CORE Structural Integration
The most intensive program of the CORE Institute, CORE Structural Integration consists of 40 days of training with George P. Kousaleos in the 10 sessions of the discipline of Structural Integration, a system of structural and functional improvement that was originally developed by Ida P. Rolf in the mid-20th Century. Each of the 10 sessions focuses on a specific region of the body, gradually working with deeper layers of myofascial tissue and affecting the more intrinsic structures of the musculoskeletal system.
CORE Structural Integration has added more detailed clinical protocols to each session and focuses on both client-education exercise strategies that improve neurosomatic awareness and the utilization of efficient practitioner body mechanics that maintain optimal force and pressure through leverage.
The 40 days are broken into combinations of 4-day seminars. Each seminar teaches the theory, anatomy and clinical protocols for one session. Student practitioners receive instructional manuals that outline the protocols of each session. Classes include lecture and discussion on the theory, anatomy, clinical protocols and neurosomatic awareness exercises of each session, followed by observation of two demonstration sessions by George Kousaleos. Student practitioners then exchange the session and finally practice the session on two in-class clients.
The 4-day seminars can be taught in single(4 days), double (8 days) or triple (12 days) classes. Student practitioners are expected to practice the sessions with three outside clients in between the scheduled seminar classes.
The 10 Sessions - Extrinsic, Intrinsic, and Integrative
Extrinsic Phase - Sessions 1-3
- Session One - The goals of Session One are to expand respiratory function while improving the structural alignment of the pelvis and shoulder girdle. This session works on the full thoracic ribcage(anterior, lateral and posterior) with focus on the costal margin, sternum. clavicle, pectorals, scapula and rhomboids. The pelvic/lumbar segment starts the process of releasing restrictions of pelvic movement, reducing anterior rotation, and increasing the pliability and length of the iliotibial band and the thoracolumbar fascia. Session One lengthens the body's anterior line.
- Session Two - The goals of Session Two improve foundational balance and movement capability by focusing on the knee, calf, ankle, foot, toes and arches of the lower leg. This session begins the structural realignment of the relationship of the knee to the ankle and foot. External rotation of the lower leg is minimized, while habitual locking of the knee joint(s) is reduced. Clients experience increased balance of weight distribution from the plantar aponeurosis and arches of the foot. Standing, walking, and jumping become more effortless. Session Two lengthens the posterior leg line.
- Session Three - The goals of Session Three include releasing deeper tension in the lumbar, iliofemoral, lateral thorax, deltoid, trapezius and lateral cervical region. Session Three improves pelvic positioning and lengthens the lateral line of the full body.
Intrinsic Phase - Sessions 4-7
- Session Four - The goals of Session Four focus on improving the alignment of the medial line of the leg while releasing tension throughout the pelvic floor. This session works specifically on the medial arch, the medial calf and knee, with a focus of deeper work on the adductors. Work on the sacrotuberous ligament improves the pelvic position and frees restrictions of the sacrum. Session Four lengthens the medial line of the leg.
- Session Five - The goals of Session Four focus on releasing deep tension in the rectus abdominus and quadriceps, with deeper focus on the psoas and iliacus. Improvements to the pelvic position and lumbar length are expected. Session Five increases the overall length of the deep "core" line.
- Session Six - The goals of Session Six includes releasing the deepest tension in the posterior leg, from hip to calcaneus. and deeply working the full length of the erector spinae group. Improvements are focused on lengthening the full posterior line while increasing range of movement in the rotational abilities of the iliofemoral joint. Session Six lengthens the full posterior line.
- Session Seven - The goals of session Seven focus on improving the alignment and freedom of movement of the cervical column, while releasing tension in the myofascial structures of the cranium and face. This session works with the intraoral tissues of the roof and floor of the mouth, as well as the tissues of the temporomandibular joint. Intranasal techniques for the nasal cavities improves breathing. Session Seven lengthens the posterior cervical line while improving neck and head alignment.
Integrative Phase - Sessions 8-10
- Session Eight - The goals of Session Eight focus on integrating the myofascial tissues that surround the pelvis and legs, while increasing balance between lateral to medial, front to back, and outside to inside lines of alignment. The psoas is revisited with an emphasis on better balance between right and left sides, reducing chronic rotational patterns of the lumbar and pelvic regions.
- Session Nine - The goals of Session Nine focus on integrating the myofascial tissues of the thorax, shoulders, arms and neck. Specific work is accomplished for the arms and hands, increasing the potential for ambidexterity. The psoas is again revisited with the goal of increasing trunk flexion and hyperextension.
- Session Ten - The goals of Session Ten are created by the client and practitioner after evaluating the structural alignment improvements that have been realized during the first nine sessions. Focus areas are often the attachment sites of the axial skeleton to the upper and lower appendicular skeleton, the paraspinals and sacrum, the cervical column, the plantar aponeurosis, and the abdominal cavity.