What is Structural Integration?

Structural Integration is the original work of Dr. Ida P. Rolf, which is now commonly called Rolfing.

The Human Form _ Structural Integration
Moodville | Dreamstime.com

Structural Integration is designed to restore a person’s body to its natural state of alignment in relationship to the constant force of gravity. Results include improved posture, flexibility, balance, and movement. Better organization in the body is achieved by direct manipulation of the connective tissue “fascia combined with movement education. Over time, under the influence of the constant force of gravity, bodies become less organized and more restricted. Stress, injury, trauma and poor postural habits will contribute to structural imbalances. Structural Integration takes into account these imbalances that have accrued over a lifetime, and provides a series of  10-12 sessions, or sometimes individual sessions, to return the body to a more natural state of alignment.

person receiving a SI treatment
Miltudog | Dreamstime.com

Dr. Rolf originally called her work Structural Integration. In the 1960’s when Dr. Rolf was teaching at Esalen Institute in Big Sur, California, many people began to call her work Rolfing. When the Rolf Institute was formed, the term Rolfing was trademarked. There are currently 8 schools of Structural Integration, all based on Dr. Ida. Rolf’s principles, none use the term Rolfing.

I studied under highly regarded Rolf therapist Thomas W. Myers, founder of Kinesis Myofascial Integration(KMI). To gain a better understanding of KMI Structural Integration you may want to refer to www.anatomytrains.net or to Tom’s wonderful book called “The Anatomy Trains.


leaf falling _ gravity
Moemrik | Dreamstime.com

The field of gravity is an unseen force that is consistently interacting with the human body. Structural Integration aims to re-educate the human body so that it lives and moves in harmony with the field of gravity rather than being in constant conflict with gravity. As a fish lives in the medium of water, humans live within the gravitational field. Harmony with gravity enables that medium to become a supporting and energizing factor.

Ditchfield Physical Therapy
516 Bloomfield Ave, Suite #5
Montclair, NJ 07042

email: rditch@gmail.com
phone: 201-888-0444

Structural Integration quote by Ida P. Rolf