The final three sessions are called the integration phase, because this is where we bring it all together. Our goal is to integrate your upper body with your lower body, as well as your right and left brain hemispheres. Designed to align your body based on its unique properties and needs, the integration phase comprises the most highly individualized sessions of the series.
At this point I will revisit areas addressed in earlier sessions with a renewed focus on how all body parts relate to each other, as well as how they relate to your pelvis (now in a healthier, freer, more functional horizontal position as a result of my earlier work). We may do some of the work sitting or standing, depending on your specific needs, so that healthy balance and alignment of all body parts are established with regard to gravity.
In the eighth and ninth sessions, I will focus on integrating your upper and lower body regions. Although we normally start with the lower body (targeting the legs) in session eight and continue with the upper body (targeting the arms, shoulders, and ribcage, and sometimes the neck and skull) in session nine, this sequence may be reversed if needed to best meet your needs.
In the tenth session, my focus is to smooth the fascia over all structural changes that have resulted from work done in our earlier sessions. My deeper-level work has already been done. Work in this session is more superficial, targeting the body as a whole.
By the end of the integration phase, your body will feel more in balance, your ease of movement will be less constrained by structural restrictions, and your energy level will be higher. You will likely be more aware of your core and the way that all regions and parts of your body align with one another.
After the conclusion of the ten-session series, you will probably want consider how you want to use SI in your life. I’ll be happy to help you decide a plan that works for you. You have several options, each one with merit.
Some clients feel that their Structural Integration work is complete after the ten-session “tune up.” They feel satisfied that the work done has provided them with much-need alignment and restored balance.
Others choose to incorporate SI as part of their good health maintenance regimen. Ongoing SI work is especially advisable for people whose bodies are challenged by the stresses of various life situations, such as:
– Career: Does your job keep you hunched over a keyboard, or undergoing the wear and tear of heavy manual labor?
– Athletics: Do you run competitively, or teach yoga?
– Physical Condition: Do you have scoliosis? Do you suffer from chronic pain?
– Aging: Do you find that the normal changes that come with aging are changing the way you walk, sit, and stand?
As you can well imagine, the above list of concerns is not exhaustive. The trick is to objectively consider how you use your body on a daily basis.
If you decide that ongoing SI is the plan for you, then we will discuss a therapy schedule that works for your specific needs. Most people find that coming in for SI work every second or third month provides ample maintenance for optimum alignment and balance.
There are also clients who may choose yet another approach to employing SI in their lives, including:
– Periodic sessions for restorative alignment and relaxation;
– Emergency sessions to address a specific injury or stress; or
– Post Ten SI work, which is typically a series of several sessions to address concerns that you and I clarify ahead of time.
In the next few articles, we will explore the ways that SI benefits specific populations.