Category Archives: Structural Integration

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.

The lungs – not just about breathing

The first session in a 10-series of structural integration has a focus on increasing “vital capacity.” One element of that is working with the ribs and lungs to allow a person to lungs-37824__340breath more fully and freely.

Recent research has revealed another key role played by the lungs. Scientists at the University of San Francisco, using a new kind of imaging, found that the lungs of mice are a significant partner in producing components of blood. They learned that the lungs produced over half the platelets circulating in the mice’s blood. Platelets help the blood clot when you have a cut. Additionally, the lungs of the mice had a store of blood stem cells. The same could very well be true for people. Take care of your lungs so they stay strong and healthy, not just for strong breathing but maybe also for your blood.

UCSF News Release

Focus on the Process for Success

Wanting to achieve a goal can be useful to get us motivated. However, “keeping your eye on the prize” does not give any clues about how to get to that goal. Whether it’s completing all 10 sessions of structural integration, walking 10,000 steps per day, or accomplishing results on a project, the path to success is often a more gradual process rather than one eureka moment.

Making a plan is an effective way to get to the eventual goal. Identifying stepforward-1276286__340s needed to get to the goal and some milestones along the way is a good start. Thinking ahead about how to get around roadblocks that might come up and establishing routines for your project can be really helpful.

Obviously, things will occasionally come up that put us off track. No need to give up, just return to the process. Some advice I received is to follow the plan 80% of the time and ask for support or assistance when needed. I try to keep that in mind, be patient, and enjoy the moments on my way to the eventual goal.

 

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.

 

 

 

Emmett on Structural Integration

I recently received a news update from my school, The Guild for Structural Integration. A quotation in the message was from one of the founders, Emmett Hutchins. Emmett was also a primary teacher for my SI image002training. I thought his words were a good reminder and inspiration for the new year:

Structural Integration is about the whole person.
It is about fascia and feeling.
The sensation of moving from weakness into strength,
the exhilaration of owning a new part of oneself,
the immediate and simultaneous reeducation of one’s being and action,
the joy of self-empowerment,
waking up:
these are the experiences of Structural Integration.

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.