Center for Structural Integration Paris

What is Structural Integration?

Rolf Method of Structural Integration developed by Dr. Ida P. Rolf, is a way of restructuring the physical body - stretching the fascial web of the body in combination with movement education.

Balance is the primary goal of the work. Our intention is to establish equal tissue tone from front to back, between the two sides, between the top and the bottom halves of the body and from the deepest layer of tissue, nearer the bone, to the more superficial layers nearer the skin. There is another balance that is needed, the integration of the physical body with life styles, family history, mental states, developmental background, etc. We are not working in a vacuum.

Unlike massage, Structural Integration does not focus on the muscles. Rather our attention is with the "packing material" of the body-fascia or connective tissue. Fascia is an ordered elastic web that starts just beneath the skin and unsheathes and positions the various elements of the body-muscles, bones, nerves, organs, etc. It is what Dr. Rolf calls the "organs of structure:" its properties of elasticity and plasticity (the ability to hold a shape and yet be malleable) are what makes physical change possible.

The mechanism of fascial adaptation is contracting and bonding; in order to gain stability and ward off stress, fascial tissue will shorten, thicken and attach itself to neighboring structures. The result is that movement is no longer economical; we use too much energy for the simple business of living and shortchange ourselves of creative energy.

The 10 Series

A series of ten-hour sessions of Structural Integration was developed by Dr. Ida P. Rolf.

Although each practitioner interprets this protocol in their own fashion, the pattern of the sessions remains. The breath response particular to each session remains consistent in our work.

The first three sessions focus on “lift,” the concept of relief of the heaviness that we have in relation to gravity. Even when working on the feet (second hour), the object is to assist the body (person) to raise up and find support.

The middle four sessions are for grounding and centering, working extensively in the pelvis and it’s connections to the rest of the body.
The remaining three session are for the integration of the body considering: cross/spiral rotations; banding and fibrous restrictions; coordination and adaptable capacities such as weight-bearing and transmission of movement through joints.

In actuality, the goal is to integrate and align the body during each session. Part of the way this is done is to coordinate neck and pelvic movement at the end of each hour.

After the ten sessions, you will find a better balanced–knowing that balance is never a fixed position, but a fluidly changing movement appropriate to the situation.

The spacing between sessions can be based on the client’s availability.

The beauty of post ten work is that it is constantly undergoing transition and modification. A client may come in for a "tune-up" which can be a single session following a physical or emotional experience. Usually we suggest a "series" of three to five sessions where the specific problem can be addressed along with concurrent focus on balance and alignment.

Post 10 Work

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