Adaptive Bodywork uses hands-on techniques to manipulate the myofascia (muscles and fascia) to reorganize the body’s structure.

Its goal is to improve postural alignment, balance and flexibility. As a result, it can be excellent at helping with many of the long term chronic problems a lot of people suffer from, like backache, neck and shoulder pain, and can improve our wellbeing and quality of life.

Adaptive Bodywork Structural Integration features:

12 progressive sessions
Each session is normally received 1 or 2 weeks apart over a 3 to 6 month period but can be adapted for each individual’s circumstances. The sessions reorganize the body and build on the previous session to create better alignment, movement and function.

Hands-on techniques
The sessions involve hands-on techniques that manipulate and reorganize the myofascia (muscles and their connective tissue) layer by layer.

Postural assessment
At the beginning of each session, a postural assessment is taken.

The Adaptive Bodywork Structural Integration 12-Series

Adaptive Bodywork Structural Integration enables the AB practitioner to see the soft tissue connections throughout the body. Adaptive Bodywork allows your AB practitioner to see your body as a whole rather than a collection of individual parts.

Adaptive Bodywork Structural Integration aims to integrate all these parts so we can move through life more efficiently. The myofascial system consists of muscles (greek: myo) and the connective tissue (fascia) that intertwines the muscles and forms a continuous web throughout the body.

As the tightness in the myofascia is released, many of the everyday aches and pains and chronic problems that you feel can disappear and your posture can be greatly improved. Movement becomes easier and energy levels improve as your body begins to work more efficiently.

Each session lasts 90 min and builds on the previous sessions so that by the end of the 12 session series, the whole body has been worked on in order to undo restrictions and tightness within the myofascial system.

What to expect

This work is carried out on a massage table with the recipient in their underwear. A typical session will start with me assessing your posture, and then from this visual assessment, will choose which areas are tight and restricted, and work progressively each session in order to undo the tightness and restrictions.

Photos are maybe taken before the first session and at the end of the 12th session as an aid to assessment as well as a reference for the changes that have taken place over the sessions.

First four sessions

The myofascia is in layers throughout our body and the outer more superficial layers, which we call the sleeve, are addressed in the first 4 sessions. These are named the cardinal or superficial lines, or Myofascial Meridians and consist of the front, back, lateral and spiral lines.

Middle four sessions

Once the outer layers of myofascia are released we are then able to work into the deeper myofascia more effectively, and the middle 4 sessions work on these deeper layers which make up our core or deep front line in the Myofascial Meridians.

Final four sessions

The final 4 sessions are the integrating sessions and give us both the chance to go back and readdress areas in the sleeve and core which still need work. These final sessions will also balance the pelvic and shoulder girdles as well as the spine, and integrate the sleeve and core so as they work with each other instead of against each other. You could think of it as joining up the dots or putting things back together in a more organized way.

After the twelve sessions

After the 12 sessions, it is good to have a break from the work, this allows your body and nervous system to settle and continue to integrate the effects of the series. After a period of time, you will be invited back for the occasional top-up session. The short AB 3-Series is a great way to top up the work from the 12 series. You could think of the 3-Series as a mini service for your body and mind supporting the benefits of the full service of the 12-series.

Structural integration has been shown to create ongoing changes for a long time after the initial 12 sessions and there have been further visual improvements in people’s posture a year or more after their initial 12 sessions.

The benefits of the Adaptive Bodywork 12-Series
  • Longer lasting results
  • Improved posture
  • Easier movement
  • Increased flexibility
  • Reduced or complete resolution of pain
  • Less tension
  • Calmer mind
  • More energy
  • Better awareness


