Jennifer McIsaac, H.H.P., C.M.T.

5252 Balboa Ave., Suite 706
San Diego, CA  92117
(619) 889-9912

  

CA Certification #  7931
What Is Structural Integration?
Structural Integration, sometimes referred to as Rolfing, uses manual techniques to soften and reduce tension in the muscles and fascia (system of connective tissue that invests every muscle, muscle group, and muscle cells), to address adhesions in the tissues, and to reeducate the muscle and fascia, with the intent on restoring structural balance in the body.
 
What Is The Purpose of Structural Integration?
The purpose of Structural Integration is to restore functional balance to the body.  It goes beyond whether or not a muscle is tight and focuses on how the muscle groups work together to maintain posture, while allowing for freer, unrestricted movement.  This can greatly reduce strain on the joints.
 
Why Is This Important?
The joints of the body are designed to absorb a certain amount of stress and strain.  While the muscles actively engage to move or to stabilize the joints, the fascia acts to move or stabilize the muscles.  Strength, elasticity and pliability in the fascia is necessary for proper functioning of the muscle tissue.  Imbalances in the muscles may put excess stress and strain on the joints.  For example, a tight iliotibial band (a tough layers of fascia that acts to stabilize the leg) can pull on the knee, drawing it laterally, leaving the medial portion of the knee more vulnerable to injury.  Over time, this could lead to meniscal tears, strain to the medial collateral ligament, and excess wear on the knee cartilage.
 
How Can This Affect Posture?
When portions of the muscles and fascia are restricted, the body must find a way to accommodate the restriction.  This forces the body to shift its natural alignment.  In an effort to accommodate a rotated pelvis, the spine must shift out of its natural alignment in an effort to resist gravity.  This could force the shoulder to rotate as well, causing nerves, blood vessels, tendons or other soft tissues to become impinged.  In many cases the rotation of the pelvis may be asymptomatic and you may not even notice it until you start to feel the strain in your back muscles.
 
Because the fascia is one continuous layer that envelopes around and attaches to other structures, fascial tension in your calf may create a pull that may extend all the way up to your head.  This can begin to draw your head down to one side, or become pulled forward.  Until the source of the tension is released, it will continue to exert a pull on your neck, preventing you from being able to stand up straight with ease.
 
When these tension pull on each other, it causes the fascia to thicken.  This can put pressure on the underlying muscle tissue, making it feel as though the muscle is perpetually tight.  In addition, this thickening can casue adhesions to form in other areas, further restriction motion.
 
Does It Hurt?
Not usually.  Although this type of work has the reputation for being painful, we strive to work within your pressure tolerances.  There are many ways to release soft tissue.  If one technique is too painful, it is best to try an alternative technique. 
 
How Many Treatments Will It Take?
It depend on your treatment goals and your underlying conditions.  If your issues have been going on for years, it may take more time to release the muscles and fascia.  Also it may take more time to reeducate the muscles.  This work can be adapted to focus on a specific issue you are having, or it can be used to address your entire posture and alignment. 

 

 
 
 
 
CranioSacral Therapy, Structural Integration, and Advanced Neuromuscular Therapy