Kinesis Myofascial Integration

 

What it is: transformative bodywork

KMI stands for Kinesis Myofascial Integration. The design of KMI is to unwind the strain patterns residing in your body’s loco motor system, restoring it to its natural balance, alignment, length, and ease. It helps an individual experience/recover an optimal way of moving while increasing strength, adaptability and resilience.

 

  • Consists of a multi-session protocol (usually 12) of deep, slow myofascial manipulation, coupled with movement re-education.
  • Sessions are typically strategized around an Anatomy Trains Myofascial Meridian (distinct lines of pull within the structure studied by Thomas Myers).
  • KMI was developped by Thomas Myers, Rolfer®,his work springs from the original Structural Integration work of Dr. Ida P. Rolf, more often know as Rolfing®.

How and why it works

The method focuses on manipulating/integrating the connective tissue system (fascia) in order to improve the body’s organization in movement. Though extensively observed in Rolfers ® daily practice for 50 years, it is only in the last decade that a vast body of research has come to better understand the function and prime role of fascia in our loco motor system. These recent findings confirm decades of clinical evidence: that this network gives our body its shape and assure fluid and organized movement (or lack there-of).

When we are injured or stressed, no matter what the source, there is a neuromuscular response – usually involving some combination of contraction, retraction, immobility, and often rotation. These patterns put some muscles under strain (where they develop painful trigger points) and also pull at this fascial fabric, requiring it to shift, thicken, glue itself to surrounding structures, often resulting in pain and reduced mobility.

Fortunately, the fascial network has a unique property: it is a plastic (malleable) sensory organ which under slow deep stroke is capable of re-negotiation.

Thomas Myers showed that within this continuum of tissue emerge distinct lines of pull which he named Anatomy Train Myofascial Meridians.

The process of KMI is to systematically lengthen those “lines” within the individual’s body in hope to create vertical alignment, horizontal balance, expansion and ease of movement within the structure.

 


Possible outcomes/benefits

“Improving balance and alignment generates many positive results that spans from freedom from pain to freedom to BE….” , Don Hazen.

It is a very personal process that yields unique benefits to each individual. Among the most commonly reported benefits:

Alleviate pain or discomfort/Fuller and easier breathing/Increased energy and overall aliveness/Reduce stress and tension/Improved alignment /Greater flexibility/Feeling of lightness is often reported after just one session/Better balance or sense of stability/Increased self-confidence/Empowerment/Self-actualization


 Will these benefits last?

Yes! The acquired new awareness seems to deepen with time, the process of structural integration furthers as time goes by. Nevertheless, as we keep living and aging, some accidents, injuries and physical or emotional stress may occur that may require additional work. Life itself is a continual process. 


KMI Structural Integration versus massage therapy

Massage Therapy most often focusses on relaxation and on treatment of local muscular discomfort.  Structural Integration goes beyond a model of local repair.  It aims at resolving pain or discomfort from a systemic point of view, tracking the cause often further away than the symptoms.   The effect is long lasting because from the process comes a model of education in self-awareness and realization that prevents further discomfort to settle.

KMI ‘s global approach sets it apart from other kind of manual therapies. 


Awareness is the Healer

A good SI practitioner is a bodyworker, a compassionate therapist and above all a facilitator of change. The premise of structural integration is that the answer (healing, release, potential) lies within the client. All the practitioner provides under his informed and sensitive touch is a held space for movement exploration within the newly released tissue.  While living in an enlivened balanced tissue network, the client has greater opportunity to develop “critical sensing”, to develop awareness.   Once self-aware and attune with his physical experience, the individual seems truer to his self; more present, conscious and authentic in his interpersonal relationships, able to maneuver his life with clarity and harmony.


What to expect from a session

Before starting the series, we will review together your health history, going over any accidents, surgeries, diseases or trauma but also exploring your current and past occupations and hobbies. Together, we will articulate your specific goals for entering the process.

I will evaluate your balance, posture, movements and assess where your body departs from optimal position and function.

Each session is performed on a massage table, standing, or sitting on a bench. I apply slow deep strokes along myofascial meridians. Some areas of work will provide a warm pleasurable feeling; others may reveal local discomfort under the pressure, which will be adjusted according to your feedback.  Many times you will be called to move smoothly under my hand.  Structural Integration is not a passive model, it requires your active participation. In fact, without your optimal engagement, the process can loose some of its powerful potential. It is truly collaboration as a lot of the “work” happens away from the table, when you are relating to and exploring your environment from a new "place" of embodiment. Your attention to the changes in sensation is key to the integration.

As an important part of the process, I will help you become aware of improper patterns of movement and imbalances in your body and will support you in finding ways to change those in your daily life.

 

“...And the day came when the risk to remain tight in the bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom”

Anais Nin