1. Who should consider Adaptive Bodywork?

2. Who benefits from going through the Adaptive Bodywork – 12 Series?

3. What Does Adaptive Bodywork feel like?

4. What is the difference between massage and Adaptive Bodywork?

5. How is Structural Integration different than chiropractic?

6. What are Adaptive Bodywork and Structural Integration?

7. What is fascia?

8. What should I wear?

9. How does Adaptive Bodywork work?

10. What happens in a session?

11. What’s a postural assessment?

12. Does Adaptive Bodywork relieve stress?

13. Are there age limits for Adaptive Bodywork?

14. Is Adaptive Bodywork helpful to musicians?

15. Are the changes permanent?

16. Do I have to commit to the whole series?

17. How often should I schedule my sessions?

18. Contraindications and Cautions for Structural Integration work.

19. Do you issue insurance receipts?

20. Will I have “homework”?

21. Can I work out while going through the series?

1. Who should consider Adaptive Bodywork?

According to Dr. Rolf, the originator of Structural Integration, all bodies have some degree of disorder and compensation in their structure; therefore she believed that everyone, children and adults, should receive Structural Integration.

Those who have a history of injury or trauma and notice that the effects of their often minor injuries are beginning to interfere with their everyday lives should consider Adaptive Bodywork. In many cases, these individuals have tried traditional medical treatments or exercise to reduce or counteract the long-term effects of old injuries with varying degrees of success. This group might include former and current athletes, musicians, performers, those engaged in physically demanding jobs, and those who choose not to accept the notion that the quality of their lives must suffer simply because they are aging. All adults of any age who suffer from any limiting physical discomfort can benefit from Adaptive Bodywork, as long as there are no signs of a nervous disorder or a deeper pathology. For most of us, Adaptive Bodywork, combined with appropriate movement therapy, Such as the Functional Movement System Integration offers a long-lasting solution for connective tissue problems.

Even if someone has not experienced injury and/or trauma, Adaptive Bodywork may offer benefits to enhance overall body conditioning and functionality. Whether you are athletic, perform tasks with repetitive motion in daily activity, or are just looking to feel more “at home” in your body, Adaptive Bodywork sessions may restore flexibility, increase balance, revitalize energy, and leave you feeling more comfortable in your body.

Adaptive Bodywork could also be helpful for more than just the physical, including those who find that their physical limitations prevent them from attaining a higher level of spiritual or emotional well-being. For these individuals, Adaptive Bodywork can serve as an educational resource that allows them a more intimate and comfortable relationship with their physical body, which in turn, allows a greater ability to experience heightened awareness. Interestingly enough, as the body transforms physically, it often transforms on other planes as well, so that, while Adaptive Bodywork’s primary focus is the connective tissue system, it frequently has an even more dramatic effect in seemingly unrelated areas such as the cognitive, emotional, or spiritual. Exactly how this happens is still a matter of much debate and speculation. However, the results of the work were of much greater importance than the how or why. The genius of Adaptive Bodywork is that it can affect so many people in so many ways and continue to reveal new possibilities.

2. Who benefits from going through the Adaptive Bodywork – 12 Series?

The Adaptive Bodywork – 12 Series is a wonderful journey for anyone!

Are you looking for more ease of movement?

Are you wanting to feel more balanced?

Are you looking for more body awareness?

Are you looking to reconnect with yourself?

Would you like more resilience in your body?

Do you experience chronic pain and have tried everything?

Do you have an injury that keeps coming back in the form of discomfort?

Do you have a curvature of the spine (Scoliosis)?

Are you wanting to prepare your body before joint replacement surgery?

Have you gone through joint replacement surgery or other types of surgery and would like to reintegrate with your body?

These are a few of the reasons why people take the journey through the Adaptive Bodywork -12 Series. This work has helped people from all walks of life. Gravity has a compressing effect on our bodies every day. Our fascia will mold into whatever support our bodies need within this environment and this work helps to decompress and expand our bodies to help negotiate our surroundings.

Series work helps to initiate change for the better in your posture, your movement, your energy, and your knowledge of how your body works.

3. What Does Adaptive Bodywork feel like?

The process of opening myofascial tissues can be “sensation-ful” and may include feelings of stretch and pressure. The level of sensation is completely under your control. We will work together to find the right level of depth that allows the maximum value for each session.

