Based upon the work of Dr. Ida P. Rolf, Structural Integration is a type of bodywork that focuses on the connective tissue, or “fascia,” of the body. “Fascia” naturally surrounds muscles, muscle groups, blood vessels, organs, and nerves, and is designed to be elastic, moving freely with muscles and bones alike. However, injury, stress, repetitive movements, and the effects of aging can cause our fascia to lose its elasticity and become shorter, tighter, and denser. Hardening over time, fascia even pulls our muscles and skeleton out of alignment, which can cause pain, discomfort, and fatigue.
Structural Integration works to lengthen, stretch, and soften myofascial tissue so as to restore your postural balance, make movement easier , and a feeling more comfortable in your own body.
As such, Structural Integration also aims to affect the whole person—emotionally, physically and energetically—by way of altering the body’s physical structure. An experience with Structural Integration may help release an individual’s potential, promoting positive change, lowering anxiety, improving sleep, increasing confidence, and maturing emotional expression. Structural Integration series can even provide increased body awareness and presence, allowing for a feeling of contentment within your own skin.
Given these complexities, it is paramount that a Structural Integrationist must understand anatomy, physiology, and—most importantly—the anatomy of fascia. Our bodies are a web of fascia. By tracing the lines of that web, one may get a greater understanding of how the body works, why pain travels, and how to visualize a path to healing.