Technical FAQs

Q: What is the difference between massage and Structural Integration therapy?
A: Massage serves several purposes, the first of which is to move fluids through the body. This in itself is a great benefit to bring blood flow to muscles and to remove metabolic waste. A state of relaxation allows for the parasympathetic nervous system to kick in. Massage is generally done in a darkened room with the client fully or partially undressed and draped by the therapist.

Structural Therapy is designed to address a specific problem. The full amount of time allotted during the session is dedicated to finding therapeutic solutions to facilitate the healing process in order to solve this problem. The client is sometimes fully clothed or will wear gym or running shorts and sports bra for women. The tools used by the structural therapist come from a tradition of manual therapy under the scope of practice of a therapeutic bodyworker. The tools of manual therapy generally come from osteopathic tradition. This requires very specific training that is very different from standard massage .

Q: What’s the difference between Rolfing and Structural Integration?
A: Ida Rolf was the innovator of Structural Integration. After she began to train students in her 10 session series of Structural Integration a large house was donated for her first school in Boulder Colorado. Her students coined the term rolfing to honor Dr Rolf afterwhich the Rolf Institute copyrighted the term Rolfing. After Dr. Rolf died, part of the faculty of the Rolf Institute started their own school in Boulder Colorado called the Guild. The work was still Structural Integration. Over the years some of the original students of Dr. Rolf began teaching their variations of S.I. The Soma Institute, Core Institute, Tom Myers, Hellerwork, Zen therapy and a few others still teach Dr. Rolfs original concept of the 10 sessions.

Q: What’s the difference between Structural Integration and the Capstone Method?
A: The Capstone Method uses the same goals of Structural Integration, however instead of only using connective tissue manipulation, a variety of therapeutic strategies are utilized. This can maximize results because sometimes the structure will not respond to a particular approach so another strategy more appropriate to accomplishing the desired goal can be used.

Q: With the Capstone Method do I have to commit to 10 sessions?
A: The desired outcome determines the answer to this question. When a client has an acute problem such as a frozen shoulder a series of structural therapy sessions designed to address that problem, and that problem only, will be utilized until that condition is alleviated. The 10 sessions of the Capstone Method are more designed to accomplish a series of therapeutic goals. This is an ongoing process that isn’t fully complete until the 10th session is finished. The results of this process can be extremely powerful in utilizing a persons full potential for optimal function and health. After the sessions are completed some people choose to continue on either with a maintenance schedule or more specific work to further enhance that individuals health and well-being.

Q: Are tight muscles the source of my back problem?
A: When two bones are out of the relationship this is called a subluxation. Most of the time when structures in the back become misaligned enough to cause pain there is a nearby structure such as a nerve or artery that has become endangered. Excess movement could damage these vulnerable structures, so the body recruits musculature around the joint to split and immobilize for protection. Once the bones are returned to the proper relationship the protective muscle spasm will melt away. In the traditional massage paradigm anything tight in the muscular system is to be released. This is one situation when releasing the muscle spasm is actually removing the bodies protective armor. The splitting will return shortly however the client were to sustain another injury the vulnerable joint could be severely injured.

A chiropractor would use a high velocity low amplitude technique to address a subluxation. There are other systems that utilize these small intrinsic musculature to affect and correct the misalignment, some people prefer this gentle approach. Muscle energy is an example of a gentle way to address such a problem in this part of the Capstone Method system.