Several factors determine the level of comfort or discomfort during an Adaptive Bodywork session. One is the degree of trauma in the system; another is how long fascial distortions have been in the client’s body. Long-term distortions create more tenacious and widespread compensatory patterns, which may require more sustained pressure to release.

Another factor is the degree of emotional charge associated with an area of injury or strain. During the therapeutic process, emotional pain is often experienced when deeply held emotional traumas and memories are brought to the surface and processed. Similarly, deep touch can result in a transitory experience of pain that is healing and transformative.

A general guideline for the vast majority of Adaptive Bodywork clients is that the intensity experienced is transitory, moving quickly from brief intensity to a decrease in sensation and finally to an easing of long-standing holdings which can prove both profound and transformative. Continuous communication with the client and pacing the level of intensity are essential, profoundly affecting the client’s reaction to the transitory discomfort when seriously restricted tissue is softened, differentiated, and reintegrated.

Version 2

Each person feels different sensations while we work through the layers of the body whether they feel pain, ticklishness, or it just feels good…like that itch you could never quite reach. I like to define this as “sensationfulness” to include all the various sensations. We work within your range of comfort for your sensations by continuous communication throughout the sessions on how you are feeling. This is key to maximizing the effectiveness of the work.

Many people come in thinking “no pain no gain” but there is a point where the body will guard and protect itself in the presence of too much sensation. We do not want to get to that point or past it.

This work is intended to help you release patterns of sensation that sometimes includes releasing pain. But, this work should NOT inflict pain upon you at any time.

4. What is the difference between massage and Adaptive Bodywork?

Within the context of Adaptive Bodywork, you are called upon to be fully present and actively engaged in the process of creating change within your system

Adaptive Bodywork is best explored fully as a series of sessions. I offer Adaptive Bodywork Structural Integration in 3, 5, and 12 session series

You will be asked to wear minimal clothing and can expect to shift positions several times during the session. Work is performed with you on a massage table, on a mat on the floor, as well as standing and seated.

What Adaptive Bodyworkers do can be summed up in three words: palpation, discrimination, and integration. We palpate, or touch the tissue, feeling for imbalances in tissue texture, quality, and temperature to determine where we need to work. We discriminate or separate fascial layers that adhere and muscles that have been pulled out of position by strain or injury. Finally, we integrate the body, relating its segments in an improved relationship, bringing physical balance in the gravitational field. Other soft-tissue manipulation methods, including massage, are quite good at the first two but do not balance the body in gravity. As Dr. Rolf used to say: “It is easy to take a body apart, but it takes skill and understanding to put it back together.” The true genius of her method is the art and science of reshaping and reorganizing human structure according to clearly defined principles in a systematic and consistent manner for long-term results.

In addition to our skills as structural integrators, we are also educators. The role of the teacher is something every Adaptive Bodyworker takes seriously. In each session, AB therapists seek to impart insights to clients to increase their awareness and understanding, and to help the client make the work we do their own. Our job is to make ourselves obsolete, by empowering our clients to take charge of their own physical and emotional health.

5. How is Structural Integration different than chiropractic?

Ida Rolf and Thomas Myers were influenced by chiropractic in developing their work, in particular the chiropractic observation that structure (your form) determines function (how you feel, how well your body works). Traditional chiropractic has had as its focus the skeletal system. We are most interested in the system of fascia – we believe that a majority of the time, the skeletal system was being pulled out of place by soft tissue, and so the focus of our attention is on the soft tissue (myofascia) instead.

My experience (and that of every Adaptive Bodywork practitioner I know) is that chiropractic and Adaptive Bodywork can work well together and are complementary disciplines.

6. What are Adaptive Bodywork and Structural Integration?

Adaptive Bodywork is a form of Structural Integration informed by the work of Tom Myers, author of Anatomy Trains, and the pioneering work of Ida P. Rolf, Grey Cook, and Lee Burton of Functional Movement systems. Adaptive Bodywork consists of a multi-session protocol (usually 12) of deep, slow, fascial, and myofascial manipulation, coupled with movement re-education. The AB method of structural integration concentrates on doing deep, lasting, and significant work. The AB ‘recipe’ for structural integration is based on the Anatomy Trains Myofascial Meridians. Read more at:

The goal of AB is to unwind the strain patterns residing in your body’s myofascial system, restoring it to its natural balance, alignment, length, and ease. Common strain patterns come about from inefficient movement habits and our body’s response to daily stresses. Individual strain patterns come from the imitation of significant others when we were young, from the invasions of injury or surgery or birth, and our body’s response to traumatic episodes. What starts as a simple gesture of response can become a neuro-muscular habit. These habitual movements form one’s posture, and the posture eventually changes the structure of the body’s connective tissue or ‘fabric’.

Version 2

Structural Integration is a manual therapy that organizes the web of fascia, or connective tissue, in its relationship to gravity. In practice, this means that natural twists, bends, shortenings, and shifts that are the inevitable result of living and moving can unwind, and your body has a more harmonious relationship with itself.

Structural Integration is a type of bodywork that encompasses several schools, among them KMI, Adaptive Bodywork, Rolfing, Soma, and Hellerwork. Each school is a “brand” with a slightly different philosophy, but the general intention of bringing balance and ease to the whole body is the same.

7. What is fascia?

Fascia is the biological fabric that holds us together, the connective tissue network. You are about 70 trillion cells – neurons, muscle cells, epithelia – all humming in relative harmony; fascia is the 3-D spider web of fibrous, gluey, and wet proteins that binds them all together in their proper placement.

Our biomechanical regulatory system is highly complex and under-studied – though new research is filling in the gap. Understanding fascia is essential to the dance between stability and movement – crucial in high performance, central in recovery from injury and disability, and ever-present in our daily life from our embryological beginnings to the last breath we take.

Tom Myers,

8. What should I wear?

You should wear form-fitting clothing. In the Body Reading process we are looking at the compensation patterns of your body and form-fitted clothing allows us to fully understand your unique body patterns. We have you moving throughout the sessions and you get up off the floor or table at times. To prepare the best sessions for you it is helpful if we can see all of your body patterns – hips, ribs, knees, ankles, shoulders, and spine. Draping is available for your comfort during the work.


Full coverage bra and underwear.

Bras or sports bras that have the classic U shape in the back are the best. (It allows us to see the spine in detail)

Shorts that are of a yoga-type material work as well.


Full coverage briefs

Form fitted shorts

Please avoid:

3/4 length pants

Biking material – it is normally very compressive and strong and hard to work through.

Compression type material

Baggy shorts – patterns of the hip are so important and baggy shorts make it difficult to address these patterns to their fullest.

9. How does Adaptive Bodywork work?

Adaptive Bodywork strives to align and balance the body’s components until the entire system is a smoothly functioning coordinated whole. For example, the legs are aligned to the hips, the shoulders to the rib cage, the body is positioned over the feet, and then all of these joints and related tissue are integrated into one another. A few of the many benefits people have experienced are reduced pain, increased flexibility, an enhanced sense of body awareness, and improved posture.

These wonderful transformations are possible because Adaptive Bodywork addresses the body’s internal system of flexible support, otherwise known as fascia. These connective tissues surround every muscle fiber, encase all joints and even have a role in the nervous system. Think of the fascial system as an intricate internal guide wire network for the body. If one set of support wires becomes tight or out of place, the excess tension may appear as nagging joint pain, muscle soreness, or a postural shift.

To correct internal misalignments, an ABSI Therapist uses mild, direct pressure to melt or release facial holdings and allow the body to find health through the re-establishment of balance. It is currently believed that the slow, deep strokes of Adaptive Bodywork stimulate intra-fascial mechanoreceptors (sensory neurons of the muscle nerve), which in turn trigger the nervous system to reduce the tension of the related muscles and fascia.

Put another way, Adaptive Bodywork allows the brain and nervous system to “re-boot” areas of the body that are receiving too much electrical stimulation (chronically tight or sore muscles). Once a healthy level of muscle contraction is established, the person’s entire structure is free to express a pain-free form.

