Structural Integration is a scientifically validated method of restructuring the body through movement and touch. It was founded by Dr. Ida P. Rolf, who developed a system of organizing the body, enabling it to let go of holding patterns and habitual stress.
Structural Integration (SI), which is sometimes called Rolfing, considers gravity, physical structure, and individual habits (such as work-related posture and physical activities) to bring a person into his or her vertical alignment.
Benefits of Structural Integration
Each structural integration session is designed to release areas of the body under strain and re-educate the body to stand and move freely and easily. The various goals and teachings of each session are unique to each body. At the completion of 10 sessions, the body is better balanced in gravity and more at ease with itself
and its environment. Chronic pain and discomfort are often alleviated and replaced with a feeling of fluidity and lightness.
This is the gospel of Rolfing: “When the body gets working appropriately, the force of gravity can flow through. Then, spontaneously, the body heals itself.”
–Dr. Ida P. Rolf
People who have experienced structural integration report:
Increased flexibility and coordination
Improved postural alignment
Relief from chronic pain
Released stored emotional and physical trauma
Increased overall energy and stamina
Heightened body awareness
Improved athletic performance
Structural Integration works on the physical body. It can manifest in other areas of life, including the emotional, mental, creative, and spiritual.
“A client comes because his ‘neck hurts’. Maybe his neck does hurt, but Rolfers are specialists in a non-fixit job. We create a less strained whole man.” –Dr. Ida P. Rolf
How Does Structural Integration Work?
A typical session begins with a “body reading” during which the practitioner assesses the client’s structure. What the client is feeling in his/her body and what the practitioner sees helps determine which changes they will work toward to help improve vertical alignment and balance within the client’s body and within its relationship to the field of gravity.
The practitioner uses various amounts of physical pressure to release areas in the body that are under strain and to lengthen and direct connective tissue to align the major segment s of the body (head, neck, torso, pelvis, legs, and feet). As a result, the body feels lighter and freer. The practitioner may use verbal instructions to teach the client to move in a new, more efficient way. Ultimately, the learning experience that takes place is the client learning about himself or herself. The session ends with another body reading whereby the practitioner can observe what changes have taken place. These changes often occur during, after and in between sessions as time helps the work to integrate into the client’s structure and personal experience.
Over a series of 10 sessions, the practitioner and client work together to let go of poor postural habits and unwind holding patterns that cause the body strain and teach it to move, breathe, and live in ways that are balanced, free and upright.
“Rolfing is a process that continues long after the work has been completed.” –Dr. Ida P. Rolf