If you’ve read any of my past blog posts on either structural integration massage therapy or Ashtanga yoga, then you know one of my passions is helping people move more functionally and with more ease. There are many tools and practices that support the journey toward more functional movement. In this post, I want to focus on the 3-session mini-series of structural integration. Let’s take a look at what that is, how it works, and when you might choose to receive a 3-session series.
What is structural integration bodywork?
First though, let’s do a quick review of what structural integration bodywork is. You might remember from past articles that this approach to bodywork is very different from a spa-style relaxation-type massage. Structural integration bodywork is different from typical massage therapy in that it is an approach to systematically realigning your whole body structure to a more balanced posture by easing tensional patterns in your soft tissue. By “soft tissue” I mean your muscles and the fascia that is woven around and through them.
Structural integration is a style of slow bodywork that is organized in multiple sessions based on your personal body pattern and on how the primary structures in your body relate to one another. A full structural integration series typically takes place over the course of 10 to 12 sessions.
Why do a 3-session series?
There are a few reasons you might choose to do a 3-session series, rather than a full 10 or 12-session series. If you’ve previously received a full series of structural integration, then you may just be looking for a tune-up. Or, you may be interested in what structural integration can do for you, but you’re not sure you have the time, energy, and/or financial resources for a full structural integration series. This is another great reason to try a 3-session series.
What do we do in a 3-session series of structural bodywork?
In a 3-session series of structural integration, we address your whole body pattern. But, compared to a full series, we’ll cover the body in a slightly different way in a little less depth. A 3-session series breaks down into a lower body session, an upper body session, and a third session which organizes the spine, head, and neck into balance with the upper and lower body. In each session, we’ll address your specific body pattern and your goals for balancing your structure and integrating that into more easeful movement.
In session one of a 3-series, we’ll take a look at the balance between your feet, knees, and pelvis. How comfortable is standing, walking, or running for you? Through realigning these structures can we give you more ease and stability?
In session two we’ll take a look at the structures in your upper body that support full, easy breathing. We’ll also assess how your shoulder girdle is sitting in relation to your pelvis, ribcage, head, and neck. Is your breathing as full and easy as it could be? Or, have some tensional patterns accumulated over the years which are getting in the way of taking a full breath? What about your shoulders? Through realigning these structures could we give you more range of motion and stability in your shoulders?
Finally, in session three we’ll work on the central structure of your spine to bring this series of work altogether. Imagine a sense of fluid range of motion in all directions and a relaxed sense of stability when standing, walking, running, and engaging in all your favorite movement activities. Are you experiencing that? Or, is there more that you would like your body to do for you? If you’d like to explore whether you could experience more in your body: more ease, more stability, more breath, feeling more yourself, then consider structural integration.
Are you curious about whether a 3-session series is a good fit for you? Reach out by email to learn more!