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Structural Integration
Misty Swift

Rachel Hall first became interested in Structural Integration when she went to massage school five years ago. After years of hearing about it, a personal endeavor to reconcile her psyche and her structure finally prompted Hall to experience Structural Integration firsthand. Session by session, as her body aligned through the therapy, she knew that this was something she would like to learn and share with others. Hall says, “After doing massage for years, I started to need to have more of a purpose with the bodies that I was working on. I wanted the chronic pain that I saw people experiencing to be gone. I sought to provide more than momentary relief and relaxation. I wanted to see changes taking place in people’s body’s that could last a lifetime. Structural Integration enables people to have a different body altogether, achieving alignment, flexibility, and balance that they probably have never known before. I wanted to work as a catalyst for this change.”

Led by her integrity and intuition, she left her thriving massage-therapy practice and dedicated the next year of her life to undergo extensive training in both Hawaii, and Boulder, Colorado. Hall explains the Rachel Hallprocess by using a metaphor, “the body is like clay, and can be molded into a better, more efficiently functioning structure. This process is done through soft tissue manipulation, which allows the skeletal and muscular structures to change, resulting in the relief of chronic pain and improved posture.”

Structural Integration originated with Ida Rolf, a biochemist and physicist in New York who through forty years of experimentation came up with the process of tissue manipulation toward the integration of structure. It was in the 1950’s that Ida Rolf began teaching this method to her students who coined the term “Rolfing”. Since then, Structural Integration has been a widely recognized form of physical therapy whose practitioners span the globe.

Structural Integration takes place over ten sessions, ideally once a week for ten weeks. Each session proceeds with a specific objective relative to the balancing of the body so that the structure is in alignment with gravity. When I asked if the process is painful, Hall explains, “The client is always in charge of the amount of pressure applied. I liken it to a really hard workout, sometimes it’s not comfortable but you work with the process because you like the results.”

The first session is geared toward increasing vital capacity. The second session concentrates on the feet, building a foundation for the rest of the structure (the body). From there, the sessions are set up to approach front and back, upper and lower, and from side to side of the body, working gradually from superficial to deep layers. Hall closes with saying, “Every “body” has their own individual and unique experience that at times surpasses the physical and reaches onto a mental, emotional, or spiritual level. I have found in my own life and in the lives of my clients that as structure started to change, so did the way that I was experiencing life. My own experience is not only related to the physical sense of wellbeing that I have been referring to, but also an inner sense of being integrated. I have heard my clients report that they have a sense of being more alive, more whole, and more themselves.”

Rachel Hall practices Structural Integration in Pasadena, California. She can be contacted through her e-mail address: rachel@integratingbodies.com





The Women’s College Magazine at Santa Monica College
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