Rolfing® – Structural Integration

Structural Integration Therapists:

Brian Johnson | Trevor Getsla | Matt Lombard | Mira Wood

Our clients are longer when they complete a 10-Series.  A 10-Series is what we call the process that a client goes through in a traditional Rolf Method Structural Integration process, Rolfing®.  The beautiful thing about their new found length is that it is an easy, relaxed and supported length.

The Rolfing® 10-Series Outline

Often when someone wants to become taller they position themselves straight as a pole, like a million soldiers standing at attention and trying to seem bigger than big. This is posturing. Posturing is the art of trying to make your body do something that is really out of character for its normal state. This is the reason why it’s so hard to ‘sit up straight’ or ‘stand with your shoulders back’ for any length of time. The body, frankly, is not ready to be that long. There is too much stuff in the way. Fascial build-up, old trauma, muscular adhesion, twisted joints, habitual actions and developmental patterns are all in the way.

A 10-Series is designed to systematically go through the body and clear a lot of those restrictions. By going through the body step by step and cleaning out the fascial ‘cobwebs’ you will feel as though the body has reached some new height of flexibility and ease, when in actuality it is a RETURN to length that we provide. The potential is right there in all of us to be long, flexible, supported, balanced and spry. With a 10-Series we give the body back it’s potential by freeing it of restriction.

Sound great right? It is. It’s more than that. It’s life changing.

The specific benefits are hard to outline because when the body returns to supported length many issues that plague us from day to day disappear. The body begins to find support and ease of movement in the world and all of the sudden those aches and pains that have been there forever are just….gone.

To give a benefits list is not as impressive as having a body that just works, but here are a few simple things:

  • Ease of movement
  • Increased Flexibility
  • Less Joint Pain
  • Standing and Sitting are easier and less stressful
  • Walking and Running feel good again
  • Fluidity in the Spine
  • Low Back Pain eased
  • Neck Pain gone
  • Shoulder mobility improved
  • etc., etc.

It’s not that Structural Integration is a magic pill and a cure-all. It’s simply that when the body is cleared of it’s many fascial restrictions it is able to heal ITSELF. Easy, fluid, supported movement will fix most of these body issues. That’s what we hope to achieve for you.

Learn More about the Rolfing® 10-Series

Learn more about our Rolfers: Brian Johnson, Matt Lombard, Trevor Getsla and   Mira Wood

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Understanding the Different Types of Injury

 Injuries -blah! Nobody likes them. The only upside is that we’ve had the pleasure of  meeting  most of you through an unfortunate injury which then led you into our office (see Silver-Lining). The wonderful part of this work comes from all the great people we meet and the ability to put them back out into the world pain free (we hope!)  To do this we must treat each injury that comes through the door differently. Believe it or not, the uniqueness of each injury is part of the treatment. If each injury were the same, then you would not need a therapist. A therapist must dissect the problem and find it’s root cause in order to put the body back into a healthy state.  When looking for the root cause of injuries we will classify the problem in three very distinct ways.  Over the next few months we will explore each of these aspects in more detail, but for now let’s set forth some clarity, shall we.

We separate injury into three types: Trauma, Overuse and Repetitive Strain (we will leave out Structure for the time being)

All sound the same? Well in actuality they are all very different and happen through very different timelines. Understanding this difference can significantly change the WAY in which you heal.

Trauma – First let’s start with the least complicated.  Trauma is impact to the body. Trauma happens when an event occurs that overcomes the body’s adaptability, or breaking point. Usually this is an outside force that enters the body causing tearing and rupture of the tissues, joints and bones. Common examples of this are ankle sprains, whiplash and hard falls.  The treatment for this type of injury is to 1) Allow the tissue to fully repair and 2) Address the ‘guarding’ pattern that was set during the traumatic incident.  Once this guarding pattern is eased, the body will heal much quicker and more fully. This is as much of a ‘nervous system session’ as it is ‘damaged tissue’ session. You need to address both the inhibition AND the tissue damage for the body to clear the trauma.

