Diane Roth, founder of Roth Structural Integration, in Highland Park, has been practicing Structural Integration for more than 25 years.

Through the use of hands-on manipulation of the tissue and surrounding fascia, she helps clients find relief from chronic pain and other symptoms of misalignment in the body. This can come from an injury or everyday practices like cell phone use, driving, slumping at a desk or even stress.

“Structural Integration rebalances, realigns and reeducates the body using myofascial therapy. The goal is not just relief of a problem, but changing how the body is functioning in space,” says Roth. After the initial evaluation, clients may choose to specifically address a clinical issue or come in for a series of 10 sessions that systematically unwind the connective tissue and starts the process of restoring balance. “Each session builds upon the last, aiming at complete integration of the body. The process of Structural Integration includes balancing the body in segments and achieving vertical alignment from front-to-back, side-to-side, top-to-bottom and inside-to-outside,” says Roth.

The practice originated in the 1960s with Dr. Ida Rolf, who, dissatisfied with existing health care techniques, pioneered the idea that connective tissue was a complete system, with structural and functional qualities. Although she always had a scientific point of view, her research was based on studying osteopathy, chiropractic, yoga and homeopathy.

Restoring her clients to health is very rewarding to Diane.

Roth, who is board certified in Structural Integration, studied massage therapy for more than 30 years and was drawn to the unique interactive process between patient and practitioner. ”Clients come wearing comfortable clothing, like yoga shorts or a bathing suit. I watch how they walk and move. I look for asymmetry, where they’re holding pain, how they’re moving through space,” notes Roth.

Typically, clients will find an increased range of motion, more ease and fluidity in movement, improvement in breathing and circulation, and increased stamina and flexibility. They come away with a greater awareness of their bodies and how what they’re physically holding inside affects their emotions. “Fascia becomes glued, hardened and dehydrated as it responds to misalignment and malfunction over time. The deep work of Structural Integration in the connective tissue unglues the layers by the skilled application of pressure and movement,” explains Roth.

Practicing Structural Integration and restoring her clients to health is very rewarding to Roth. “I like that I’m helping a client meet their wellness goals. Seeing the body improve over time always amazes me. Structural Integration reinforces and realigns the body, mind and spirit as it aspires towards balance and wellness,” she says.

Diane was interviewed by Carrie Jackson an Evanston-based writer and frequent contributor to Natural Awakenings magazine. Connect at CarrieJacksonWrites.com.

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