The body is comprised of superficial, medium deep, and deep core level layers of fascia. Dr. Rolf devised a universal pattern of unwinding of these layers of fascia or connective tissue, through her recipe of the ten session series of Structural Integration (SI). In the first three sessions, the superficial fascia is addressed. In sessions four through seven, the core level layers are addressed. And in sessions eight through ten, the integration of the superficial and core level layers is addressed.
Because SI systematically unwinds these layers of connective tissue, each session creates the need for the next session. When the superficial and medium deep layers of tissue are released, the deeper layers of strain can surface and be addressed. That is why in the later sessions of eight, nine, and ten, a practitioner may often find even more layers of strain in an area where they already cleared it.
When this began happening in my practice, I thought I was doing something wrong and it really perplexed me. As I spoke to my more experienced Rolfing® mentor, it became clear that this kind of change in the body was actually to be applauded, and considered a good thing. It meant that the strain that had been buried in the core level layers could now be addressed, as it had risen to the surface.
This does not happen in every person’s ten session series. Every body is so different in their history and body tissue, that the work is really very different for each person, as it should be. Young people I have worked with often do not have this core level layer of strain that surfaces in the later sessions. They’ve had less time in their lives to accumulate patterns of deeper strain unless there has been serious injury or trauma.
I’ve helped address many different types of conditions, injuries, and traumas through my work with clients over the years. Structural Integration has been effective for balancing acute and chronic accidents and injuries. I’ve seen many people be able to return to work and their daily activities of family life after they have been greatly compromised during some of these accidents.
Because SI is a type of body therapy that actually addresses the organization of the layers of connective tissue, my work with injured clients has often been very helpful. This may be after the person has unsuccessfully tried other traditional medical services. The goal of every session of SI is to horizontalize the pelvis. This is very basic for a human being: not only does a horizontal pelvis give support and strength to the human form, it is also very important for the balance of the human psyche. A horizontal pelvis allows the body to be uplifted, and at the same time, grounded to the earth. Life force can flow through the body more effectively and be supportive to that person. I have seen many people’s lives change in wonderful ways as they have found support in their own structure. Dr. Rolf said that she did not want SI to be relegated to the realm of “fix it” work for the body, but rather be seen as work that actually assists the evolution of the whole human being.
I love seeing the results of this work with young people. Children and teenagers who experience the ten sessions series of SI are enlivened and changed in beautiful ways that are unique to each of them. Working with a young person is like pruning a young tree to help it grow straight and true. The young people whom I have seen go through this work are exceptional. They are sped upon their path to finding and living their unique purposes. This is a wonderful thing to be part of. A person’s true loving self often emerges more gracefully as the work unfolds. This is true for adults and children alike.