Overuse Injury – Overuse is working too hard.  An overuse injury comes on when we push our body past it’s limits to an extreme.  Usually this comes about from excessive training – weights, sprints, hills etc. Common examples of this type of injury are strains that won’t heel, hamstring and calf pulls, IT Band injury and Rotator cuff trigger points.  There are often trigger points that refer pain into ‘lines’ of pain through the body. This kind of injury can come on slowly as a tightening of tissue, only to then reach a breaking point where pain becomes intolerable.  This kind of Injury responds well to traditional deep tissue massage and trigger point therapy. This kind of injury is also easily kept at bay with regular bodywork, rolling and stretching.

Repetitive stress injury – RSI is about body shape. This kind of injury is tricky.  It comes on when the body has to stabilize itself in a specific position for long periods of time. Examples of this are: using a computer, driving a car or sitting and standing without breaks.  This often begins as a diffuse ache without a definite injury site. It will usually involve the whole arm, leg, neck or back. Pain can begin the hands and travel up to the neck  The stability pattern will often impede nerve lines and cause another pathology to the body.  These injuries often have a significant environmental issue that needs to be addressed – the chair, car seat or position of the arm.  Treatment is difficult and can take many sessions to locate the primary source of the problem.  Most importantly, these injuries are alleviated with regular fluid movement – breaking the cycle of stability. Our role in these injuries it to get the body moving well so the regular exercise feels good.

Here at Midline we take pride in getting a good history from our clients, so that we know what kind of issue we’re dealing with. Whether Traumatic, Overuse or Repetitive Stress, we have the knowledge and expertise to address the differences in each of these pain scenarios.

I will follow up with more about these types of injuries in subsequent newsletters…enjoy!

Brian Johnson, Owner
Midline Integrative Health

At Midline we are constantly exploring various ways to address pain and dysfunction.  Every case is different, both in history and outcome. Let us know how we might help.

Rolfing® 10-Series Outline

Session 1
Breath and the Ribcage

Ease in breathing is fundamental to a balanced structure. The ribcage works with the head, neck, shoulder girdles, chest and back in bringing space to the lungs.

Session 2
Support Through the Feet

Any support rests on a solid foundation. For some the feet are a primary source of pain, for others it is necessary to prepare the lower leg for the changes that will come in the pelvis.

Session 3
Length up the Sides

Lengthening the sides means opening up the space between the lower ribs and the pelvis. The low-back, often a source of imbalance, can find a freedom of movement and a greater sense of ease.

Session 4
Opening the Bottom of the Core

The core begins at the inner arch and continues up through the pelvic floor along the anterior spine to the head and neck. Session 4 works with the arch, inner leg and pelvic floor to achieve a ‘base’ of support for everything above it.

Session 5
Continuing Through the Pelvis

Every Rolfing ® session tries to ‘horizontalize the pelvis.’ In session five, we focus completely on this goal by opening the hips and lower belly. New found movement through the pelvis is a wonderfully grounded feeling.

Session 6
Giving Space to Sacrum

As the pelvis opens from below and through the front, the Sacrum in the back has started to feel a new sense of potential. This ‘sacred bone’ is really the bottom of the spine and by giving it space, the spine can start to feel longer and more free.

Session 7
How the Head Balances it All

Now that the pelvis is more settled, we must balance the ‘upper pole’ over it. The head, neck and chest need their own sense of direction and support for the system to feel complete.

Session 8
Integration Begins

Now that the body is more aligned in gravity, we must give it dynamic balance. We start to revisit areas of particular stress to promote a greater ease of movement across the whole system.

Session 9
Integration Across the Body

Motion through the body is best balanced when it crosses to the other side of the body. This ‘contra-lateral’ movement gives fluidity and power to the body.

Session 10
Balance the Horizontals

The ankles, knees, hips, waist, chest, shoulders and cranium are sections of the body where movement gets restricted. Session ten looks to bring the balance of the series to a close by opening these horizontals and leveling them.