Is Structural Integration (SI) Painful?
In it’s infancy Structural Integration was known as intense or painful. In the roughly 50 years since its beginning much has changed. The techniques taught today are tailored around client comfort. There is a way to be effective and still adhere to your needs as the client. We all experience pain in different ways. Tom Myers, the pioneer behind KMI, defines pain as “the body’s motor intent to withdraw,” and teaches his students to respect this by working into the first layer of resistance.
When tissue moves and reorganizes itself it must let all systems know that this has occurred. It does this through the central nervous system; our body’s communication network. The term for this is proprioception, meaning- where are you as a whole or your body parts postitioned in space. These are the sensations we are experiencing. With proper and consistent communication the two of us can work through all situations
How does Structural Integration differ from other massage types?
- Along with the fascia and muscles we are trained to work with other connective tissues such as tendons, ligaments, bones, nerve sheaths and arteries.
- In SI we see the system as a whole and treat the system, not the symptom.
- The client wears clothing during the session.
- We work with the client in gravity i.e. seated, standing, walking, in motion.
- While being worked on the client does simple, controlled movements during the session.
- In SI we use minimal amounts of lotions or oils to aid in glide.
- In SI we receive explicit training to work in areas other modalities don’t.
- At my office we listen to good music.
What do I wear during a session?
For Women: A camisole with built in shelf, a sports bra and tank top and a pair of loose fitting shorts are best. Please don’t feel like you have to buy something specifically for your session. Most clothing items are workable. Ideally the straps are on or over the shoulders and not down the middle of the spine (T back).
For Men: Any type of loose fitting shorts i.e. running, soccer, basketball, board short or swimsuit.
How many sessions is best?
This is different for every person. There are times when one session may bring the change you are looking for. Generally speaking though, a well thought out series is the best idea to provide the long lasting, significant change you are looking for. This can be anywhere from 2-12 sessions and sometimes more.
At times the patterns that are presenting the obstacle for change in our bodies have been present for many years. In SI we don’t really go after a specific concern and try to force things. Force is the enemy of change in our body’s, as well as other wordly things. We work progressively, strategically and allow the benefit of time to assist us.