WHAT IS STRUCTURAL BODYWORK?
Structural Integration is the name that Ida Rolf PhD gave to her system of bodywork designed to align the structures of the body with gravity. Her approach, commonly called “Rolfing,” focuses on manipulating the fascial system of the body. Fascia is the organ of shape. It is a continuous, three dimensional collagen matrix which surrounds every bone, muscle, muscle fiber, organ, vessel and nerve. Fascia holds our neuro muscular patterns. It is its elasticity, or lack of such, that maintains the shape of our bodies, and our posture. When strained by trauma, injury or habit this fascia toughens and holds the body in less than optimal postures, ones that are taxing to the vitality and efficiency of the whole system. Dr. Rolf’s system is a ten session series of bodywork that unwraps the layers of the body to release postural distortions and then re-aligns the body’s segments to interact with each other in balanced harmony.
Ida Rolf was the originator of Structural Integration (SI.) Several of her graduates advanced her work and added to or altered some aspects of it, calling their work by these names: Hellerwork, Anatomy Trains Structural Integration, Soma, Zentherapy®, Structural Medicine and others. All of these types of bodywork apply a systematic approach to aligning structure, utilize a 10-12 session protocol similar to Rolfing, and fall under the category of Structural Integration.
Ida was famous for many quotes such as
"Some individuals may perceive their losing fight with gravity as a sharp pain in their back, others as the unflattering contour of their body, others as constant fatigue, yet others as an unrelentingly threatening environment. Those over forty may call it old age. And yet all these signals may be pointing to a single problem so prominent in their own structure, as well as others, that it has been ignored: they are off balance, they are at war with gravity." Ida Rolf