“Functional disorganization of the body comes as a result of exposure to the direct force of gravity”
– Ida P. Rolf, Ph.D.
Frequently Asked Questions
What do I wear?
The work is easiest when men wear boxer-briefs, however most underwear or even swimming trunks are fine. Women please wear both bra and underwear. Sports bras are actually more difficult to work with than regular bras, but are okay if that is what you are most comfortable in. A two-piece swimsuit is also fine.
How long does a session last?
Typicallly a session last approximately 1 hour. However, the first session is usually 15 – 30 minutes longer. You will fill out a “Personal History” form, and then you and the practitioner will sit and discuss this and any questions / goals you may have before the session begins.
How much does it cost?
The cost per session is $110. However, there is one session a week that is available for a sliding scale, or “donation”. This normally fills up several weeks in advance. Please contact Elise for more information and availability.
Does it hurt?
Many people have heard this or ask this question. The answer is simple. The work does not need to hurt to be beneficial. Part of this reputation comes from the work in the 60s and 70s and perhaps a misperception of Rolf wanting the work to be “deep.” However, we now understand that deep work is not necessarily synonymous with physical pressure.
There should be some expected intensity that goes along with S.I., and momentary discomfort may accompany the release of tight places in the body. Sometimes a person is unaware of a holding pattern until it is touched. Open communication between client and practitioner is most important as every person has a different relationship to pain. Where one client might feel a certain touch as “effective and/or intense” the next client might feel this same touch as “too much.”
By working with a body’s natural rhythms, including breath and movement, results can be comfortably achieved. However, the client is always in total control of what is too much. We aim for the deep touch to result in a transitory experience of pain that is healing and transformative.
What is the difference between Structural Integration and Massage?
Structural Integration is more than a “very deep” massage. While many varieties of massage are effective for loosening tight tissue, reducing stress, detoxifying the body and an increased feeling of relaxation and well-being, S.I. is a systematic approach to body realignment. The effects of Structural Integration do also often involve all of these things listed above; the aim, however, is to integrate the body, to reposition its segments in an improved relationship, and to bring physical balance to the whole body in the gravitational field. The true genius of Dr. Rolf’s method is the art and science of reshaping and reorganizing human structure according to clearly defined principles in a systematic and consistent manner.
Why should I do all 10 sessions?
The ten sessions are administered progressively; each session builds upon the last aiming at complete integration of the body. The process of Structural Integration includes balancing the body in segments and achieving vertical alignment from balancing the body from front to back, side to side, top to bottom and inside to outside.
It is totally viable (and often recommended) to try a session or two in order to see how you feel about the work and if it suits you. However, because of the nature of the work, we recommend that if you complete more than three sessions to complete the entire ten series.
Do the effects last?
Yes. Photographs taken of clients years after the Basic Ten Series show that changes are still present and structure often improved. Keep in mind however, as life changes, bodies change in response. Any injuries, accidents, pregnancies, lengthy illnesses and emotional stress may necessitate additional work.
Some people also choose to come back for Advanced work, but the intelligence that your body has gained from the 10 series is permanent, and this intelligence is also what the Advanced work is built upon.
Is there anything I can do to aid or help the process?
The client can assist the practitioner by remaining as present as possible during the session. Nice, deep breaths are always good. As Ed Maupin says, “Pay attention to pleasure.”
Rolf said that if we resist change, we experience pain. “If we can allow the tissue to release, there is a sense of warmth or heat. Gradually, a client learns to listen to the new messages his body is reporting. As a lighter, freer, body comes into being, we can allow old patterns to disappear. Trust in our capacity to change grows, and we become sturdier.