Seeing changes

We all have a preferred learning style. Do you tend to understand and retain information better when you experience something visually, by hearing it, or when you’re moving?

Structural Integration sessions often include verbal cues and movement. To improve the visual aspect of the ten series, I will add a posture grid to my office.

grid

How will we use the grid? We can document the changes in your body by taking before and after photos in front of the grid. This seems to really help people recognize how manual therapy helps their bodies shift to a more balanced and aligned structure.

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CranioSacral Therapy

I am pleased to announce that I have received my certification as a CranioSacral Therapist. CST1If you are unfamiliar with CranioSacral therapy (CST), it is a gentle and relaxing technique that helps release restrictions and balance the body. It can address common conditions such as headaches, pain and stress. In addition, I have received specialized training on working with concussions and whiplash.

 

Sessions of CST are available at Barbara Jean Conti Structural Integration!

Skin, fascia and scars

Usually, articles in scientific journals are pretty dry. However, I ran across one about fascia and scars that had rather poetic phrasing. Here are a few of my favorite quotations from Skin, fascias and scars: symptoms and systemic connections by Bordoni and Zanier.

The skin surface is a means to communicate with the nervous system, to understand it, and to give therapeutic information.

And,

The fascia is the philosophy of the body, meaning each body region is connected to another, whereas osteopathy is the philosophy of medicine: the entire human body must work in harmony.

They also say what Ida Rolf did, but more technically, that everything is connected and where the pain is may not be where the problem is.

When there is a fascial injury, there is a fascial dysfunction. A physiological alteration in any part of the body will affect, as a result, everything that is covered by the connective sheet: the symptom will arise in the area concerned with the alteration or, in contrast, in a distal area, when this is not capable of adapting to the new stressor.

The article also talks about other concepts that are part of of the thinking around Structural IntOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAegration, such as the theory that skin and fascia have an impact on emotions and viscera (internal organs). I am glad to learn about some of the examples in this article that support what my experience has been with clients in SI sessions.

Mindfulness without meditation

Mindfulness has benefits like reducing stress and increasing contentment. Often, meditation is the recommended way to learn to be more mindful during the rest of your day. But what if meditation just isn’t your thing? There are ways to experience the benefits through other mechanisms. Here are a few ideas:

  • Notice new things; look for growth – by actively noticing new things, the familiar becomes interesting again.
  • Reframe negatives – that person is “stable” rather than “rigid” or maybe “spontaneous” instead of “impulsive.”
  • Be responsive not reactive – take a moment to be still and notice an event or remark before you respond to it.

For more details:
On Being interview with Dr. EllenĀ Langer
The Langer Mindfulness Institute

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SI sessions after receiving the 10-series

Clients have asked me when should they get Rolf method work again after receiving the 10-series of structural integration. Your neuro-muscular system may continue to adjust to the input of the 10 series for 3 to 4 months. Therefore, I recommend that you wait about 4 months before receiving additional SI work.

At that point, start assessing how your body feels. If you make a lot of demands on your body through your work or other activities, you may find that you want image002additional SI work sooner rather than later. If your structure feels good and you are happy with your alignment, then wait.

I hope that one of the things clients get out of their 10-series is a better awareness of how their body feels and moves. Rely on that for determining when to schedule a “tune up.” You can come back for one or more sessions in a time frame that is good for your body. For me, that tends to be in the range of 12 to 24 months.

Tune-ups are also an opportunity to explore working with other practitioners. Provided you see a practitioner whose training meets the standards of the International Association of Structural Integrators, the basic 10-series framework is the largely same. However, each school and individual brings their own perspective and experience to it.

Gardening for pollinators

The bees and butterflies definitely prefer some plants in the garden over others. I am happy toIMG_20170907_141238312 see them in the yard. While I have some native plants, I have not specifically focused on pollinators. As I ponder how to revamp a couple perennial beds, I plan to incorporate more choices for these charming and useful little critters.

Gardening, whether vegetables or plants, has benefits as exercise. Structural Integration can help keep you in good condition to enjoy this activity!

A how-to guide for change

Many of us have to deal with changes all the time, at work and at home. A friend recently recommended the book Switch by Chip Heath and Dan Heath. It’s about making changes when change is hard. away-2660117__340

Their premise is that there are 3 parts that have to align for a change to happen. Your rational mind, emotional mind, and environment all have to go in the same direction. This easy-to-read book provides background on the brain and psychology, inspiring examples, and a summary of their tips to overcome obstacles.

A few of the nuggets that I took away from this book:

  • People tend to look for a complicated solution to complex problems. It’s better to start with a simple, small action step. Early success builds motivation to keep working on the change.
  • When people are not changing, it’s often because they either need more clarity on what to do or the circumstances make doing the new thing hard.
  • Look for an existing success (bright spot) and use that as a model to build on.
  • You don’t have to understand the whole past history of how you got to this point. You can identify an action, however small, that moves you toward the goal and start doing it.