What is Structural Integration?

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 
• Surgery 
• 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.

What is the ATSI 12 Series?

Anatomy Trains Structural Integration (ATSI) is developed by Tom Myers - author of Anatomy Trains (a text used world-wide to help manual and movement therapists understand fascial anatomy) - is a further development of Ida Rolf's original work.  This is the form of Structural Integration I practice. 

Each SI session deals with a different fascial plane or set of relationships in the body, progressively working around the body, and from superficial to deep and back again.  I may not work where you are reporting the symptoms, as the patterns that feel that problem are body-wide.  A whip-lash, 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.

The first four sessions begin with differentiating the superficial fascia and muscles.  The fifth to eighth sessions open up the deeper structures, and the last four sessions integrate the previous eight sessions together and integrate the arms to the rest of the body.

View your ATSI SI 12 series as a project, with a beginning, middle and an end; not an ongoing and endless therapy. Results will continue to accrue after you have finished your final session. 

Gigi's passion lies in the ATSI 12 series. It is always exciting and rewarding to help clients begin a life free of pain.  
"Fascia does not discriminate, it simply keeps growing and eventually hardening into whatever shapes you make most often with your body. Unfortunately today, that most likely means your body resembles the shape of an office chair."
- Janu Vanier -

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The information on this website is intended for educational purposes only. The information and resources given isn’t intended as medical advice and should not be used to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any condition or disease. You should always consult a qualified health professional before making any lifestyle changes.
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