Structural Integration Massage Method: How Does it Work?

Structural Integration Massage Method: How Does it Work?

In my last post, I deconstructed the “structure” in the structural integration massage method using the tensegrity model. Remember, one way to understand how we hold structure in space is by thinking of our skeletal system as the steel rods or beams in a structure like a bridge, and our soft tissue (muscles, fascia, etc.) as the cables strung between the rigid beams that hold the bones together and create our structure. With ideal tension of the soft tissues between the bony structures everything is in balance and presents a very stable and light structure with maximum ease of movement at minimum effort.

So then, how does the structural integration massage method help get us to that place of balanced structure? How does the process work?

…this is where the idea of the Rubik’s cube comes in.

structural integration massage method

The Rubik’s cube is a model of the structural integration bodywork method.

One way to conceptualize the work of the structural integration massage method is to think of the method of solving the Rubik’s cube

In your first structural integration massage session, we’ll take a look at your structure as it is currently. You’ll have time to describe aches, pains, areas that feel tight, areas that feel desensitized, etc. This is like turning the disorganized Rubik’s cube around in your hands and assessing the patterns that you see. You could get an idea of where you might begin and patterns that appear potentially related.

From this initial assessment, I’ll begin the massage work. Over the course of the first seven sessions, I’ll systematically work with the soft tissue to change the tensional patterns. What you feel in the body during these sessions can vary quite a bit from one session to another and from one client to another. You may feel sensation in one area of the body one week and then find that it has moved to a different area of the body by the next week. When we change tension in one area of the body, it can affect tension throughout the rest of the body. You could think of this like process of turning the Rubik’s cube to bring the order of the colors back together.

In the last three sessions, we’ll address the remaining patterns as you are feeling them. These three sessions are particularly specific to your individual patterns. You could think of this like the process of figuring out those last tricky relationships in the Rubik’s cube, once all of the more easily visible patterns have been worked out.

Over the course of ten sessions, structure is returned to the body. The colors of the Rubik’s cube are reorganized.

Do you have more questions about how the structural integration massage method works? Leave a question below in the comments!