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Postural Integration (PI) is a process-oriented, body based therapy originally developed in the late 1960s by Jack Painter (1933-2010) in California, USA, after exploration in the fields of humanistic psychology and the human potential movement. The method aims to support personal change and self development, through a particular form of manipulative holistic bodywork.
During his time as Professor of Philosophy at the University of Miami, Painter became interested in working with the body and personally explored many different approaches – massage, acupuncture, Zen, yoga, the work of Ida Rolf and her Rolfing method, Gestalt therapy developed by Fritz Perls, and the theories of Wilhelm Reich in the form of Vegetotherapy. By the seventies he was calling his form of holistic bodywork 'Postural Integration'.
The PI practitioner works with direct deep tissue massage, breath work and energy flow. During sessions spontaneous emotional expression is encouraged. Additional approaches include "bodymind drama" and movement awareness.
In the course of a ten session series modeled loosely on Rolfing's Structural Integration, a session typically 60–90 minutes, the Postural Integration process comprises manipulative soft tissue therapy, reorganization of the deep fascia combined with accupressure, fine energy work and elements from the Five Phases system. The initial seven sessions address specific body areas and focus on releasing defensive armoring habits, characterized as "letting go of the old self."
Postural Integration is taught and practised in Europe, USA, Mexico and South Africa. Postural Integration trainings and trainers are organized within the International Council of PsychoCorporal (Bodymind) Integration Trainers (ICPIT).
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