Postural Integration (PI) is a body-oriented psychotherapy with a focus on awareness and insights. Your body posture reflects your history as well as your present attitudes. Through various kinds of bodywork, including deep massage of connective tissue, PI seeks to address mental, emotional and physical disorders.
How does it work?
The connective tissue (fascia) enclosing your muscles plays an important part in postural problems and body pain. Because the tissue hardens, shortens, thickens and sticks to surrounding tissue, it limits movement and hinders the natural metabolism of muscle. Compromised muscle and connective tissue can originate from using your body in the wrong way or simply moving too little. Another cause can be unresolved emotional conflict. We tend to suppress non-acceptable feelings through breathing less and tensing our bodies.This is a process which starts very early in our lives and at some point it becomes an unconscious habit. Through sharing, movement, body- and breath work, emotional expression and manipulation of the fascia you will reconnect with dysfunctional belief systems and unfinished business from the past. By expressing and processing these issues you will also be able to let go of chronic tension and emotional blocks. The result will be more understanding and insight. Free from old emotional baggage you can communicate clearer and make better choices based on your present needs. You become more aware of who you are and what you want in life.
What happens during a PI session?
The session starts with getting clear on what is going on in the present. With the help of therapeutic interventions and exercises we explore these issues. By following the red thread visible in the here and now we can dive into the past and investigate the origins of the dysfunctional patterns. Understanding where it all started and discharging the leftover emotional load is a major step towards healing. To facilitate the physical and emotional processing, deep massage strokes are used to integrate the experience. At the end we talk about what happened and put things in their right perspective.
What is the origin of PI?
Postural Integration was developed in the 1960's by Jack Painter Ph.D (1933 - 2010), former Professor of Philosophy at the University of Miami. He spent many years exploring humanistic psychology, deep tissue massage, acupressure and gestalt therapy, but it was his experiences with the work of Ida Rolf (Rolfing) and Wilhelm Reich (Vegetotherapy) which inspired him to create this synthesis of bodywork and psychotherapy.
Postural Integration is taught and practised in Europe, USA, Canada, Mexico, South Africa and Australia and is organised within the International Council of PsychoCorporal Trainers (ICPIT).
As part of a PI session, the following techniques may be used: