KMI Structural Integration at the Centre for Soft Tissue Pain
KMI (Kinesis Myofascial Intergration) is a new way of exploring your body and its structural relationships (what used to be called ‘carriage’), and initiating change for the better in your posture, your movement, your energy, and your knowledge of how your body works. Our certified Structural IntergrationCM therapist, Nadine Samila, offers three ways for you to explore this exciting technique.
- An 90 minute session to introduce you to the process
- A series of three progressive appointments
- A series of twelve progressive appointments
If you are new to bodywork and have no real experience with hands-on therapy, then an introductory session may be the way to start. The KMI 3-series is also a great introduction to structural bodywork. The 3-series will use the KMI principles and techniques to address the pelvis girdle and legs, the upper body and the shoulders, and the neck and spine respectively, giving you a good introduction to yourself and the method. The full KMI program (a twelve session series) works its way through your body in a more detailed and thourough way. For the best results, we recommend the full 12-series, but you will definitely get a good idea of the direction and the results from this initial 3-series.
KMI is a wonderful ‘tonic’ for your posture and movement, but it is no panacea. Do not undertake KMI without medical permission if needed, and let your practitioner know about anything medical that might be relevant to your sessions. 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 or as a substitute for medical attention where needed. Check with your practitioner if you are unsure whether KMI is contraindicated for your situation.
The KMI process begins with a fairly extensive interview about your history and current habits. Most KMI sessions are done in underwear or a bathing suit, Your practitioner will usually want to observe you standing and walking before the sessions start to assess your current structural patterns. With your permission, your therapist will take photos in order to create a visual record of the ‘before’ and ‘after’ for since there can be visible changes in your shape (and sometimes not – judge the work by how you feel).
The KMI work itself is done on a treatment table, or for certain moves on a specialized bench. The practitioner will use his finders, hands or arm to contact certain tissues, and then ask you to move in specific ways while these tissues are opened and repositioned.
The process of opening our myofascial tissues can be ‘sensation-ful’: involving feelings of stretch, or perhaps some burning, as in a yoga stretch or when exercising long unused muscles. The level of this sensation is in your control, and entirely up to you. 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 from each session consistent with your comfort and acceptance. The idea is to achieve a balanced body that is pain-free. You may have to feel some of the stored pain as it is released from your body, especially in traumatized areas.
Traumatized tissue can also contain emotional pain. Although we are not practicing psychologists, your KMI practitioner has been trained to sensitively work with you around these releases as they relate to your body structure. Again, feel free to work with your practitioner to find the right level of work for you. Emotional feelings related to the work may come up during the sessions or between them.
Each KMI session deals with a different fascial plane or set of relationships in the body, progressively working around the body and from superficial to deep and back again. Your practitioner may not work where you are reporting the symptoms, as the patterns that feed that problem are body-wide. A whiplash, for instance, is a problem of the neck for some days, a problem of the whole spine within a few weeks, and is linked to a whole body pattern within a few months.
It is not unusual to have odd feelings—physical or emotional—between sessions. Please contact your practitioner if they are cause for concern. Often, old long-forgotten pains will resurface for a time (this is a positive sign that the process of unwinding is well underway). Your practitioner has a short pamphlet, “Getting the Most from Your KMI Sessions”, which can be helpful.
View your KMI series as a project, with a beginning, middle and an end: not an ongoing and endless therapy. Clients often return after this series for the full 12-series, or once or twice a year for a ‘tune up’ session to ease the effects and stresses of everyday life. Others simply go on to some alternative maintenance/workout routine (such as yoga, Pilates, Tai Chi, Feldenkrais) that is appropriate for them.