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What is Structural Integration?

Dr. Ida P. Rolf, PH.D, was the founder of Structural Integration (also referred to as Rolfing). In 1920 she earned a PH.D in Biochemistry from the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Columbia University. She spent twelve years at the Rockefeller Institute researching Chemotherapy and organic chemistry. In the 30s, dissatisfied with the available medical treatments, she researched Osteopathy, Chiropractic, Yoga, Homeopathy, and other modalities to refine her techniques and training program in an attempt to help chronically disabled people.

Structural Integration is an educational process for the body. The main goal in the session is to help the body to rebalance on its center line of gravity. Through touch and movement, the body can be brought into a proper healthy alignment. This systematic process releases stress patterns caused by gravity and the unnatural postures that contribute to impaired functioning.

The practitioner works with the fascia of the body in order to bring about positive change in the human structure. Structural Integration differs from massage and other types of body work in that it does not work with the muscles, but with the fascia, the connective tissue, that supports each muscle. It is the webbing effect of the fascia that gives the body its support and shape. When the support system, or fascia, is balanced, the body becomes flexible, long, elastic, and resilient.

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