Now, let's listen to how other people talk about this work.
I've just had a first session but I've already had the following sensations:
(1) I do not feel the weight I used to feel (15 Lbs or so) on my upper back just below my neck any more.
(2) My thighs... I did not know that my thighs looked this much well shaped... i.e. my muscles on my thighs have never shown through my skin this well before. Suddenly, I look like a bodybuilder!
(3) Complete ease of rotating my head around my neck. Before the session, I felt my neck had no lubricating oil in it. Now I feel so easy to rotate my head around my neck. Never before!
(4) I feel very warm sensation coming from deep inside on my shoulder, lower back and my thighs.
Feedback after the 10 series click here.
Mori G., NYC
I had my doubts about Structural Integration, but time has proven them wrong! Before I went to Atsumi, I had acute back, shoulder, and elbow problems that sent me to the chiropractor every few months. I haven't had to go to the chiropractor AT ALL in the past year since finishing my 10-visit treatment with Atsumi. She is kind, sensitive, and thorough-- and her treatment WORKS.
Ellis A., NYC
Quite frankly I had my doubts about "rolfing". I had heard from friends that Structural Integration was painful. I decided however to put my suspicions aside and try it out, the reason for my interest was to help straighten my posture. As a mediator, sitting and back posture is very important. Over the years my posture has suffered, so I felt that Atsumi would be able to help in straightening and correcting my spine and back.
Atsumi was great in introducing and explaining her work and what she would be doing before we got started. From the very first meeting to the last, she took time to study my body, its posture and what area she would be concentrating on. To my surprise the sessions were relatively painless. Atsumi's able touch and her sensitivity to go just deep enough is amazing.
Initially I did not feel any immediate effects, although Atsumi was amazed at how well my body was adapting and changing. Within a month however, I began to see this change for myself. Not only was my posture different in the mirror, but I also started to feel the change in my body, walking, exercising and meditating.
A week after the series was completed the biggest shock came one day when I asked a friend of mine at a gym whether he had grown shorter. Incredulously he agreed-something had happened. But, when we stood back to back we discovered to our amazement that it was I who had grown taller! It was not that I had grown taller however, but that it was due to my straightened posture. It was due to Atsumi’s work.
It is now over two months since completing the ten sessions. I still feel a difference. It is as if my body has been rebooted. My upper back, shoulders and neck feel comfortably relaxed and it feels as if they naturally straighten out throughout the day.The old way of being in my body has been replaced. I am more aware of my body, in my daily life, my exercise and my sitting.
For all of this, I am extremely grateful to Atsumi Hara. She is professional in her approach, sensitive in touch and passionate in her belief that structural integration works. She made a believer out of me.
Ed G., NYC
A few months before I started Structural Integration (SI), I was told by a physical therapist friend that I had a flat neck and the thoracic area had a slight curve in the lumbar (what you see in older people). She had to show me how to stand straight. Since then whenever I can remember, like while waiting for an elevator, I would put myself in this "unnatural position", that was supposed to help with my posture.
About 4 sessions into SI, as I was walking to work in the morning, I noticed that my body just naturally moved into a new position. By the end of the tenth session, my neck regained its curve (confirmed by my PT friend) and whatever position in which my body feels the most comfortable was the "proper" position.
Now I don't have to remind myself to stand straight. I just do. I also found out another way how I know my body is much more balanced than before. In the past, I was always leaning on side. I now can stand with two feet planted in the ground with my body weight equally on both feet.
Takami K., NYC
I went into Structural Integration 18 months after having had major kidney surgery. Physiotherapy had only done so much to redress the imbalance I felt in my body, and going to the gym only seemed to make things worse. My knees ached, my back hurt - I couldn't seem to get my body straight again. I was, physically speaking, a mess.
It was at this point that Atsumi Hara suggested that perhaps a course of Structural Integration (or "rolfing") could be helpful. I knew nothing about "rolfing", except that it was supposed to be painful, but I did know Atsumi, so I decided to go ahead.
