easier. The body becomes more flexible, more coordinated and athletic performance improves.
What are the benefits?
Structural Integration is a very personal process. It is important to remember that because no two people are alike, their experience and the benefits will never be exactly the same. As a result of the process people often appear taller and slimmer. Some actually gain anywhere from 1/4” to over 1 inch in height. Feelings of discomfort or pain are often alleviated. Other often experienced benefits are greater flexibility, a feeling of lightness and fluidity, better balance, increased breathing capacity, increased energy and greater self-confidence.
While Structural Integration is primarily concerned with physical changes in the body, it affects the whole person. We are made up of emotions, attitudes, belief systems and behavior patterns as well as the physical being. All are related. Align the physical structure and it will open up the individual’s potential. Clients often report positive changes, stating less stress, greater self-confidence and improved ability to handle life’s changes. Such changes have been reported in all age groups.