Massage, acupuncture, physiotherapy, osteopathy—you name it, most of my clients have probably tried it before finding me. And while these therapies may have provided relief, the results were often short-term.
Well, the body develops ways of supporting you through whatever life throws at you.
If you injure yourself, it will find a way to work around it. If you sit at a desk, it will reshape itself to support you. And it does this through your fascia.
Fascia is connective tissue that provides support and helps to keep the internal parts of your body in the right place. And when fascia’s healthy, it’s supple and flexible. It moves with you.
But when it’s not…well, it can cause all sorts of trouble.
Unhealthy fascia loses its mobility. It becomes sticky, thicker and sometimes brittle. This pulls our muscles and skeletal structures out of whack, causing pain, discomfort—even debilitating fatigue.
Structural Integration works directly with the fascia.
Utilising techniques such as myofascial release, we’ll lengthen, stretch and soften fascia to restore a healthy balance to your body. My clients often speak of feeling taller, more flexible and having a sense of ease in their bodies, even after just a few sessions.
Gentle is Strong
There is a whole spectrum of SI practitioners, from those with a stronger approach to those with a softer, more gentle touch. And over the years, I’ve found myself drifting further and further towards the gentle end of the spectrum. Because it works.
We’re so overstimulated in our chaotic world that we often think we need more sensation to have any impact—but I’ve found that the opposite is often true. We need to quiet down and listen to our bodies.
I’m unlikely to jab an elbow into a knot during your treatment. But I am very likely to help you feel into your body and consciously create more space and flexibility. And you know what that leads to? Long-term change. Not short-term relief.
These techniques are useful for anyone who experiences physical stress—which is just about everyone! Here are some common ailments that myofascial bodywork can help with:
- TMJ dysfunction
- Headaches and migraines
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Repetitive strain injury
The people I work with aren’t looking for a quick fix. And if you are, I may not be what you’re looking for. My work is collaborative, integrative and personalised. We’ll work together to heal your body, reduce those aches and pains and increase your mobility. You’ll develop a deeper awareness and understanding of your body.
But you need to be an active participant.
If this sounds like what you’re looking for, I’d love to support you on your healing journey.
Ready to start your healing journey? Click here
What to expect working with me
Every treatment plan is different—because every body is different. But the initial appointment with me is the same for everyone: We’ll discuss your medical history and goals and together, we’ll build a treatment plan that works for you.
We might decide on a traditional SI 12 series, a shorter 3 series or individual sessions (you can read details on all these options below ). I might mix in other bodywork therapies if they’re right for your body. Things like dry needling, cupping or myofascial release. There’s even an Infrared Sauna at the studio that some clients like to use before or after a session.
There is no one right healing journey—I will support you in discovering what works best for your body.
The Traditional Approach: 12 Series
The 12 series is a comprehensive approach used in Structural Integration. It’s based on the work of Dr. Ida P. Rolf, who developed it as a holistic and efficient way for others to learn and share her technique.
It’s a full body approach, because nothing’s isolated in your body—it’s all connected.
Here’s a high level breakdown* of the series:
- Sessions 1-4: soothe and ease the superficial fascia
- Sessions 5-8: we begin to work with deeper anatomical structures
- Sessions: 9-12: integration of all the previous work
But please remember that each session will vary based on individual needs, goals and preferences. The work is collaborative, personalised and each journey is unique. I’m here to support your individual healing journey.
Throughout the series you’ll notice an improvement in your posture and mobility; a reduction in your aches and pain; and an increase in your energy and wellbeing.
Many clients also refer to a ‘lightness,’ as they let go of patterns their bodies have held onto for years.
Ready to get started?
I have been seeing Emma for the past two years. I came to her with a long-standing and debilitating lower back complaint and generalised muscle aches and pains. After a number of remedial bodywork treatments, I opted for the 12-series Structural Integration Program. This changed my life!
Though I still get the odd twinge, and old injuries flare up from time to time, I am generally pain-free and I’m able to move freely and energetically. Emma’s treatments and her patient explanations together with my yoga practice have given me a much more acute body awareness and I am able to address twinges on my own before they become problems.
Emma is a talented, knowledgeable, empathetic, and caring bodyworker. I still see her for ‘tune-ups.’ She continues to carefully assess me before each session—no one size fits all here! I cannot recommend Emma highly enough.
Finetune and enhance: 3 series
The 3 series is useful to finetune or enhance the results of a previously completed 12 series, or it can be used as an introduction to SI work. In this shorter series, we focus on:
- Pelvic girdle and legs
- Thorax and arms
- Head and spine
As with the longer series, each session will be different because every body is different.
Sound like what you need? Book here.
