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Previous Page: What is Fascia?

Now to get back to the question of how we make changes to our shape... Since we know that fascia is what determines shape by determining how one part relates to another part, we also know that we can change the relationships of the parts by changing the fascia that connects them. Utilizing manual hands-on techniques referred to earlier, as well as your movement, we differentiate, spread, soften, guide, and lengthen tissue to move the body parts into a more balanced relationship to each other. Remember our tree-analogy? When the tree is bent forward with a short front rope and a "pulled long" back rope, we would lengthen the front rope by spreading the tissue vertically toward both the top and bottom and make sure that the back rope was free to shorten as it needed to. By doing this we create a balance front to back where both ropes are of equal length and the tree is standing upright. We do this in the body by creating space and balancing the fascia around joints, segments, and the whole body. During this process the brain is filling in its kinesthetic map of the body for better control, coordination, and organization.

SI works to change the body in a series of therapy sessions. Each session focuses on a particular set of territories in the body. There are approximately eighteen schools of SI worldwide currently, and each may use a slightly different organization for their series work. Despite this, all of them are working toward the stated concepts and goal of better organizing the body within the field of gravity.

In the Kinesis school of Structural Integration, the series includes 12 sessions, each with its own territory as described below:

Session 1: The Superficial Front Line – This includes most of the tissues in the front of the body but focuses on the main vertical structures directly up the front. By opening the front of the body, we start the overall process and free up the breath.

Session 2: The Superficial Back Line – This includes most of the tissues in the back of the body but focuses on the main vertical structures directly up the back.  Opening the back of the body, we balance the back with the front.

Session 3: The Lateral Lines – This includes all the tissue from the front vertical mid-line of the body to the back vertical mid-line of the body, encompassing all the tissue running up the side. As with session 1 and 2, session 3 focuses more on the main vertical structures directly up each side.  Here we are balancing side-to-side issues of the body.

Session 4: The Spiral Lines – This is probably the hardest set of structures to visualize in the whole series. There are two spiral lines, as there were two lateral lines, left and right. These wind and loop around the body. Starting from the skull it winds in the tissue around the back of the neck continuing around the opposite side of the torso to the same side hip (at the front). It then runs down the front-outside of the leg, looping under the foot, and up the side and back of the leg where it meets up with the spine and continues back up to the skull. Here we are correcting for rotational components in the outside layers of the body.

Session 5-8: The Deep Front Line – In Structural Integration this is referred to as the core (or inside) of the body. It includes all of the tissue inside the "muscular tube" which was created by the tissues worked in sessions 1-4 (referred to as the sleeve). Session 5 addresses the core that is pelvis and lower. Session 6 addresses the core from pelvis to the top of the ribcage. Session 7 addresses deep tissue along the posterior of the spine and pelvis, and readdresses posterior tissues of the legs including some territory covered by session 2. This is lovingly referred to as the "Deep Back Line" in the school of Kinesis. Session 8 addresses the core from the top of the ribcage up, including neck, jaw, nasal, and cranial areas.

Sessions 1 through 8 have been working primarily to differentiate (i.e. separate) tissues by spreading, softening, separating, and balancing. Starting with the end of session 8 and more earnestly in session 9 (working through session 12), we start the "Integration" phase. The integration sessions (9-12) are more focused on creating harmony and alignment between the "lines," connecting all the body through the core. This is where we are making a distinct shift from micro to macro. In sessions 1-8 we split the body into territories and focused on differentiating and releasing the tissue within the territory for that session, as well as balancing it with complimentary territories (e.g. front vs. back). In sessions 9-12 we are not thinking of splitting the body into territories, rather connecting those territories together into one single moving body picture… we are thinking more of full structure.

So to continue our look at the individual sessions of the series, it continues as follows:

Session 9: The Lower Body – This includes all of the lower body, working to bring the structure into a coordinated, balanced whole.

Session 10: The Upper Body – This includes all of the upper body, working to bring the structure into a coordinated, balanced whole.

Session 11: The Arm Lines – Each arm contains four arm lines; Superficial Front Arm Line, Superficial Back Arm Line, Deep Front Arm Line, Deep Back Arm Line. This session is a bit of a hybrid... We are both cleaning up and doing any differentiation of arm tissue which did not get addressed in sessions 1-8, and we are coordinating the arms as balanced structures connected into the rest of the body and the core.

Session 12: The Whole Body – This session includes all of the body, working to make it a whole connected, coordinated, and balanced structure. At the end of this session, we want every movement coordinating through the core of the body, centered at the diaphragm.

This concludes our basic overview of the KMI structural integration series... though this is far from being a complete or exhaustive explanation of Structural Integration. That would take more time to go into specific details, and other concepts involved.

Next Page: Benefits of Structural Integration

All material copyright 1999 - 2017
by Mark Pearlscott and Treatment Massage.

Treatment Massage - The Injury and Pain Relief Clinic
4500 9th Avenue NE, Suite 300
Seattle, WA 98105
All material copyright 1999 - 2017
by Mark Pearlscott and Treatment Massage.

Treatment Massage - The Injury and Pain Relief Clinic
4500 9th Avenue NE, Suite 300
Seattle, WA 98105