Body Awareness Through Tai Chi

Structural Integration does a great job of making immediate and profound changes in muscle tone, suppleness and posture over the course of just one session.  Although the changes are long-term, when clients neglect to make habitual changes in their work and play routines, the restrictions will return over the course of weeks and months.

One way to supplement your structural integration session is to increase body awareness through Tai Chi.  When practicing Tai Chi, students will learn to identify when a particular muscle is over-used and simply release the tension on their own.  Thus, learning to move through everyday life with minimal effort.  The net result is a more graceful and effortless movement that will prove to decrease symptoms and increase energy.

Classes will begin July 2017.  Scheduling will be available June 2017.

Is Structural Integration the same as Rolfing?

This is a question I’m asked all the time, and it has a long but simple answer.  Structural Integration is a type of bodywork; ‘Rolfing’ is one of several ‘brands’ of Structural Integration.  ‘Rolfing’ is the original brand of structural integration developed by Ida Rolf.  The term ‘Rolfer’ is given only to practitioners who complete their training at the Rolf Institute and is a trademarked name.  ‘Rolfers’, the same as all structural integrators, are representing the work of Ida Rolf and her structural integration bodywork.

I trained with another school of structural integration (the CORE Institute) based out of Tallahassee, FL.  Currently there are several schools in the country teaching structural integration:  The Rolf Institute, The Guild For Structural Integration, The Soma Institute, The CORE Institute, and KMI are the most recognized.  All of these programs’ teachings are based off of Ida Rolf’s original work and most are extending her work as our understanding of fascia and movement increases.

As a group of professionals, structural integrators, whether from the Rolf Institute or any other school, are brought together by the International Association of Structural Integration (IASI), which serves to broaden our knowledge, consolidate our teachings and create a standard of practice for all Structural Integrators.

Beyond Pain Management

As our bodies age, joints start to creak and muscles start to ache, at some point we resign ourselves to the ‘fact ??’ that we just have to live with this pain.  Options like medications and even surgery seem to be viable options to help us endure the pain.

I don’t believe we need to lower our expectations of the life that we want to live.  The 50′s and 60′s and 70+ are the times we should be able to enjoy the fruits of hard work put out during the ‘prime’ of life.

When the body starts to ‘hurt’, the nervous system is doing exactly what its suppose to do; sending us a signal that something needs cared for.  By relying on things like medication and even some surgeries, we’re treating the nervous system and not truly caring for the body.  Essentially, its like cutting the wires from under the dash of your car that is causing the warning lights to go off.  The light stops blinking, but the car is still not running right.

We use structural integration to address the reason for the pain signal… not just make the pain signal go away.  I believe the biggest difference between structural integration and our use of medication/surgery is this:  living a healthy life versus living a life in the absence of disease.

Preparing for your Structural Integration session

As I work with more and more clients, a few thoughts generally come up that help me create an efficient plan to move forward.
Here are a few things to consider when scheduling a structural integration session.

1)  frequency, intensity and duration of a symptom
2)  do you have movement limitations
– what is stopping/pulling/blocking your movement
– when does the limitation occur (upon waking in the a.m., after work, while exercising)
3)  are you at a plateau in your yoga practice, athletic endeavor, daily exercise program
4)  do you see others doing movements you’d like to be able to do

The more information you can bring to your session, the better results we’ll achieve.

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