10. What should I expect out of my sessions?

The first session begins with a complete intake of your health history and habits. In every session, we will observe your standing posture to assess your current structural patterns and may have you carry out specific movements to assess your range of motion. Once we establish the patterns, we will apply pressure to contact certain connective tissue layers and then ask you to move in specific ways to open or reposition them. The work is done on a treatment table, on a mat on the floor, or a bench. Because your kinesthetic education is key to the process you will likely be asked to stand up during the session to bring awareness to the physical changes.

Version 2

Typically, the Adaptive Bodywork process will begin with a fairly extensive interview about your history and current habits. Most AB sessions are done in underwear or a bathing suit, without draping (but is available for comfort). Your practitioner will usually want to observe you standing and walking before the sessions start, to assess your current structural patterns. Your practitioner may take photos 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 ABSI experience by how you feel rather than how it looks.)

Adaptive Bodywork is done on a massage table, on the floor, or for certain moves on a stool or bench. The practitioner will use fingers, hands, feet, or arms 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.

Traumatized tissue can also contain emotional pain. Although we are not trained psychologists, your ABSI practitioner has been trained to sensitively work with you around these issues as they relate to your body structure. Feel free to work with your practitioner again to find the right level of work for you.

Each Adaptive Bodywork 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. 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. There is a short article, “Getting the Most From Your AB Sessions”, on the website which can be helpful.

View your AB series as a project, with a beginning, middle, and end; not an ongoing and endless therapy. The initial 4 sessions deal with the superficial layers, the middle 4 sessions with deeper structures, and the last sessions of the AB process integrate the two layers and bring them into everyday movement. Results will continue to accrue after you have finished your final session.

Clients often return monthly or bi-monthly for a ‘tune-up’ session, to ease the effects of the adventure of living an active life. – 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.

11. What’s a postural assessment?

Before, during, and after each session, I’ll look at how you stand and move. I’m not looking for shoulders pulled back or tummies sucked in; I want to see how you are supporting yourself with the resources you have available, what moves easily, and what looks stuck, so I know where to direct my work and how to structure a session.

12. Does Adaptive Bodywork relieve stress?

When people come to Adaptive Bodyworkers, they frequently complain about their high level of stress and how it affects their everyday life. They are seeking some means of reducing their stress. Often, they have explored allopathic means such as muscle relaxants, painkillers, liniments, balms, and other topical treatments. When these treatments fail to achieve a satisfactory level of improvement, those still suffering seek other forms of relief such as exercise, meditation, and yoga…

They may also seek a myofascial (neuromuscular) solution and start receiving regular massages or some other similar soft tissue therapy. In many cases, these therapies are good at providing transitory relief of the physical causes of chronic stress. Those seeking a more permanent solution to the problem are more likely to have success with Adaptive Bodywork Structural Integration.

Adaptive Bodywork creates a higher level of integration in the body, balancing and educating the body and the psyche. As the body approaches balance, it is more comfortable in the gravitational field. As the body becomes more comfortable, physical and emotional stress can diminish. This chain of events is a more typical sequence of events as a body changes during the Adaptive Bodywork process. Ultimately, however, the results as experienced by the client are more important than the process. All clients may experience benefits from Adaptive Bodywork; an important benefit for most is that they become less stressed and more at ease in their bodies.

13. Are there age limits for Adaptive Bodywork?

There are no age limits for Adaptive Bodywork Structural Integration work. There are considerations based on age due to the response of the fascia.

