The Structure of the Series
Structural Integration is a system used to align and balance the physical body within its gravitational field by freeing and reorganizing the myofascia, or connective tissue that surrounds the muscles. Dr. Rolf discovered that the body is organized in layers and that in order to create lasting change, the Structural Integration Series must create length and space in the outermost layers before working with deeper, more core layers in the body. Structural Integration is a ‘system’ of ten sessions. The first three sessions are called “The Sleeve” and cover the superficial fascia, the middle four sessions are called “The Core” and cover the deeper myofascial structures, and the last three sessions are called “Integrative” and create structural and functional adaptability within the whole body.
The Sleeve Sessions: 1-3
These are the superficial sessions. The “sleeve” of your body is the outer fascial layer. This is the part of your body that does the “doing”, the fast movements. You can think of it as the sleeve or thin wet-suit just underneath your skin. The goal for these sessions is to open, lengthen, and organize these extrinsic layers. This will create space for the deeper layers to unwind and release.
Session 1 - Opening the sleeve
You will get a sense of lift in your body. Your breathing pattern will be addressed by releasing the superficial fascia of the ribs and thorax.
Session 2 - Support for the body
You will get a sense of grounding in your body. Your feet will be more fluid and adaptable as they support the vertical dimension in your body.
Session 3 - Lateral line
You will experience the dimension of depth (front to back balance) and freedom of the arms and shoulder girdle from the spine.
The Core Sessions: 4-7
These are also referred to as the ‘deep’ sessions. The “core” of your body is the inner fascial layer. This part of your body is your “beingness”, the area of slow, postural movements. The goal of these sessions is to open, lengthen, and organize these intrinsic layers.
Session 4 - Medial Line
You will build up core support and strength from your feet through your legs to the bottom of your core. You will experience more lift in your body and start to get a sense of “the Line.”
Session 5 - Anterior Line
You will extend your line of support up to the head along the front of the spine. This will further your sense of front-to-back balance in your body. You will also get a sense of leg movement from the core, rather than from the hips.
Session 6 - Posterior Line
You will feel a sense of length in the front and the back of the core. You will experience movement from your legs to your undulating spine.
Session 7 - Adaptability
You will feel the relationship of your head and neck as a fluid extension of your spine.
The Integrative Sessions: 8-10
The first seven sessions are about taking the body apart to get the individual parts working better. The last cycle of sessions is about putting the individual parts back together into a better functioning whole. This is the place where the sleeve and the core meet and interact. You will begin to experience motion, initiated by your core layer, smoothly and efficiently transmit out through the sleeve layer of your body.
Session 8 - Structural Integration
You will experience a secure foundation in the pelvis and legs for the upper body, neck and head to be supported. This creates a sense of stability and adaptability in your body.
Session 9 - Functional Integration
You will experience contralateral movement in your body. You will feel the transfer of motion and energy from the core to the sleeve. All movement will start to initiate from the lumbodorsal hinge-the area in front of the vertebral column at the mid to lower back.
Session 10 - Integration
You will have a sense of “the Line” and of everything being connected. You will have a full sense of your body in 3 dimensions and moving in any direction with equal ease.