What is the difference between Rolfing and Structural Integration?

“Rolfing” is the trademarked term used by members of the Rolf Institute for Structural Integration to describe Dr. Rolf’s 10 session protocol. Non-members of the Rolf Institute that practice Dr. Rolf’s 10 session protocol call their work simply Structural Integration. Some practitioners also describe Dr. Rolf’s protocol as “The Rolf Method of Structural Integration” or as Dr. Ida P. Rolfs Method of Structural Integration.

Is Structural Integration painful?

The simple answer is yes, it can be painful at times. Practitioners of Structural Integration often use a lot of force in order to release (unglue) adhesions between muscles and between muscle and bone. Pain associated with releasing these adhesions can be greatly lessened when the client is actively involved in moving their own body and by breathing techniques that remind the client to let go of contracted muscles.

Where can I find a Structural Integration practitioner in my area?

A listing of certified Structural Integration practitioners can be found on the IASI (International Association of Structural Integrators) website: www.theIASI.org

What is the difference between Structural Integration and Chiropractic?

As a generalization most Chiropractors do little or no soft tissue mobilization (ungluing of muscle, tendons or ligaments). Chiropractic, again as a generalization, focuses primarily upon the alignment of the spine and upon easing strain upon the spinal nerves resulting from poor spiral alignment. Practitioners of Structural Integration focus upon improving a persons’ overall posture and function. By remobilizing the body’s muscles and soft tissue layers, joints can be untwisted, bones can and will shift their positions and long term structural imbalances can be resolved.

What is the difference between Structural Integration and massage?

Structural Integration is defined by a 10-session organizational protocol and the intent to effect a client’s overall posture and movement patterns. What sets Structural Integration apart from massage is the unique organizational viewpoint and focus on releasing layers of connective tissue. 

Are the changes obtained by Structural Integration permanent?

The simple answer is yes….but, it takes more than Structural Integration for people to effect change in their lives and body. Structural Integration is very powerful and highly effective at improving a person’s range of motion and posture.Teaching a person new ways of moving, breathing, and helping them release emotional holding patterns held within their body is also critical.

What is the difference between Structural Integration schools or training programs?

There are about 18 IASI approved schools in the world that teach Structural Integration. There is some general agreement that it takes a minimum of 350 hours of training to learn the 10-session Structural Integration recipe.Most programs require prospective students to have graduated from a massage therapy program with a minimum of 500 hours of training. All of the major schools will offer you an opportunity of observe and to practice each of the 10 Structural Integration sessions in a supervised clinical setting.The difference between programs lies mostly in the varying amount of time devoted to hands-on supervision, the number of class models student practitioners are required to take through this 10-session series, and the cost of each program.