KMI, Kinesis Myofascial Integration, is a form of Structural Integration manual therapy that brings about lasting change in the body. It was developed by Thomas Myers, originator of the Anatomy Trains myofascial meridian system. Tom was a student of several extremely influential teachers of the 20th Century:
- Dr. Ida Rolf, creator of Rolfing and originator of the field of Structural Integration Therapy.
- Moshe Feldenkrais, the movement educator.
- Buckminster Fuller, architect and systems theorist and co-originator of the tensegrity model of force distribution.
KMI Structural Integration is designed to restore the individual’s structural balance and ease of movement by releasing restricted or fibrotic fascia, addressing muscle imbalances, and awakening differentiated motor and sensory awareness within the body.
Each session begins with BodyReading, a form of postural analysis that looks at the relative position of the body’s segments in gravity. Posture does not reveal everything, but it does provide a critical baseline of information on what your body considers to be neutral. Analysis of simple movements will be used for more information and clarity. Based on the assessments, together with your areas of interest, we create a plan for the session.
Within each session, most of the work is done on a massage table. There is also some seated work, and some standing work. The techniques are hands-on, but certain movements, as well as qualities and subtleties of movement, will be called for. In this way, sessions are a collaborative process.
The KMI Series is based on the Anatomy Trains lines. These myofascial lines run longitudinally, from head to toe, distributing forces across segments of the body.
There is a logical protocol to the arc of the series.
Sessions 1-4 focus on the superficial lines of the body also known as the “sleeve.” These sessions include the larger muscle groups.
Sessions 5-8 focus on the deep core, culminating with work on the the head, neck, and face in session #8. The combination of a balanced sleeve and core creates increased energy, greater efficiency and ease with movement.
Sessions 9-12 are the integration sessions, bringing together the work of the previous 8 sessions and exploring the body in motion to integrate and reinforce the new patterns.
Although the series has an end, the changes in your structure will continue over the course of the next year. All the tissues of the body are constantly adjusting and responding to each other. During and after the series, you will experience that conversation throughout your body. You can expect to feel greater resilience, lightness and ease in your body, and consequently in your life.
Each session is approximately 90 minutes in length. Because the sessions build on each other they should be scheduled 1-2 weeks apart but not more than a month apart.
Individual Session Details
The Sleeve Sessions (1-4)
Session 1: Superficial Front Line
The initial session focuses on releasing tensions in the superficial muscles and fascia of the front of the body. This includes the quads, rectus abdominis, and pectorals major, as well as initial work with balance of the arches and position of the neck and head. There is an overall focus on creating lift through the front of the body, opening the breath, and releasing the shoulders back.
Session 2: Superficial Back Line
The second session works with the superficial muscles and fascia on the back of the body. This session includes work on the spinal muscles (erectors spinae), back of the shoulders, hamstrings, calves, and plantar fascia of the feet. In addition to the work on the table, we begin more focused work with the back in gravity (seated) to balance the curves of the spine. In addition to the postural goals of the session there is also a focus creating a sense groundedness.
Below you can see a video by Dr. Brian Abelson discussing the Anatomy Trains Superficial Back Line itself, as well as how strain is communicated throughout the line. This explains one mechanism through which a release in one area can have effects quite distant.
Session 3: The Lateral Line
The third session we work the structures on the sides of the body. This includes many stabilizing structures including the IT band and abdominal obliques, as well as stabilizers of the foot, rib cage, shoulder and neck. The third session completes the arc around the body and engages the stabilizing muscles and fascia to support the work of the first two sessions.
Session 4: The Spiral Line
As the name implies, this session works with the rotational patterns of the body. The Spiral Line intersects the previous three lines, creating direct communication of tensional forces between them. The dynamic nature of this line relates the established foundation of stability with functional human movement patterns, such as the adaptability of the arches of the feet and contralateral patterns of running and walking.
This session completes the superficial work, and opens the way to working with the core.
The Core Sessions (5-8)
Session 5: Lower Deep Front Line
The first core session works with the inner line of the legs to create support for the knees and pelvis from the feet up. We work with the deeper muscles of arch support, the adductors, and stabilizers of the pelvis to balance the hips. This session includes initial work with the iliacus and psoas.
Session 6: Abdominal and Thoracic Core
In this central region of the Deep Front Line we continue the work of releasing restrictions between the pelvis and the base of the neck. The session addresses the psoas, iliacus, quadratus lumborum, and respiratory diaphragm to create support for the lumbars and a stable base for the torso. The session also includes deep work for the rib cage and abdominal areas through release of fascial adhesions in the visceral spaces.
Session 7: Deep Back Line
The seventh session balances the work of the previous two core sessions by opening the deep back musculature (intertransversarii), addressing spinal alignment in greater detail, to allow the healthy mobility of each vertebral segment of the spine. This session also addresses balance of the sacrum and SI joints, through work with the deep rotators of the hips.
Session 8: Upper Deep Front Line
The primary goal of the session is to balance the head and neck on top of the body. This session is entirely unique to Structural Integration, and includes release for the cranium. In this session we work with the deep myofascial structures of the visceral and motor cylanders of the neck, balance of jaw musculature, asymmetry of the cranial bones, facial muscle tension, and work to open the breath and sinuses.
Integration Sessions (9-12)
Session 9: Integrating the Lower Body
In this session we address imbalances across all Anatomy Trains lines, core and “sleeve” together, of the lower half of the body. As we move into the integration phase of the series, we begin targeted work in gait and other functional movement patterns (depending on individual needs), to ensure that the body utilizes the newly opened fascial tissues. This session especially addresses how the pelvis moves in gait as well as the balance and alignment of the joints of the legs.
Session 10: Integrating the Torso and Breath
In this session we focus on stabilizing and balancing the torso, addressing the balance of all lines through the upper body. The goal is to support natural movement and physiological functions, most notably the breath.
Session 11: Integrating the Shoulders and Arms
In this session we settle the shoulders over the now more balanced ribcage. Using the four lines of Superficial and Deep Front Arm Lines, and the Superficial and Deep Back Arm Lines we trace the myofascial relationships from their roots in the torso and neck to the hands. We work with freeing myofascial as well as neuro-vascular restrictions the arms and shoulders to allow the arm greater and ease and function of movement.
Session 12: Balancing the Lines and Completion
The final session of the series aims to bring balance between all segments of the body, considering all of the Anatomy Trains lines together. In this session we zoom out, look at the global picture, and tie up loose ends to complete the foundational work of the 12 Series.