Recently I completed a structural bodywork 3-series with Emma. Having struggled with ‘tightness’ all my life and a feeling that my body was wrapped in ropes, the effects of this treatment were amazing.
I was able to move in ways in which I’d previously felt restricted, taking bigger steps when I walked, trusting my dodgy knees to work better, being able to stand a little straighter, to open my shoulders and move them back a bit, releasing pain from parts that were stuck and resistant to stretching.
I feel like a dolphin released from a net or a bird released from a cage. Nothing has helped me like this before.
Of course you don’t have to commit to an entire series. And sometimes it’s not appropriate. As symptoms, issues or injuries arise, you’re welcome to book in for individual sessions as needed.
I will always include a comprehensive assessment, gearing your treatment toward easing your current symptoms while working within a whole-body framework.
Does Health Funds/Insurance cover your fees?
All major health funds cover all of my services. You’ll need to contact your healthcare services provider to see what kind of coverage you have.
HICAPS is available for on-the-spot health fund payments.
What should I wear?
Your level of comfort is important. And it’s equally important to have full access to the areas we’re working on in each session.
FOR WOMEN: a two-piece bathing suit or a bra and full-coverage underwear/running shorts that allow for full range of movement. Avoid sports bras that don’t allow for full access to the spine.
FOR MEN: full-coverage boxer shorts, running shorts or bathing suit recommended.
What can I expect in a typical SI or bodywork session?
In your first session, you’ll complete a comprehensive intake form and we’ll discuss your reasons for beginning the work. Initial sessions are 90 minutes to allow us the time to talk through your medical history and goals without feeling rushed. And/or evaluate your alignment before starting. Sessions are done in your underwear/underclothes.
I use elbows, hands, fingers and knuckles to apply slow and specific pressure to the fascia to reorganise its position in your structure. You may be asked to keep your eyes open (nap time comes later!), breathe into the area we are working, or make small movements during the session.
I love to begin and end sessions with techniques that aim to help you ‘drop in,’ relax your nervous system and ensure you get the most out of your session. The specifics of which techniques we use will depend on you, your body and your goals. They’re often completely different for each person.
The session ends with gentle neck work and sometimes—for the homework lovers—I’ll give you a task to work on at home to help garner the most from your next session.
How long should I wait between sessions?
Ideally a week in between, but every 2 weeks or once a month is acceptable.
- Sessions 1-4: all four sessions can be done within one week, or one week apart, because each session focuses on a different part of the body
- Sessions 5-8: should be completed a week apart
- Sessions 9-12: can be done 1-3 weeks apart
If you stick to 1 session/week schedule, the 12-series will be completed in approximately 3 months time.
What happens after I finish a 12 series?
The 12 series is designed to leave your structure balanced and in a finished place. Many clients complete the series and never feel the need for another session. Others view Structural Integration (SI) as essential for maintaining their bodies and come in for regular “tune-ups”—sometimes monthly or annually.
Some clients find so much more ease and relaxation in their bodies after SI that they use it instead of massage. Others take a break for several months after the series and then request a post-twelve-series, generally three sessions, often focused on specific goals.
Lastly, some clients only use SI as needed, like after a fall.
There is no right or wrong way. Find what works for your body.
How long will the physical changes last?
Depending on your compensation patterns’ complexity, it may take some time to unwind all the structures involved. More often than not, the deeper the structure—and the longer it has been that way—the shorter the effects will last.
Ideally, if you establish a dedicated daily self-care routine and address the root causes that are causing your discomfort (like crossing your legs or sitting at a computer for extended periods of time), the impact of SI treatments will last longer.
Your body’s ability to hold these positive changes is based on age, hydration levels, tissue type and conditions.
The ATSI series is a carefully designed sequence to prevent you from regressing. In fact, you can expect positive changes to keep developing in the months following the end of the series.
What makes the ATSI type of Structural Integration different?
ATSI is one particular form of Structural Integration, and as such, there are many other brands of SI – Rolfing®, Guild of Structural Integration, Hellerwork, Soma, and Core… to name a few!
I chose to specifically practice the Anatomy Trains “brand” of Structural Integration for the following reasons:
- System-oriented, rather than based entirely on symptoms
- Treatment is applied gently and sensitively, with full client participation and autonomy
- ATSI-certified practitioners welcome and value the input of other disciplines
Although many people are drawn to Structural Integration because they’re experiencing some pain or restriction, the true intent of this work is to get to the underlying root condition behind the acute issues.
The key is creating an environment where the client becomes independent and stable on their own, rather than creating a long-term dependency on the therapist or continued work, as seen with other modalities.
ATSI is compatible with acupuncture, homeopathy, osteopathy, chiropractic, craniosacral work, and most forms of massage, yoga and exercise.
Did I miss something? Reach out to me with your question.