15 Feb 2017

Structural Integration Aims for Total Balance

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TSStructuralIntegration-373beb95Diane 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.

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.

Roth Structural Integration is located in Highland Park. For more information, call 847-533-3213 or visit RothSI.com. See ad in the Community Resource Guide.

Carrie Jackson is an Evanston-based writer and frequent contributor to Natural Awakenings magazine. Connect at CarrieJacksonWrites.com.


15 Feb 2016

Balancing the Body with Structural Integration

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When the body is functioning right, we know it by a sense of well-being. When it’s not, we may know it as pain, tightness or fatigue. We may feel dragged down. Old injuries may spring up again with new symptoms. We feel out of balance in our bodies. One method of healing is called Structural Integration (SI), a system of bodywork that realigns, rebalances and re-educates the body so that we can get back to the job of living optimally.

SI practitioners work with the soft tissue of the body, called fascia. Fascia becomes glued, hard and dehydrated over time as it responds to misalignment and malfunction due to injury, trauma or everyday stress. As the body shortens and tightens, the sense of well-being diminishes, while pain and chronic discomfort increase. Through skilled application of pressure and movement, SI manually sculpts and “unglues” the fascia. As the body unwinds, pain decreases, while movement, flexibility and energy all increase.

Structural Integration is often initially practiced over a series of 10 sessions. These sessions unwind the connective tissue web, with each session building on the one before. As the sessions progress, the body unravels its stresses and compensations, allowing more efficient movement, alignment and balance. Although this 10-session format is a systematic approach to change, the principles of SI are easily applied to any physical complaint or problem that may arise in the human structure and can be practiced effectively to address specific concerns.

The theory behind Structural Integration was developed by Dr. Ida Rolf more than 50 years ago. Through her studies in osteopathy, chiropractic, yoga and homeopathy, she developed a system for working with connective tissue that restored order to out-of-balance bodies. This became known as Structural Integration, or Rolfing®. Today there are many schools of Structural Integration, including the Rolf Institute® in Boulder, Colorado. All practitioners who go through recognized programs of study in SI are structural integrators. Only practitioners who go to the institute use the term Rolfers™.

Dr. Rolf once explained that “when the body gets working appropriately, the forces of gravity can flow through. Then, spontaneously, the body heals itself.”

Everyone experiences some discomfort in the body simply from the normal activity of living. Add in accidents, trauma or occupational hazards, and chances are we feel tight, sore and uncomfortable. Structural Integration works with the whole person to bring more freedom and comfort to our everyday lives, something each of us can use.
Diane Roth is a board-certified structural integrator in Highland Park. She can be reached at 847-831-3213 or DSIdiane@rothsi.com. For more information about Roth and Structural Integration, visit her website and blog at RothSI.com.

17 Jan 2011

The Uncluttered Life

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I recently attended a seminar called Yes to Success, www.yestosuccess.com. We covered so many topics like creating new neural pathways, letting go a negative thought processes, visualizing what we what, goal setting and gratefulness. Deb Poneman is a great speaker and teacher. I recommend it to everyone no matter where you are at in your life.

She had a guest speaker, Brooks Palmer, who is an expert clutter buster, www.clutterbusting.com. He was very funny and poignant about clearing our spaces of things that don’t serve us, things with which we don’t interact. These things tend to pull us down and clog our ability to create and be productive.

Are you seeing a segue here? Structural Integration is clutter busting for the body. Chronic pain and discomfort, stiffness, achiness, bad posture, headaches,and inflexibility are signs that our bodies have become disorganized and cluttered.

There is an ideal way for the body to function. Let’s be realistic though. Few of us meet this ideal. We are all a little cluttered. Perhaps from an injury or a chronic stress our bodies have gotten disorganized and need some cleaning up.

How does SI unclutter a body? By manually manipulating the soft tissue or fascia we free the body of its chronic holding patterns. We seek to rebalance and realign the body’s relationships.

An uncluttered body is not weighed down with the excess baggage of being at war with gravity. It is light, moves with grace and breaths easier. Clutter brings us down. Organization frees us to be productive and create. This sounds good to me.

Be well.

21 Dec 2010

Local or global

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Often someone comes in suffering from a very painful shoulder or neck. They want relief and release from the pain, discomfort and distraction this causes. Pain takes a lot of attention and energy from our everyday lives. Compare a day you are relatively pain free to one where you are constantly rubbing and icing that shoulder that aches. That day your shoulder is driving you crazy is not such a good day.

The first thing I do is look to see what that body is doing. I observe the body standing, sitting and walking. That local spasm is there for a reason. It is being pulled on, misused or compromised by the way the body is put together (structure) or by something that is being done to that shoulder (function). In other words the pain does not live in a vacuum. I want to work locally on that painful spasm and look globally to what may be causing the pain. Is it all that computer work and mousing? Then in addition to SI bodywork, I want to work with changing the way you work at your computer and desk. Perhaps the cause is what is commonly called ‘bad posture’. The head is forward, the chest is closed, breathing is shallow. In this case, I want to work on the front of the torso, first to open the chest and diaphragm, then to help lift the head and balance it once again on those lovely shoulders it is meant to live above. Visualizing this, I feel I am breathing better already.

If we look too narrowly and just address the pain then we have missed an opportunity to really change the way we function in our bodies everyday. Changing the way we move and perform our everyday tasks creates more pain free days. And that sounds good to me.

Be well.

To learn more about my bodywork practice visit my website www.rothsi.com

07 Dec 2010

It Takes a Village

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it takes a village
As a Structural Integration practitioner I am part a large community of Alternative and Complementary Health Therapies. What are the alternative health fields? Here are a few;

  • Structural Integration/Rolfing
  • Chiropractic
  • Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine
  • Massage and Bodywork
  • Homeopathy
  • Nutrition Consultant
  • Herbal Medicine
  • Naturopathy
  • Energy Therapy
  • Cranial Sacral Therapy

Alternative and Complementary Healthcare is considered holistic in that it considers the whole person as part of the treatment including physical, mental, emotional and spiritual.  Each of these modalities can treat some illness and injury in conjunction with proper medical care.  This is considered Complementary Medicine.  Additionally these practices are preventative.  The goal is to keep a person well as opposed to solely treating illness.

When a client comes to see me I am often moved by their story.  They are in chronic pain, have had back surgery, suffer from plantar fasciitis or have developed an ache in their hip since a knee injury a year ago.  They want to know if SI can help them.  Usually the answer is yes. Structural integration can free that scar tissue from surgery or balance the parts; feet to knees to hips to shoulders, taking the undue pressure off the sole of the foot or the hip joint.

However I always say it takes a village. It takes a combination of therapies, exercise, nutrition, and stress reduction. It takes awareness of what is out of balance and a willingness to make some changes. This may be how alternative and complementary therapies differ from mainstream medicine. It is not just about surgery or medication but about making productive changes in our lives.

Be well.

To learn more about my healing practice visit my website rothsi.com

07 Dec 2010

Welcome to Roth Structural Integration Blog

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Diane Roth Structural IntegratorThe last few months I have been going to networking meetings with different groups, like the Highland Park Chamber of Commerce and the North Shore Entrepreneurial Network (NSEN). When I give my short explanation of Structural Integration I see either a light go on in someone’s eyes that says “Wow that’s exactly what I need.” or “What is she talking about?”.

Structural Integration (SI) has been around for over 50 years. It was developed by Dr. Ida Rolf who, through her studies in osteopathy, chiropractic, yoga and homoeopathy, came up with a system for working in the soft tissue of the body, or fascia, that realigns, rebalances and reeducates the body. Through skilled application of pressure, movement and manipulation of the fascia, the body frees up old restrictions, bad postural habits, old trauma and injury and it begins to move and feel more open, more fluid and more energized.

If your eyes just lit up perhaps you have been feeling weighed down by too much computer time or lifting that Thanksgiving roasting pan and reinjuring a shoulder problem which has been bothering you off and on for years. Structural Integration can unglue the muscle and fascia that locks in the strain and slump your body has been experiencing. Once the body is relieved of restriction, it can function more optimally and you feel better. When we feel better, out of pain and discomfort, we can move on to being more productive in our work and relationships.

Perhaps you thought, “What is she talking about?” Try an experiment. Get up and take a walk around your house or down the block. Take a minute to notice how you feel.  Are you breathing deeply? How do your feet hit the ground? Does one foot collapse or one leg feel heavier that the other? Does a knee or hip stick when you move forward? How do your shoulders feel? Is one shoulder higher than the other? Are they tight and still when you move or are they fluid and unguarded?

Every one experiences some discomfort in their bodies just from the normal activities of living. Add in accidents, trauma or occupational hazards and chances are each of us could use some help feeling more free and comfortable. Structural Integration is a holistic approach to wellness. An SI practitioner looks at what needs to be changed or released in order to feel balance. It works with the whole person to bring more freedom and comfort to our everyday lives. Something each of us could use.

Be well.

To learn more visit my website rothsi.com