Structural Integration and
Therapeutic Bodywork with Jenny Otto
In addition to teaching yoga, JENNY IS ALSO A STRUCTURAL INTEGRATION PRACTITIONER. Having founded Body Balance Yoga for Functional & Structural Yoga Therapy in 2001, Jenny maintains an active structural integration practice and offers structural integration and therapeutic bodywork private sessions in the greater Annapolis, Maryland area.
She is a KMI Certified Structural Integrator with specialties in visceral manipulation, visceral and peripheral nerve therapy and osteopathic listening. The Kinesis Myofascial Integration (or KMI) method of structural integration, as developed by advanced Rolfer, anatomist and author of Anatomy Trains®, Thomas Myers, is an evolved approach to structural integration which uses advanced myofascial techniques to remove restrictions in the fascial system and involves movement re-education to restore function and balance to our structure as a whole. Structural Integration is based on the pioneering work of Dr. Ida P. Rolf.
What is Structural Integration?
Structural integration (SI) is a holistic system which works with the soft tissue and uses movement re-education. It was developed by Dr. Ida P. Rolf, a biochemist who found that she could achieve changes in posture and structure by manipulating the body's connective tissue. She called her work structural integration.
What are the benefits of Structural Integration?
- Improves posture
- Improves flexibility
- Increases breath
- Healthier spine
- Better joint function
How is Structural Integration different from massage therapy, chiropractic or osteopathic techniques and other hands-on techinques?
Be aware that structural integration is not massage therapy or a deep tissue technique. Massage therapy focuses on muscle tissue. Chiropractic and osteopathic techniques use boney manipulations. Structural integration is vastly different and is a more holistic approach to the body. Structural integration works by releasing and reorganizing your body's fascia. Visceral manipulation assists functional and structural imbalances throughout the body in order to help relieve symptoms of pain, dysfunction and poor posture. Visceral and peripheral nerve therapy is a special listening technique that encourages normal mobility, tone, blood circulation, lymphatic drainage and neural regulation of internal organs and surrounding tissues. Osteopathic Listening is a powerful and highly specialized technique that listens to and understands the body's subtle messages through palpation. In comparison to other bodywork techniques, Structural Integration actually addresses the fundamental cause of the imbalance in the first place.
What does Structural Integration and Yoga have in common?
Combining both structural integration and yoga is the most effective and life-enhancing combination there is to move you towards your maximum human potential. Both structural integration and yoga loosen fascia or connective tissue adhesions and create more opening and greater freedom in the body. In fact, Dr. Ida Rolf practiced yoga to gain length and balance in her body before she began developing the structural integration Rolf method. Dr. Ida Rolf respected yoga, studied yoga and was inspired by it in her life work. Yoga was definitely a tool she used to advance her understanding of structural integration and the human body. In her book Rolfing, she refers to yoga and describes the benefits of healthy fascia that spans and extends. It should be no surprise that structural sntegration coupled with skillful yoga instruction has a reputation for helping people enjoy and further their yoga practice. The combination of structural integration and yoga will help you gain stability in balance, confidence and tools for therapeutic healing. Structural integration and yoga both:
- Allow the breath to rule, leading inevitably to more elasticity
- Approach pain as a teacher
- Embody fluid expressions of life as change
- Increase self awareness and self knowledge
- Increase the speed of healing from injuries and accident
- Present opportunities for the mind to rest and the body to speak
- Provide mirrors for an individual's life journey
- See the body as interactive and unified
- Seek to erase traumatic imprints through practice and experience
- Share the perspective that our histories are in the fibers of our connective tissue
What is fascia?
Fascia is the connective tissue that forms a web-like network throughout your entire body. It surrounds your muscles, bones, organs and joints providing support, protection and structure. Problems arise when the fascia becomes too fibrous and hardened. Over time this creates restrictions that lead to strain and compensation patterns that affect entire muscle groups and, given enough time, your whole body. Fascia is truly the fascinating biological fabric and glue that holds us together. Long ignored, the fascial system is now getting its rightful due of attention, from both therapists and researchers.
What is a typical Structural Integration session like?
After an initial examination of your posture and movement, you will then be asked to sit or lie on a massage table. During a session, you and Jenny will work on every part of your body. Just as no one part of the body functions in isolation, no part malfunctions in isolation. For example, recent studies on runners determined that most knee injuries were caused by imbalances in the hips. Structural Integration addresses the overall patterns of the body and the relationship of the parts to the whole - how they fit, work and function together. Sessions are generally an hour long. With a series of treatments, each session focuses on certain areas of the body and each session builds on the other to reach the most therapeutically efficient treatment results.