Structural Integration is a manual therapy treatment of soft tissue manipulation and movement education that focuses on the connective tissue, or fascia, of the body. Fascia surrounds muscles, groups of muscles, blood vessels, organs, and nerves, binding some structures together while permitting others to slide smoothly over each other.
Fascia is designed to be elastic and move freely with muscles and bones. Injury, stress, work-related repetitive movements and the effects of aging can cause fascia to lose its elasticity and become shorter, tighter, and more dense. Tightened fascia pulls our muscles and skeleton out of proper alignment and posture, which can cause pain, discomfort, and fatigue.
Structural Integration or SI is the work of Dr Ida P Rolf (commonly known as Rolfing), developed during the early - mid twentieth century.
Dr. Rolf posed this fundamental question: "What conditions must be fulfilled in order for the human body-structure to be organized and integrated in gravity so that the whole person can function in the most optimal and economical way?"
Rolf recognised that when a body is balanced, it can work with the force of gravity and be energised by it rather than perpetually struggle against it.
When you are born, you are a blank canvas. And through the first world’s life sequence of inefficient movement in poorly designed chairs, desks, working on computers, sitting and watching TV, sitting in cars and being sedentary, we put our bodies through common strain patterns.
Our individual strain patterns come from the following
• Imitating our parents from an early age
• Emotional trauma & Stress
• Physical injuries
• And the bodies responses to these traumas
All of these will create a neuromuscular response causing tissue to contract, shift, thicken and glue itself to surrounding structures leading to immobility and pain.