Dr. Ida P. Rolf developed the process of Structural Integration as a holistic system combining soft tissue manipulation and movement education to restore the body to its natural state of alignment and balance – by lengthening, restoring, and reorganizing the FASCIA, the connective tissue matrix of the body.
Fascia surrounds and supports all of the muscles, bones and organs in your body in continuous web-like layers. This fascial net, or connective tissue matrix, is the body’s internal system of flexible support – giving it strength and shape. The fascial system responds to injury, chronic tension and habitual movement patterns by shortening from both the forces of gravity and the mechanical forces of habitual movement patterns.
When your fascia shortens, thickens and becomes glue-like, it locks in less-than optimal patterns of strain and pulls your body out of alignment. Dr. Rolf’s work is based on the insight that your body is more at ease and functions most effectively when its structure is balanced along the vertical line of gravity. In this place, gravity gently lifts and supports your body rather than pulling it down. By systematically restoring the integrity of your fascial system, your body becomes aligned and the entire system can be a smoothly functioning and coordinated whole.
Dr. Rolf believed form determines function. Structural Integration can create a more adaptable and supportive form that can function more optimally in the field of gravity.