What is Structural Integration?
Structural Integration (SI) is a carefully organized and coordinated systematic approach to restructuring an individual’s physical body and restoring its natural structural balance. A program of Structural Integration consists of ten sessions with a thoroughly trained and certified practitioner. Each session has specific goals that must be met before the practitioner and client can move on to the next session. These ten sessions - comprising what Dr. Rolf and her practitioners refer to as “The Recipe” - are based on a set of tests and techniques that will dictate how the practitioner will tailor each sessions to the client’s needs. How the therapist meets the goals outlined for each session depends on the client’s specific structural issues as well as on her personal wellness and fitness goals. However, most frequently the therapist will use “myofascial release” techniques, which involve physically moving the client’s superficial fascia with the fingers, the palms of the hands, and the broad flat area of the forearm.
The overall goal of the SI practitioner is to create space for the muscles to relax and stretch and for the joints to reorganize themselves. Following an injury, surgery, or a chronic structural issue, fascial tissue tend to thicken and tense, losing much of their elasticity and becoming more collagenous. By "releasing" the fascia and restoring its elasticity, the SI practitioner creates space for the underlying tissues to reorganize. More space for these tissues often leads to increased flexibility and a more energy-efficient body. For many individuals who suffer from chronic pain, especially in the shoulders, neck or lower back, a successful program of SI can alleviate this pain dramatically.
What is Fascia?
Fascia is connective tissue composed primarily of collagen and elastin. Fascia consists of several layers: The superficial fascia which lies directly beneath the surface of the skin like a continuous internal “wetsuit”; the deeper fascia which surrounds the nerves and blood vessels, all the muscles and every bone; and the visceral fascia which suspends the organs within their cavities and wraps them in layers of connective tissue membranes. Fascia has protective properties; for example, without the visceral fascia around them vital organs such as the lungs and heart would collapse and the muscles surrounding the organs would not be able to move smoothly across one another. It is a person’s fascia that determines the body’s structure, not the bones or muscles; once the fascia has been manipulated in a way that allows the vital organs, muscles and bones to reorganize, structural change can occur.
Who Developed Structural Integration?
Dr. Ida P. Rolf (1896-1979) developed the techniques and training programs of the system she called Structural Integration: multiple sessions of bodywork known colloquially as “Rolfing.” In the 1960s, Dr. Rolf began training teachers and practitioners in Structural Integration at California’s Esalen Institute at the invitation of her friend Fritz Perls, the developer of Gestalt Therapy. In 1971, Dr. Rolf founded the Guild for Structural Integration - later renamed the Rolf Institute - in Boulder, CO, with a faculty consisting of her former students and instructors from Esalen. Ten years after her death in 1979, Dr. Rolf’s earliest teachers and students left the Rolf Institute to found a second Guild for Structural Integration. Both schools continue to thrive in Boulder today, attracting students from around the world.
|Structural Integration Rates||Walk-in||Member|
|5-hour session package||$525|
|To schedule a Structural Integration appointment, call us at (512) 478-4567.|
About Our Therapist, Will Ravenel
A native Virginian, Will Ravenel graduated from North Carolina’s Davidson College in 1971, and has been a resident of Austin since 1973. Since his 1989 enrollment at Austin's Lauterstein-Conway Massage School, Will has amassed over 1700 hours of instruction in a variety of bodywork fields. In the spring of 1990, he worked for A.C. Pinarello, a professional cycling team based in Ft. Collins, CO, touring with them as one of the their two massage therapists. Later that year, he was one of a handful of massage professionals chosen to help the Texas Department of Health develop the testing criteria for the licensing of massage therapists. Since then, his education has included almost 90 hours of instruction in Myofascial Release Therapy from Bob King of the Chicago School of Massage Therapy and 75 hours of instruction from Florida’s Upledger Institute in both Cranio-Sacral Therapy and Spinal Release Therapy. In 2006, Will graduated from the Guild for Structural Integration in Boulder, CO, and is certified by them to practice the Ida P. Rolf Method of Structural Integration in Texas, one of only 50 therapists statewide who share that distinction. Will has been both a Rolf Therapist and a Licensed Massage Therapist at Castle Hill Fitness since 2007.