The Benefits / FAQ

What are the benefits of structural medicine?

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 – Align your body; align your mind; reach your body/mind goals.

 – Relieve and eliminate chronic pain.

 – Reduce and eliminate symptoms of stress.

 – Increase movement, range of motion and flexibility.

 – Begin a new relationship to your health and well being.

 – Increase energy and vitality, peace and relaxation

Frequently Asked Questions


What happens first?

The goal of HSM is to balance your body’s structure in gravity. To do that, a HSM practitioner will look at how your entire body has compensated, shortened, and adjusted over time. Traditionally in Rolfing (Structural Integration) there is a Series of 10 sessions, in Hellerwork there is 11.In Structural Medicine we take several things into consideration; your medical history as well your personal resources of time, budget etc,as well as what you are hoping to achieve during our sessions together.Our results are also determined by how involved in the process you are willing to be ~ healing is a dynamic process that often requires a shift in consciousness and at the very least our full attention. We devise a treatment plan based on those considerations.

How many sessions will I need?

You might want to try a session prior to committing to a series of sessions. You are more than welcome to do so and you are promised results based on our time together. You can pay session by session or if you are someone who enjoys a discounted rate you are welcome to buy one of our Stress~busting Packages.
If you would like to proceed, ideally we start with approximately 10 – 14 sessions to allow us to work comprehensively with your primary concerns as well as compensations. The sessions are designed not just to fix a local problem, but to address your body’s entire postural pattern. In reality, depending on your specific needs and medical history it may take many more sessions than that to achieve our goal. That being said, we always do our best to work with your resources so you get the most out of each session together.

Are the changes permanent?

Ida Rolf claimed that once a person’s body was more balanced in gravity, that gravity would help to reinforce the new posture and the changes wouldn’t fade away with time. What we as HSM practitioners have found is that the changes gained are long-lasting for most people. That being said, life happens, habits persist and transformation can take time.
If you continue to put stress on your body through various lifestyle choices, it is advisable to create maintenance plan to ensure that (you and) your body doesn’t start to compensate for the strain again.

Does it hurt?

It depends. This can be interesting to answer. My standard answer is “Only if you want it to!” which I say in jest but it speaks to a bigger issue. One thing to remember as a client is that you are in control ~ you are the boss. You get to say how much pressure works for you at all times during your session. Often our inability to voice our discomfort is what gets us into the painful pickle we find ourselves in to begin with! All those years of not being able to say NO or STOP or OUCH can really add up. Beliefs such as “no pain, no gain”, “children should be seen and not heard”, “it is better to put others first”, “you are wimpy if you admit that it hurts” need to be dispelled in order for us to make true progress. We are taught to ignore our basic needs from a very young age. Bodywork can be a powerful tool in giving you back your voice and create powerful results in all areas of your life, not just with your body.
That being said, you might experience a burning sensation or soreness at times during a session (similar to the soreness you might feel when tight muscles are massaged.) At other times, the contact might feel neutral or pleasant. And, to the degree that you are able to say “That’s enough” is likely the degree that you will find the work painful. Clients will always get the best results if they stay within a comfort level that works for them and are willing to communicate to their practitioner.

How is HSM different to Massage?

Traditionally, massage has focused on relaxing and releasing short-term tension or stress. HSM is more focused on changing chronic patterns of tension, and on making postural changes that will be long-term in nature. Also, massage has traditionally focused more on the muscular system, and the type of touch has been consistent with relaxing muscles. HSM is working on another type of tissue, fascia. Fascia is distinct from muscle and responds best to a different type of touch. The pace and feel of a HSM session is very different than a massage. The goal is a balanced body that functions in an easier and more efficient way.

How is HSM different to Chiropractic?

Ida Rolf was influenced by chiropractic in developing her work, in particular the chiropractic observation that structure (your form) determines function (how you feel, how well your body works). Traditional chiropractic has had as its focus the skeletal system. She was most interested in the system of fascia – she believed that a majority of the time, the skeletal system was being pulled out of place by soft tissue, and so she focused her attention on the soft tissue (myofascia) instead. My experience is that chiropractic and HSM can work well together and are complementary disciplines.

Does HSM have Pyschological Benefits?

HSM can have significant effects on the whole person, affecting emotions, perceptions of body image, attitudes, etc. For some people, the physical holding patterns they have adopted can be related to emotional holding or tension. For others, their structure may carry the effects of emotional or physical trauma. HSM can help shift the physical effects of trauma or emotional holding patterns and can be useful as a complement to psychotherapy or personal development work.

Bodywork for Everybody!