•Rolfing Structural Integration (practitioner Simone Lukas-Jog)l
Please note, the following descriptions are compiled from those provided on the following sites: www.rolf.org, www.rolfguild.org.
Structural Integration (SI) aligns and balances the body by lengthening and repositioning the fascia. As fascia is lengthened it allows the muscles to move more efficiently. The practitioner will apply pressure to the body, working the entire fascial system in a systematic way. When restricted fascia is released and lengthened the body can return to its structurally optimal position.
Athletes, dancers, children, business professionals, and people from all walks of life can benefit from SI. People seek SI as a way to ease pain and chronic stress , and improve performance in their professional and daily activities.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
•What is Structural Integration (SI)?
•What are the Benefits of SI?
•What should I expect in a session or series?
•What will I wear during a session?
•I've heard Structural Integration hurts; is this true?
What is Structural Integration?
Rolfing is a scientifically validated body therapy, developed by Dr Ida P Rolf. Unlike massage, SI focuses not on the muscles but on their protective layer, called fascia (also known as connective tissue). Muscles are contracting tissues that give the body and organs physical movement. The fascia surrounds the muscles, bones and organs in the body. The fascia gives muscles their shape and the body its structure.
The continuing pull of gravity, the stress of daily activities and experiences, and physical injuries can pull the body out of alignment. The fascia gradually shortens, tightens and adjusts to accommodate the misalignment. When the body is out of alignment it creates inefficiency and imbalance, resulting in stiffness, discomfort and loss of energy.
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What are the benefits of SI?
The SI process enables the body to regain the natural integrity of its form. When a body is aligned and balanced in relation to gravity, it moves with greater ease and requires less energy to function. Good posture becomes effortless and breathing easier. The body regains flexibility, becomes more coordinated and through these more comfortable to live in. SI can address specific injuries or chronic pain, movement restriction and coordination, and lack of energy.
While Structural Integration is primarily concerned with physical changes in the body, it affects the whole person. We are made up of emotions, attitudes, belief systems and behavior patterns in addition to our physical structure. All are related. SI therapists believe that as we align the physical structure it opens up the individual’s potential. Clients often report positive changes, stating less stress, greater self-confidence and improved ability to handle life’s changes.
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What should I expect in a session or series?
Structural Integration is traditionally performed in a ten session series, though our practitioners also offer single sessions. Each session is scheduled for 90 minutes, with 60-75 minutes devoted to hands-on work.
At the beginning of the first session the client completes a health questionnaire and speaks with their practitioner about the goals of the session, as they relate to their unique situation and structure.
The practitioner will then observe the client, how they stand, walk and perform general movements (please see What will I wear during a session. The client will lie on a massage table so the practitioner can work directly on their body, and will participate in the session--often being asked to breathe into the area being worked on or to make small, specific movements.
10-Series: The process of the 10-series includes balancing the body in segments and achieving vertical alignment from balancing the body from front to back, side to side, top to bottom and inside to outside.
When going through the 10-series, it is preferable that the sessions are received, one per week for ten weeks in a row. The ten sessions are administered progressively; each session builds upon the last until complete integration of the body is achieved.
During most of the sessions the practitioner will help the client to become aware of habitual patterns of movement and imbalances in their body and will help them work toward making changes in these patterns in their daily life.
After the basic ten series is complete a client usually allows a period of time for the body to adapt and fully integrate before scheduling additional work. The waiting period can be anywhere from one month to one year based on the client’s unique experience. After the waiting period the client can return for tune-up sessions or advanced sessions to further the process of integration. In some instances practitioners will work with clients in ongoing sessions to achieve specific goals.
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What will I wear during a session?
Unlike a traditional therapeutic massage session in which the client is always draped with a sheet, during SI sessions men wear a swimsuit or fitted underwear and women wear a two-piece swimsuit or underwear and bra.
The practitioner will observe you (in your underwear/suit) standing and moving. To recieve the bodywork, you will lie on a massage table in your underwear/suit while the practitioners uses their hands, forearms and elbows to open fascial restrictions.
If you are uncomfortable with being in your underwear, please be sure to discuss this with the practitioner while setting up your first session.
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I've heard SI hurts; is this true?
SI is an intense bodywork modality, but should not be deeply painful or extremely uncomfortable, instead it should feel intense, sometimes challenging, but positive.
It is very important to work with your practitioner to find the level of pressure that allows for change, but is not overwhelming for you or deeply painful. This takes direct communication and feedback, as well as sensitivity from your practitioner. Taking the time in early sessions to clearly express what you are experiencing to your practitioner will make your sessions much more valuable and effective.
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Simone Lukas-Jogl discovered Rolfing Structural Integration after almost twenty years of struggling to accommodate a recalcitrant body with a passion for dance. After two surgeries, she had found “her” form of dance (Latin ballroom) and she developed a keen interest in learning how to reconcile competitive ballroom dance with the biomechanical limits of her body. Of course, this quickly developed into a search for ways to change her body's limits. Receiving Rolfing bodywork turned out to be an amazingly effective way to push the envelope - so much so, that she decided to become a Rolfer herself.
Simone took her Rolfing training with the European Rolfing Association in Germany and the Rolf Institute in Boulder, CO and was certified in 1998. Since then, she has studied extensively with Hubert Godard to understand Structural Integration from a movement perspective, taken classes in Rolfing technique and visceral manipulation, and started a personal practice of Continuum movement in order to delve more deeply into the world of somatic movement.
She has worked as a Rolfer on three continents and is fascinated by the ways our body's physical structure responds to culture, trauma, and emotional states. She continues to be amazed at the wide variety of effects people experience when she helps them free their body structure from no-longer-useful patterns of holding: relief from pain, ease in movement, deep relaxation, or emotional break-throughs.
At Motion Center, Simone offers not only hands-on bodywork, but also one-on-one movement sessions which are an opportunity to deepen structural changes, build somatic awareness, and find ways to evoke one's most structurally sound movement patterns.