Category Archives: Body work

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!


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.

Thoughts on integration from David Davis

I studied with David Davis when he used to teach at the Guild for Structural Integration. He is a gifted practitioner and instructor. Here, he talks briefly about integration, gravity and its effects in the body.

5 exercises for your core

A strong set of core muscles in your torso helps keep your back happy and allows you to do the movements and chores of daily living. I’ve written before about the importance of the transversus abdominus muscle as a key to your core support.

Many people can benefit from core work – such as office workers, nbackpain-1944329__340ew moms, and athletes. For example, I discovered that I could do certain yoga poses better after I took up Pilates. I thought I wasn’t flexible enough but it turns out I wasn’t strong enough.

This set of exercises recommended by coach Timothy Bell will help build your foundation for balanced core support and strength.

5 Fundamental Core and Abdominal Exercises for Beginners

The skin and brain

A client asked recently about people unexpectedly experiencing strong emotions while receiving bodywork.

Why would strong emotions occur during a session of bodywork? One explanation is because of how your skin and brain are connected. When an embryo nih-braindevelops, it has three layers. The skin, brain and nerves all develop from the same layer – the ectoderm. These systems remain interconnected throughout life. Manual therapy such as SI affects your neuromuscular system. Nerves in your skin, muscles and connective tissue carry information to your brain. The limbic system in your brain contains the structures that regulate your emotions and form memories. It’s a back-and-forth conversation in the body.

In addition to manual therapy such as SI, exercise like running, yoga or lifting weights can also trigger such emotional releases. Ideas on why emotional releases occur during exercise include how brain chemicals like brain-derived neurotrophic factor are affected  by a workout, or how amino acids called peptides flow through your body.

To learn more:
The Endless Web: Fascial Anatomy and Physical Reality by R. Louis Schultz and Rosemary Feitis

Experience Life article: Laugh, Cry Lift

What makes Structural Integration different from other bodywork?

With many types of bodywork, the therapist puts their hands on tissue and does something to it. What makes the Rolf Method of Structural Integration (SI) different from various kinds of massage therapies? Ida Rolf thought SI worked directly on the body’s fascia. Modern research indicates that the action is more indirect – changes in the body from manual therapy like SI are from its interaction with the neuro-muscular system.

SI works with the nervous system and connective tissue to modify the nervous system’s  outputs to reset tension allow muscles to soften and lengthen. Additionally, the process of SI considers how you use your body in your daily activities and how the patterns developed over time affect tension and movement. SI works with the body’s whole structure. The 10-series covers all the major body segments so that the interconnected system of fascia is fully addressed.




Concussions and whiplash

Have you ever hit your head or been in a car crash? Bodywork can help you feel better. I recently completed a workshop on improving the symptoms of concussion and whiplash with craniosacral therapy. This gentle technique offers powerful relief! Once cleared by your doctor (generally, at least a month after a head injury), come in for a session.

After a head injury, it’s important to be evaluated for concussion and allow time for your brain to heal properly. Symptoms after a concussion range from obvious to subtle. A person with a concussion may black out or may only feel “off.” For some people, even a minor-seeming accident can result in longer-term issues like sensitivity to light and noise or brain fog. 	HEADS UP Parents - Get a HEADS UP on Concussion

To learn more about concussion and its treatment, visit the US Centers for Disease Control’s Heads Up program which contains good information about concussions for parents and coaches.