The 12 series requires commitment, but is certainly a journey that is worth your time. It is a great way to truly get to know the physical body you inhabit, the energetic body that inhabits you, and is a great introduction in how to weave the two into a more balanced, stable structure.
KMI is a form a structural integration which was originally developed by Ida Rolf. KMI work is typically done in a series of 12 sessions: the first four sessions address the superficial layers, the middle four address the core or deep layers, and the final four are considered integrative.
In a typical anatomy class we are taught that muscles begin and end at specific points on the bones that make up our skeleton. This way of thinking about the body is becoming less and less effective. Yes, muscles start and stop at specific articulations of bones, but as Tom Myers has discovered and discussed, it’s not that simple. Your hamstrings, for example, start at your sit bones/ischial tuberosities and insert just below your knee.
Through various dissections, Myers and others have discovered that the myofascial connection of the hamstrings is vast. Parts of the myofascia of what we call ‘the hamstrings’ do start at the sit bones, but a huge part of that unit continues up the back of the body and merges with the sacrotuberous ligament. It also continues down the back of the body.
As mentioned, part of the myofascia connects just below the knee, but a huge part of it also merges with our calf muscle, known as the gastrocnemius. These myofascial connections in the body are what Myers has termed the Anatomy Trains.
The KMI series focuses on bringing these myofascial connections out of whatever poor postural alignment your body is stuck in, and back to a supportive, sound structure.
Superficial Sessions: Sessions 1-4
A brief run down of the first four superficial sessions (please note that superficial means superficial in depth of your body, not meaning “light in touch”):
Session 1 is where we focus on the Superficial Front Line of the body. The Superficial Front Line is a myofascial connection that runs up the front of your body: from the tops of your feet, to your hips, up the front of your pelvis, continues up the front of the body, and ends at the neck.
Session 2 we focus on the Superficial Back Line of the body. The Superficial Back Line is a myofascial connection that runs down the back of your body: it starts at the bottom of the feet, runs up the back of the body, loops over the top of the head and ends at your eyebrows!
Session 3 we focus on the Lateral Line of the body, or the side of the body. This is considered the stabilizing line.
Session 4 is the complicated Spiral Line. The Spiral Line is a myofascial line that wraps your body in what looks like a ribbon. This Spiral Line houses your compensatory twists.
Core Sessions: Sessions 5-8
The four core sessions have a slightly different flavor to them:
Session 5 is the lower Deep Front Line. This session focuses on the inner leg line and includes attention to the infamous psoas muscle.
Session 6 is the upper Deep Front Line. This session focuses on deep work in the upper body and includes the psoas (again!), the anterior longitudinal ligament of the spine, and some work under the rib cage.
Session 7 is the Deep Back Line. In this session we work with the smaller and deeper muscles of the spine, where deep patterns are held.
Session 8 is the session that gets the most requests for a repeat. This is the Intra-Oral session. We work with the fascia of the neck and face, and (with gloves) in the mouth and nose.
Integrative Sessions: Sessions 9-12
The final four sessions are typically done within the force of gravity (off the table):
Session 9 is the first of the integrative sessions. We have a look at the legs and continue to work with the lower half of your body. When we look at you within the force of gravity and while moving, we are able to integrate you further into this new posture.
Session 10 is from the waist up. We work the upper body as we worked the lower body in session 9.
Session 11 is an entire session dedicated to the arms and hands. In a culture such as ours, that texts and types on a computer as much as we do, this is a essential session for the modern body.
Session 12 is the grand finale where we tune up any part of the body that still needs a reminder of where it needs to be and what we want it to be doing.