KMI Structural Integration

I'm happy to be one of the very few therapists in the Triangle area to be able to offer this transformative work to you. Many of you don't know what structural integration (SI) is by that term, but you may have heard of Hellerwork or Rolfing. Before getting into any wordy descriptions of KMI, I'll give you the highlights in layman's terms.

SI is essentially an overhaul for your body's soft tissue. I myself, feel 10 years younger after receiving the KMI 12-series. My body doesn't feel worn down at the end of the day, nor stiff and creaky when I wake. It literally works its way all the way into your bones eventually. If you take a good look at a piece of steak in the grocery, you can easily see what I mean. The 'marbling' pattern is fascia, or the connective tissue that forms all the supportive tissues from blood to bone in our body. This tissue creates sheets, slings, and straps that hold our body together as well as adapt itself to the tasks we do.

The design of KMI is to unwind the strain patterns residing in your bodys locomotors system, restoring it to its natural balance, alignment, length, and ease. Common strain patterns come about from inefficient movement habits, and our bodys response to poorly designed cars, desks, telephones, and airplanes, etc. Individual strain patterns come from imitation when we are young, from the invasions of injury or surgery or birth, and from our bodys response to traumatic episodes.

Beginning as a simple gesture of response, movements can become a neuromuscular habit. The habitual movement forms ones posture, and the posture requires changes in the structure the bodys connective tissue fabric. In other words, a gesture becomes a habit becomes a posture and eventually lodges in our structure. These changes are rarely for the better anything that pulls us out of alignment means that gravity works on pulling us into more misalignment or increased tension to counteract the force. Compensation begets compensation, and more symptoms. KMI is designed to unwind this process and reduce structural stress.

Especially for chronic and long-held patterns, it is not enough to release the muscular holding, though that is definitely a good start. Freeing and repositioning the fascial fabric, along with re-integrating the movement patterns so that they stay easily in their proper positioning, is the job of KMI. In this sense, KMI could be seen as a companion to osteopathic or chiropractic care, but instead of thrusting the bones back into place, we adjust the fascial guy-wires so that they stay in place the new alignment simply becomes part of who you are, not something you have to work at or repeatedly see a practitioner to maintain.

KMI is a wonderful tonic for your posture and movement, but it is no panacea. Do not undertake KMI without medical permission if indicated, or if suffering from a hot (inflammatory) disease. KMI can be remarkably effective for chronic pain patterns of a structural nature, but is not designed as a curative for any disease, or as a first aid remedy for recent injury. Check with your practitioner if you are unsure whether KMI is contraindicated.

You can certainly try out a session of KMI to see if it suits you, but the best, most permanent and progressive results are obtained by undertaking the whole series. You can do the 12-session series within a season, and spread it out over three. Spacing the sessions too close together does not give your body time to absorb the information, whereas drawing the process out too long means you risk losing the momentum essential to the process. A shorter 3 session series is also available.

Typically, the KMI process will begin with a fairly extensive interview about your history and current habits. Most KMI sessions are done in underwear or a bathing suit, without draping. Your practitioner will usually want to observe you standing and walking before the sessions start, in order to assess your current structural patterns. Your practitioner may take photos in order to give you a visual sense of the before and after, since there can be some fairly dramatic changes in your shape. (And sometimes there will not be dramatic visual changes judge your KMI experience by how you feel rather than how it looks.)

KMI work is done on a massage table, or for certain moves on a stool or bench. The practitioner will use his fingers, hands, or arm to contact certain tissues, and then ask you to move in specific ways while he or she opens and repositions those tissues. The process of opening these tissues can involve some burning, like a yoga stretch or exercising some long unused muscles. The pain, if the sensation gets that far, should be short and bearable. Please converse with your practitioner to find the right level of depth for you that allows the maximum value for each session consistent with your comfort. The idea is to achieve a balanced body that is pain-free. You may have to feel some of the stored pain as it leaves your body, especially in traumatized areas. Clients often return once a twice a year for a tune up session, to ease the effects of the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune. Others simply go on to some other maintenance routine such as yoga, Tai Chi, Feldenkrais, a workout routine whatever is appropriate to them. Still others return periodically for a shorter series of sessions, advanced work designed to take the process deeper into your body and your experience.

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From my Clients...

Laurie M. Marston, MD

"Lucian is about as good as it gets!

He is a phenomenal practitioner with a tremendous wealth of knowledge and skills, unlike any other in his profession. I have been a regular client of Lucian's for over 6 years and have had extensive therapies ranging from focused joint treatments to global structural integration/kinetic myofascial integration. His name was originally given to me by one of my trusted nurses and a dear physician colleague who both endearingly referred to him as Lucian The Solution. I now know why!

His knowledge is broad and he uniquely applies multimodal techniques to address each problem a patient encounters. He is professional, extremely well trained, and always stays current with continuing education. His approach to patients is remarkable completely thinking things through and searching for new ways to treat chronic problems.

I personally have never felt better, and as a medical professional myself feel his talents go a long way toward augmenting traditional medical therapy. I feel completely confident referring my own patients to Lucian for treatment of a wide variety of issues. I am also completely confident in disclosing that I will personally continue to be a client/patient of Lucian for a long time to come!"