Question: How is Structural Integration Bodywork different from massage therapy?
Answer: First, Structural Integration is an interactive process between practitioner and client, unlike passive massage treatments you may be used to. We work together as partners, with Jennifer’s touch and your movement, to make changes in your body. Your participation is one of the keys to getting the most out of your session or your Structural Integration Series, and one of the fundamental “ingredients” to the effectiveness of this work! See the “What is Bodywork” page for a more detailed description.
Answer: Good question! Fascia is the connective tissue “fabric” that surrounds all muscles, muscle fibers, organs, bones, and is your tendons and ligaments. It’s literally everywhere! Have you ever been cutting fat off of a cut of meat and seen a thin layer of clear to white film on the meat? That’s fascia. It can be very thin and watery or very dense and tough, depending on its location and purpose in the body. We are affecting muscles when we work with fascia, but Jennifer is more concerned with areas where the fascia is restricted and not moving, versus which muscles are “tight.” When fascia gets stuck, it limits movement, and this limitation creates pain.
Fascia gives our body its shape and helps hold your bones in the positions they are in (whether in a functional or dysfunctional way). In this short video below Tom Myers, the founder of KMI [Jennifer’s school of Structural Integration], explains this idea of “tensegrity:” compression and tension are used to give a structure its form, retain its shape or move. This principle is seen not only in the human body, but in structures like geodesic domes and boat sails.
Question: Do I have to do a Structural Integration Series? Or can I come in for a session from time to time?
Answer: You are always welcome to come in for Balanced Body Sessions as you need them. There is no pressure to commit to a Structural Integration Series, but if Jennifer thinks you’ll accomplish your goals for freedom from chronic pain by going through Structural Integration, she will let you know. If you are really seeking a whole body transformation, freedom from chronic pain and more joy in your life, then her Total Transformation Program (12-Series) might be right for you. You can still accomplish a lot of great things in a single session, or in a shorter program when you need it. The best way for you to find out is to come in for a session and discuss it with Jennifer.
Question: Is this work painful? I’ve heard of similar treatments and have heard it hurts.
Answer: No, this work is not intended to be painful. There are times when the work can be intense (for short duration, mind you), but there is a difference between true pain and intensity. We are trying to rid your body of pain, not induce more! Any time you experience strong intensity, please communicate that with Jennifer. She will check in with you frequently during the session as well. It’s your joint responsibility to monitor your comfort while still being effective in the work. Most clients find the work very relaxing, and describe it as “hurts so good” when working into particularly stuck tissues.
Question: Am I clothed or draped in sheets like during a massage?
Answer: Most of the time sessions are done with you in modest undergarments or minimal clothing to your comfort level. For ladies, this can mean a two-piece bathing suit if you prefer, or shorts and a tank top. For guys, athletic shorts are perfectly acceptable. Honestly, the more Jennifer can see, the more clues she will have to help you and be the most effective. Blankets are of course available to keep you warm as needed. She can work with clients fully clothed, too, if you’re uncomfortable being minimally clothed. This, though not ideal, is always an option.
Question: Do you take insurance?
Answer: I do not bill health insurance. If you have what are called “out-of network” massage therapy benefits (so long as they can be provided by a Licensed Massage Therapist) then I can provide you a bill for you to submit to your insurance company. Depending on your plan and coverage, you might get reimbursed. Call your insurance company to find out more.
Question: Do I get to say which areas of the body I want worked on?
Answer: Yes, you certainly get to mention any areas that are bothering you. There is strategy behind working in a particular sequence and a method to the work. Releasing one area of the body can have a profound effect on areas both near and far. Jennifer will of course acknowledge your areas of concern for that day, but keep in mind that your goal is lasting relief, and in order to find that, it may be necessary to address other areas that may be contributing to your symptoms. Releasing them can yield long-term relief rather than short term gratification. Your whole body will be addressed if you decide to go through the Accelerated Wellness- or Total Transformation Program, so don’t worry: we’ll get there!
Question: How far apart are the appointments spaced for an Accelerated Wellness or Total Transformation Program? Can I start or stop anytime? How long are the sessions?
Answer: Sessions in both of these Programs (of Structural Integration) are spaced appointments about two weeks apart, taking into account health conditions and other variables. Spacing the sessions irregularly or many weeks apart can decrease the efficacy for some people. When you sign up for a Program, you make a commitment to all sessions. Life happens sometimes, so when it does, it may mean making adjustments or starting over when it’s better timing for you.
Sessions typically last up to 90 minutes. Your session includes intake, assessment, work on the table and bench, movement education and self-care/homework.
Question: Have you, Jennifer, ever received this kind of work?
Answer: YES! I have received two 3-Series and three 12-Series since 2010, and lots of other bodywork, too. It has had a deep impact on my life; both physically and emotionally, but all for the better. My personal testimony to this work would require a separate blog, but feel free to ask me more about my experience.
Question: What happens after I finish my Program? Do we do it all again?
Answer: Excellent question! No, we do not start the process all over again (at least for some time). After completing a Program, you get the opportunity to live into the changes you’ve made in your Program. The work you’ve done will continue into the upcoming months to years. Sometimes more change occurs in the months and year(s) following a Program than what actually happens during the it! Often, a maintenance program is recommended to not just to maintain, but rather to continue the progression of your results. For some clients, additional sessions may be beneficial to focus on particular challenges revealed during the Program.
If you have further questions, please do not hesitate to contact Jennifer.
She will be happy to answer them or steer you in the right direction.