The Importance of Posture: How Structural Integration Can Help
What is the 10 series of Structural Integration?
The 10 series is a system of bodywork developed by Dr. Ida Rolf in the mid-20th century. It consists of a series of ten sessions, each with a specific focus on a different area of the body. The sessions are designed to help you improve your alignment and movement patterns, release tension and restrictions in your tissues, and create greater balance and harmony in your body as a whole.
What are the benefits of the 10 series?
The benefits of the 10 series are numerous and varied, but some of the most commonly reported benefits include:
Improved posture and alignment
Reduced pain and discomfort
Increased range of motion and flexibility
Enhanced athletic performance
Greater ease and efficiency of movement
Improved body awareness and sensory perception
Increased energy and vitality
Reduced stress and tension
The Ten Series
A ten-series will benefit most clients. Structural Integration reorganizes the body rather than just relieving pain. While massage on a single region usually relieves that discomfort, the alignment issues causing it usually return within a few weeks. Structural Integration realigns the body over 10 sessions to treat pain and dysfunction permanently.
Neck or lower back discomfort often has extenuating factors. Shoulders rounded forward from hours at a keyboard take the shoulders away from the hips, shoe issues prevent you from using your whole foot when standing or walking, the head is held out in front of the body rather than balanced on top of the spine, and often more than one issue causes the pain. Back pain, while vital to treat, is often an indication of a greater systemic pattern that must be addressed to permanently heal it.
Dr. Ida Rolf created the ten-series to encompass the body and facilitate improvement with little relapse. Each session builds on and completes the previous session and prepares the body for the next.
The ten-series is a guide, but each person and body is unique. Structural and functional goals are similar, but accomplishing them depends on a client's physique, movement patterns, daily routine, etc. Ten-series vary by client, This is known as "The Recipe"
Sessions 1-3: Surface Sessions
Often referred to as the "freeing the breath" session, the first session focuses on ribs, shoulders, and abdominal muscles. For clients unaccustomed to breath work this is often a surprising session where many report feeling that it redefines their idea of what a full inhale feels like. Session 1 also introduces the idea of breahting into areas of the body as a means to help release tensions.
Session 2 is the first step towards rebuilding support in the legs. The primary territory for this session is below the knee, restoring motion between the bones of the feet, tuning up the arches, and starting to rebalance how the body rests on the feet. Depending on need, this session may also involve some work on the upper legs and hips.
The "lateral line" session, Session 3 focuses on the sides of the body from ankle to armpit. This session helps to balance the body from front to back and begins to transition the work from surface to deeper fascial work. Many clients find a feeling of greater length of feeling taller at the end of this session. This is also a good decision point for a client to review how Rolfing is working for them and decide if they wish to continue through the full ten-series.
Session 4-7: Deep Sessions
Session 4-7: Deep Session
Session 4 goes back to the legs for a deeper run and focus on lengthening the inner line of the legs from ankle to pelvic floor. This session is often helpful for clients with knee issues and creates stability through the inner line of the legs, allowing clients to stand and walk with less effort. This establishes a line of weight transmission in the lower body that will be continued in the work of Session 5.
Session 5 continues the work from Session 4 to open and lengthen the rest of the front body. This covers hips to chest and deeper work includes psoas, pec minor, and front of the neck. For clients who tend to slump forward at the shoulders or hips, this is one of the primary sessions that will help.
Session 6 is the session with the largest territory, covering the entire back body from heels to neck. This opens the backs of the legs, eases issues with spinal curves and brings the body into a better balance in conjunction with session 5. Because this is such a large area session, some clients may benefit from receiving this work in two sessions rather than one, allowing extra time to be spent on problem areas.The "lateral line" session, Session 3 focuses on the sides of the body from ankle to armpit. This session helps to balance the body from front to back and begins to transition the work from surface to deeper fascial work. Many clients find a feeling of greater length of feeling taller at the end of this session. This is also a good decision point for a client to review how Rolfing is working for them and decide if they wish to continue through the full ten-series.
Often referred to as the "putting on the head" session this session is largely a shoulders up session. Shoulders, neck, and head will be worked into balance as well as arms when needed. This can also be a very powerful session for clients with jaw or nasal issues and is very important to orientation since 4 of the 5 senses are based in the head.
Sessions 8-10: Integration Sessions
Sessions 8 & 9
Sessions 8 and 9 are ultimately a pairing that tend to divide the body in two with one session for each half. Most often this is a top session and a bottom session but can take other forms such as core body and extremities. These sessions are beginning wrap-up, doing any last major work and working across joints to reintegrate the body.
The final session in the series, this session is about closing the series with a balancing of surface tissues. Session 10 is a light full-body session that releases tensions from surface layers and provides a sense of order for the body. The work of Session 10 helps the body to continue integrating and improving structure for months after the final session.
After a head on collision car accident I went to serious therapy for months to regain proper mobility in my left hip! The pain was rough and after months of Doctors and therapy I had gotten a bit better but I felt like something was still wrong . Tried Yoga, full stretching sessions, Pilates as well and yes it all help a bit but my ribs and left hip were not near where they should be after almost a year of serious training. Finally my friend introduced me to The Rolf Method and although it was rough at first ,In less than six sessions my body was healed. I can not tell you details of what she did because she did so many parts of the technique, But I can tell you one specific thing she did. Ivette realigned my spine and with that I felt 90% better . Shortly after everything else fell in to place and I was pain free for good , my hip regain the right mobility and I was the most grateful person ever! Ivette Pinela is an incredible and gifted professional. I so recommended and I'm a true believer in this method!
What is Rolfing Structural Integration?
Ida Rolf explains it best...."Structural integration is a technique that aimes at organizing and ordering a body. Bringing muscles back into the place where they belong in their theoretical order. Structural Integration is part of a technique to make a person feel more effective more efficient. To make him/her better organized better coordinated because he is in the gravitational field and excepting it and working in it and working with it instead of faking it as the average random body has to do. In Structural Integration, we expect to give a cycle of ten sessions. There is a reason for this, we are not dealing with local problems.
We are not dealing with the kind of thing that you can say... "well, I Fixed That , that's all." We are dealing with an attempt to make a body a sturdier human being. To make a body more secure, more adequate within the field of Gravity. Now this requires that muscles be balanced. They need to be balanced around a vertical line. When I talk about balancing muscles, I'm talking about about balancing the right side against the Left side. Balancing the front of the body against the back of a body. Finally, balancing the inner most muscles against the outermost muscles, the inside against the outside. This is the most important of those balances. We start from the outside working in and it takes us ten sessions before we can get to the place where we can really balance the body."