During the Structural Integration process, changes in your posture, movement, and physical experience are achieved through education, awareness, and therapeutic touch. The focus is on relationship—how you relate with your physical experience of yourself and your environment—rather than on any particular body part or region.
When working with a Structural Integrator for the first time, an intake process is performed, including your health and personal history, followed by an initial assessment of how you hold and move your body. Clients remain clothed to whatever extent they wish, though some kind of activewear is common. Typically, your standing posture, breath, gait (walking), and perhaps other movements are observed. Your practitioner will use that information to help design a session strategy with you, then ask you to move onto the therapy table.
While SI practitioners are often trained in “myofascial release” techniques, a range of techniques may be applied in service of the goals of the SI process. The amount of pressure used may vary greatly. A practitioner may use touch that is lighter or heavier, slow-moving or still, depending on therapeutic intent and your preferences. You may be asked to move as pressure is applied, or to stand, move around, and notice your experience during the session.
While working with your practitioner, you may experience a variety of sensations ranging from warm and pleasant to mild discomfort. Your feedback will allow your practitioner to adjust their pressure accordingly—the pace of the session is always under your control.
Structural Integrators emphasize movement education in their practices, to varying degrees. Your practitioner can help you become aware of your habitual ways of holding and moving your body and help you explore easier, more natural ways of being. Movement education might address your habits of standing posture, breathing, walking, sitting, or any specialized movements you might perform in your daily life.
Usually, Structural Integration is performed over an initial series of ten to thirteen sessions that systematically address your body as a whole, with each session building upon the previous. SI practitioners often tailor their approach to address individual needs and preferences. After your initial series, you might continue to work with your Structural Integrator to further support your goals.