What is Postural Integration® or PI?
PI (pronounce: piː aɪ) is a by door Jack Painter developed method that in itself is an integration of a number of other techniques and therapeutic methods. We assume the body and mind to be one and not two spearate entities (together with the soul). We call this the “bodymind“.
The deep fascia-strokes, that are based on Ida Rolf’s Rolfing® are being used to make someone conscious of one ‘fixed patterns’ – that can be regcognised in someone’s characteristic posture – and to help the bodymind to evolve to a more grounded, gracious, harmonic and centered posture.
This posture is mirrored in the behaviour, relationships and in one attitude towards life. We strive for, and also see, that one’s attitude really changes when the posture changes.
Breathing is another important aspect where we focus on. How free or how restricted is the breath? Is the breath superficial, high or full. By breathing ‘into the strokes’ (sending one’s attention to the body part that is undergoing the stroke, synchronised with the breath) the body becomes more free. If the body becomes more free, the breathing can be automitcally deeper and more full. This is a kind of circle.
In PI we use elements from bio-energetics (by Alexander Lowen and John Pierrakos), and definitely elements from Wilhelm Reich’s work. Reich’s characterstructures, that were evolved by Lowen en Pierrakos, are a basic structure in the every sessions, although not always visible for the client.
Furthermore, we can work with Gestalt-dialogs to get inner contradictions (or little wars) to the surface and make them ’round’ again; we use psychodrama if necessairy and at all times emotional expression. Each kind of energy may be present. Fear, anger, sadness, shame, but also happiness have there place.
It is about recognising what is natural, what is ‘normal’ in an organic sense. Because the emotions are allowed to take their place, they also make room for others, so that what might been trapped may be released and a more dynamic organism results (again). This is the path to naturalness, or ‘out-of-it’s-self-ness’ (“vanzelfheid” in Dutch) as I like to call it.
An important difference with many forms of therapy is that the PI therapist is present as himself, of course with the method as a guideline, and he follows the client in the direction that his or her bodymind indicates that it wants to go, on the way to more love, more freedom, more responsibility, more or deeper insight into one’s own motivations, more and more free movement, more joy, more feeling, more firmness, more flexibility, and much more more.
That brings me to the questions why you would want to follow a PI therapy process and how long such a process takes.