Fascia surrounds, supports, and penetrates all of the muscles, bones, and organs throughout the body. This net of fascia is the body’s internal system of flexible support, and gives strength and shape to the body. The fascial system responds to injury, chronic tension, and habitual movement patterns by shortening and thickening, thereby locking in unhealthy patterns of strain, and pulling the body out of alignment.
Structural Integration works systematically to release areas of tension and restore flexibility in the body. It literally changes the shape of the body, sometimes quite dramatically. While working on a horse I often will step back, and every time I am amazed at the visual change in the outline of the horse. The back comes up; the neck rises out of the withers gracefully; the horse stands more balanced. It is one of the reasons I am so passionate about this work.
After a session of structural integration, the body should feel lighter, energized, and balanced. Breathing capacity will be greater, range of motion will increase along with ease and fluidity of movement, and the body will be more resilient to injury.
Dr. Rolf, the founder of Rolfing, or Structural Integration, believed yoga was the best exercise system ever devised if done with the right teacher. She also believed that hands-on manipulation was needed to fully free the structure and to achieve ultimate length and separation in the joints.