Tag Archives: fascia

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.


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.


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.




Hands and Feet

feetIf you struggle with nagging problems like plantar fasciitis or pain in your hands or arms, consider scheduling a session with Barbara. Sometimes, home care and stretching are not quite enough to resolve these chronic conditions. Bodywork can make the difference and provide the relief you are looking for.

palmBarbara says, “Using a combination of techniques from structural integration and cranio-sacral therapy, I help ease clients’ discomfort so they can get back to doing their normal activities. I have had clients return to running or be able to walk extensively at  conferences and on vacation. Clients find that typing and crafts are tolerable again.”


New video of fascia

Dr. Jean-Claude Guimberteau, a French plastic surgeon, pioneered the use of endoscopy cameras during surgery. His videos show what fascia looks like and how it behaves. This short video, which I read about in  ABMP’s Massage & Bodywork magazine, demonstrates how the fibers stretch and move.

I am intrigued by this view of what’s under the skin. I have been considering how hands-on work like Structural Integration may affect the energy and tension in the fascia. In the article, Dr. Guimberteau says:

It is clear that manipulation of the skin and underlying tissue influences a cell’s shape and position, and the mobility of the fibrillar system responsible for our architecture … Any gesture of manual therapy has an impact at the cellular level.

Rate increase

Dear Valued Clients –
This summer, it came to my attention that my session rates are well below what many other practitioners in the metro area currently charge. My own practitioner now charges $150 for a 60-minute session. After long consideration, I have decided to increase my fees. My last rate increase was 2011.

However, I know that cost is a significant consideration for some of you. If the higher costs listed below would be a barrier for you to receive work from me, please let me know. I am willing to be flexible! I would far rather see you at lower prices than for you not to come in when you need SI body work.

Thank you for your business; I am always grateful and delighted to work with you.
Best Regards,

Fees effective August 1, 2016

60-minute session: $85
90-minute session: $125
Ten-series package: $1,125

Student & Senior (65+) discounts
60-minute session: $75
90-minutes session: $110

In memory of Emmett Hutchins

Last week, the Structural Integration community lost one of its masters. Emmett Hutchins died on June 27 after a short illness. I attended the Guild, in part, because Emmett and Peter Melchior were there. They were the first instructors that Ida Rolf selected to teach her work. I wanted to follow a direct line of teaching from her. I was fortunate to take my first class on the Rolf Method from Emmett and Jeff Linn, in 2005. The quality of his touch and his ability to differentiate the layers of the body were amazing.

His biography, below, is from the Guild for Structural Integration‘s faculty page.

Emmett Hutchins

Emmett began his studies with Dr. Rolf in 1965. Her influence, both personally and professionally have made a profound impact in his life…which he shares so beautifully with students and colleagues alike. Dr. Rolf and Emmett had a close relationship until her death in 1979.

In 1971, Emmett co-taught his first class in Structural Integration with Peter Melchior. They were Dr. Rolf’s first appointed Instructors and both have been integral in developing and teaching her work ever since.

Emmett’s talented hands and unique mastery of the work combined with his theoretical abilities, metaphysical studies and exceptional dedication puts him in a class of his own. His particular style in his practice and in the classroom is famous worldwide.


Rest in peace, Emmett. You are greatly missed.