Rolfing Structural Integration
Structural Bodywork is based on the philosophy that the structure of bodies (primarily the musculo-skeletal structure) is subject to malformation, and that it has the capacity to be reformed into its proper shape. It is also rooted in the philosophy that the movement of the body is influenced by the shape of the body.
All of the bones, muscles, and organs in the body are enveloped and held in place (or out of place) by connective tissue.
Fascia is a type of connective tissue that surrounds muscles, groups of muscles, blood vessels, and nerves, binding some structures together, while permitting others to slide smoothly over each other. Fascia is the all-pervasive prima materia of the body. When the body changes in shape and flexibility it is primarily the fascia that has changed. It has changed in shape and elasticity.
The human body is a tensegrity structure. A tensegrity structure is made up of interrelating continuous tensional and discontinuous compressional components. In bodies, the facial tissue is the continuous tensional component and the bones are the discontinuous compressional components.
It is obvious that the structural integrity of a tensegrity structure will be compromised if a compressional component breaks. A bone break will greatly compromise the human structure. What is less obvious is that excessive shortening or lengthening of a tensional component will also compromise structural integrity.
Once structural integrity is compromised, the shape and movement patterns of the human body will deteriorate over time. This will inevitably lead to a wide variety of maladies including joint, muscular, and nerve pain.
Restoration of the structural integrity of the body is the aim and purpose of Rolfing Structural Integration. Rolfing is a technique, a method, and a system. The technique of Rolfing is applied through a series of bodywork sessions aimed at identifying and correcting areas of fascial hyper-tension and/or hypo-tension. Rolfers are trained to “see” and correct such areas of structural compromise through their training in the Rolfing system of proper structural alignment and movement integration. The result is a body that is structurally more sound and functionally more free.