Structural Integration has long been known for its distinct structural protocols and the Ten Session Recipe. Less has been written with regard to its underlying intention and the logic behind these protocols. Things have changed over the last 40 years and the interpretation of Dr. Rolf’s protocols is often viewed through the practitioner’s personal and professional experiences.
The most basic of Dr. Rolf’s observation is that fascia is the material that holds everything within the body in suspension and that fascia is the medium of change. Structural Integration as a modality is focused upon the adhesion between fascial layers that radically affect a person’s posture, joint biomechanics, movement patterns and balance.
Dr. Rolf observed that fascial envelopes surrounding the outer body and lining its inner cavity are three dimensional and continuous throughout the body. She understood that fascia ‘organizes’ the body into inner and outer three-dimensional envelopes and into segments and compartments, much like the layers of an onion and the segments of an orange. Dr. Rolf taught that there had to be ‘balance and integrity’ between these outer and inner fascial envelopes before people could feel physically supported by their body.
Although Dr. Rolf was not a carpenter, she understood that to support a body in an upright position, its vertical and horizontal components needed to be both plumb and level. Through her teaching, she conveyed that before the body’s inner core could function properly, there must be balance between the body’s horizontal shoulder and pelvic girdles and its spine and vertical center. Building a strong foundation is fundamental to the home’s long-term stability!
Dr. Rolf was not a psychologist but she understood the body’s relationship between form and function and the connection to emotional wellness. Her work in the strictest sense is not psychology, however it is important to understand that a person’s structural integrity (i.e. their sense of balance, stability and inner support) has an enormous impact upon their actions and emotional wellbeing. Form and function are fundamentally interrelated and not causal. This intent supports the process of change emotionally, physically and spiritually.
Structural Integration at its most fundamental level is focused upon supporting the functional integrity of the core’s ability to move and transfer movement and energy through the body’s vertical center! SI explores the fundamental interconnection between structure and function, between the body and the mind, and between our thoughts and our feelings. Structural Integration creates an internal framework for growth that extends beyond the physical and integrates our entire experience of being whole.