It proved to be the most fascinating and rewarding experience. As we went through the 10 sessions, I was literally confronted with every inch of my body. Each session showed me a different aspect. I came to realize that the physical weakness the surgery had brought about had only exacerbated traits I had been developing for years.
It was extraordinary to feel the difference as Atsumi gradually stretched my body out. In the time between sessions, I could feel just how tight the parts of my body were that she hadn't worked on, and just how much looser were the parts that she had. I have always had a tendency to round my shoulders and slouch, especially when sitting working at the computer. It is now no longer comfortable to do so. I have even had to buy myself a new office chair! I now stand tall and straight and I sit tall and straight! My knees no longer hurt either since my legs and pelvis have been straightened out. An unexpected and unsought result has been that I can wear high-heeled shoes again with the ease I did when I was 20 – not necessarily an ideal recommendation I know!
Until I went through the course I had no idea how much the habits of years had stiffened my body structure, and how easy it could be to improve. I had just assumed it was age and gravity and that nothing could be done. Structural Integration has improved my posture, taken away my aches and pains, and, most of all, has made me aware of my body, and how it really feels comfortable.
Atsumi Hara is a wonderful practitioner. She takes the time to explain each step as she goes along so that you fully understand what is happening to you. She has a very intuitive touch, which is fabulous as the process is sometimes unavoidably painful. I must add that even when it is painful, the pain is only momentary and the results are well worth it. I'd recommend Structural Integration to anyone, especially with Atsumi Hara!
Ann O., NYC
I certainly feel that I was able to begin the process of realligning my body. Of course, immediately after most of the sessions I felt an increased range of motion and/or flexibility, and I occasionally felt that we had been able to "release" something.
James F., NYC
I decided to try Structural Integration, an "unconventional" method, in hopes of finding treatment for my recurring back and neck pain. For years, I primarily utilized massages at day spas -- soft treatments which provided temporary relief.
After years of working long hours in front of the computer and carrying heavy bags, I also began to notice that my posture was deteriorating. After a few SI sessions, I felt my body's alignment and posture improve, and I am more grounded and balanced. When I completed my sessions, the pain in my back and neck were gone. There was also a clear difference in how I carried myself. I feel more flexible, and am able to breath with ease. Several months have passed and I continue to be pain-free.
In a very short time, Atsumi was able to identify and address my physical issues, some of which I was not even aware were contributing to my pain. Atsumi kept me informed as we progressed, increasing my comfort level. This encouraged me to continue with the treatment, which can sometimes be difficult. Of course, the fact that I noticed beneficial results also motivated me to keep on going!
Celia R., NYC
I came to see Atsumi Hara because of chronic upper-back pain, expecting to be relieved by deep tissue bodywork. After the first few sessions with Atsumi, I realized that this is not at all what structural integration (Rolfing) is about. During and even between sessions my body/mind was undergoing a process of reeducation of its posture/attitude. My hip joint opened considerably under Atsumi's skilled hands, my upper back seemed to broaden while my spine naturally came back to its upright state. All this happened in only 10 hours, the span of a few months, and actually the process is not over.
As Zen practitioners, we work on our body/heart all the time. But without opening up the fascia, I am now convinced that there is no way we can release our hidden tensions. Thank you so much Atsumi and may your work relieve countless beings.
I had for years endured pain in my right hip and leg, which chiropractors and massage therapists attributed to the quirky position of my pelvis. Their best efforts, however, provided only temporary relief. One day a masseuse suggested I try Rolfing, which I did--and it was successful in totally eliminating the problem!
That was only the beginning of SI's benefits, as it turned out. My posture was improved so that I stand squarely on my feet and my head sits easily on my newly straightened spine. Standing and sitting tall has become natural instead of effortful. Performing sports and exercises is easier, and my body is capable of a greater range of movement.
Some time after completing the basic series, I was at a gathering of lady friends I had known since college (decades ago!), and as we posed for a group picture, I realized with amazement that I was no longer the shortest one in the group--which means that all those "shrinking" women need SI!
Brenda N., Boulder, CO