The Ten Series of Structural Integration

Imagine a tent. The supporting guy wires are equal in length and tension, the center pole is upright without effort, the tent is balanced and firm. When tension is unevenly distributed, the tent leans and the center pole twists, yielding to gravity thus losing strength and balance. Our bodies are similar and more complex, because we are in a constant state of movement and there is a multifibrous network of connective tissue flowing everywhere in the body's system.

As a result of stress, injury, habitual posture, physical and emotional trauma, the fascia chronically shortens, constricting muscles, organs, nerves and blood vessels. This causes disorganized strain patterns in the body. When the fascia is released and the body aligns with gravity, magic happens in terms of healing and feeling whole. It is much easier to be upright. We feel better and move better. And begin to see the world more clearly.

Structural Integration involves a series of sessions whereby the therapist uses their hands to manipulate the soft connective tissues called fascia. Fascia is a multi-fibrous cellular network that surrounds and interconnects with muscles, bones, organs, the nervous and vascular system, and comprises ligaments and tendons. Releasing fascia allows all the physiological systems in the body to function at a much higher level. There is an experience of heightened vitality and well being.
Video of fascia:

The initial process of Structural Integration is referred to as the ten series. Or the Recipe, as Dr. Rolf called it. Post recipe work may continue at a schedule that suits your needs. And can facilitate deeper change over time.

Dr. Rolf said "When the body gets working appropriately, the force of gravity can flow through. Then, spontaneously, the body heals itself."

The Ten Series

First, Second and Third Hours
Here, the more superficial layers of the front, back and midline of the body are addressed. Although the intention is superficial, the work penetrates deep into the body and creates space, preparing for deeper layers to expand into.

People notice dramatic changes even with the first session which focuses on the rib cage, shoulder girdle, neck, back and pelvis. The second session focuses on the feet, legs, back and neck. The third session integrates the upper and lower halves of the body by lengthening the sides and creating space from front to back.

Fourth, Fifth, Sixth and Seventh Hours
In these sessions, deeper layers are addressed to re-organize the body so that the head, neck, rib cage, pelvis, legs, and feet relate and balance with each other in the gravity field. The practitioner is much like an engineer in knowing how to work with the architecture of the body.

The fourth session addresses the inner line of the legs, the pelvic floor and back. The fifth session focuses on lengthening the deeper structures of the front of the body. The sixth session is to create length throughout the whole back of the body with focus on the pelvis. And the seventh session focuses on the head and neck.

Eighth, Ninth and Tenth Hours
These are the "integration hours". We continue to open up and make space, integrating and bringing things together in a way that allows tissues to contract and expand with cooperation and efficiency.

The eighth and ninth sessions are an upper and lower. Serving to create integration of the upper half of the body with the lower half of the body. The 10th session brings closure and further integration by relating the surface tissues to the deeper tissues and achieving more length around the centre of gravity.

Shawn Aarons