"I'm thankful you were brought into my live this past year. I appreciate you and all you've done to help me become a healthier me."
-- Elizabeth Lilley, grade school teacher
Structural Integration, also known as Rolfing, is a science, an art and a discipline of bodywork and movement education created by Dr. Ida P. Rolf through 50 years of study and practice. It is now one of the 20th century's most influential and imitated forms of manual care. Because of the vastness, breadth of its potential, and its uniqueness for each practitioner and recipient, it can be a challenge to articulate. It is truly an experiential process. In its broadest sense, Structural Integration is the objective process by which one comes to balance with the earth's gravitational field along a vertical axis. Subjectively it is a process of embodied awareness.
Dr. Rolf's choiceof “Structural Integration” as the name for her system of transformation was ingenious. All organisms have components that exhibit spatial relationships. It is through organizing and enhancing the efficiency of the components' relationships and interactions that the structure becomes integrated into an organic whole. As with a family, all of the members need to be strong and responsible individuals that are willing to contribute their unique gifts to allow the family as a whole to not only survive, but also thrive. Likewise, it is through evoking the strength and potential of the body's separate entities, while enhancing their communication and relationships, that the full potential of the body unfolds.
The purpose of Structural Integration is to help the body/mind learn how to feel better and move better on its own.
Although Dr. Rolf named her system of body transformation Structural Integration, she also lent her last name to the method. Thus Rolfing and Structural Integration may be seen as one and the same.