14. Is Adaptive Bodywork helpful to musicians?

Musicians often face several unique physical challenges brought on by years of diligent practice and performance. Sometimes, even the best musicians develop habits that lead to chronic pain, mostly in their hands and wrists, forearms, neck, and shoulders, and lower back. Adaptive Bodywork Structural Integration and Functional Movement Integration can help in several ways. Physical adaptations to a musician’s chosen instrument, including the voice, which often leads to discomfort and imbalance, are normalized in a traditional AB Twelve Series. The Adaptive Bodywork Twelve Series can be specifically adapted to address such patterns as carpal tunnel, chronic muscle imbalances, and long-term effects of odd stances and body positions caused by the exigencies of playing a given instrument. Musicians who have experienced the basic series have consistently noticed profound changes in their level of physical comfort, energy level, and internal awareness. This increased freedom of movement noticeably impacts the performer’s pleasure in performing and often leads to greater creative abilities. Another tool many Adaptive Bodyworkers employ is movement work. Those trained in Functional Movement Systems Integration observe you in the act of playing and call your attention to subtle ways you hold or translate force through your body which reinforce strain patterns that interfere with your performance. The movement teacher’s intention is not to change how you play or to inhibit your unique approach to the instrument. Rather, they help you find creative alternatives to stressful patterns in your current mode of performance.

15. Are the changes permanent?

Ida Rolf claimed that once a person’s body was more balanced in gravity, that gravity would help to reinforce the new posture and the changes wouldn’t fade away with time. What we’ve all found is that the changes gained during the Adaptive Bodywork series are long-lasting for most people – you won’t need to keep re-doing the process.

If you continue to put new stress on your body (for example, continue to sit at the same computer desk or continue the same physical activity), you might want a session now and then to make sure that your body doesn’t start to compensate for the strain again.

Currently, more and more manual therapists work with fascia. “Deep tissue work”, “myofascial release”, and “myofascial therapy” are a few of the names given to such work. What distinguishes Adaptive Bodywork Structural Integration is not the medium in which we work but the goals of our work – organizing the body in gravity. Releasing tight tissue is a method we use, but not the goal itself. The goal is a balanced body that functions more easily and efficiently.

16. Do I have to commit to the whole series?

No, we have many options available including single sessions, a 3 Series, a 6 series, or the complete 12 Series.

17. How often should I schedule my sessions?

Clients looking to accelerate change usually come in weekly during a series of sessions. However, depending on your needs, we can schedule every other week, every three weeks, or even multiple times in one week (a 3-series Monday-Thursday-Monday, for example). Each person “holds” the changes for different periods; some people may like having a couple of weeks between treatments to process changes from the session, and some people may need sessions in quick succession for the best results.

During the 12-series, there are logical points to take a break of up to four weeks, and several sessions that are best grouped. We can discuss timing for your personal needs, but typically breaks are best between sessions 3-4 and 8-9.

18. Contraindications and Cautions for Structural Integration work.

Adaptive Bodywork is a wonderful ‘tonic’ for your posture and movement, but it is no panacea. Do not undertake AB without medical permission if indicated, or if suffering from a ‘hot’ (inflammatory) disease. Adaptive Bodywork 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 a recent injury. Check with your practitioner if you are unsure whether ABSI is contraindicated.

19. Do you issue insurance receipts?

Yes, We issue FQM “Federation quebecois des Massotherapeutes” massage therapy receipts.

20. Will I have “homework”?

Your practitioner will likely make some suggestions about how to maximize the benefits of your session. This could include specific movement exercises, postural awareness tips, breathing techniques, etc.

21. Can I workout while going through the series?

Absolutely! The series brings about more ease and freedom of movement in your body so we encourage you to explore that within the context of your normal physical activities.

Start your journey to structural well being with a comprehensive 90 minute Adaptive Bodywork Session or make it a project with a 3, 6 or 12-series.

Together we’ll explore what’s holding you back.

Together, we’ll set you on a path to a more balanced and integrated life.

Removing Pain from the Human body by Adaptively Reconfiguring the Connective Tissue Support System…

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Are you ready to get started?
Start your journey to structural well being with a comprehensive 90 minute Adaptive Bodywork Session or make it a project with a 3, 6 or 12-series.

Together we’ll explore what’s holding you back.

Together, we’ll set you on a path to a more balanced and integrated life.

3167 St-Catherine St., East
Montreal, Quebec, H1W 2C4, Canada