Rolfing® Structural Integration (SI) is a holistic approach to addressing the body as it relates to the force of gravity.
What does this mean?
It means that if gravity cannot flow through the center of us, then we will forever be at odds with it. Rolfers™ look for opportunities to reduce structural and functional inhibitions, so that they may increase ease in your relationship with gravity and your environment.
Fascia and your Nervous System
Our inroad to your body system is fascia and nervous tissue. Fascia is a network of connective tissue that permeates every organ, bone, blood vessel, and nerve you have. It is known in the SI world as the “organ of support”. It’s a bit like a thee-dimensional spider web that weaves and wraps it’s way through you as the tensional “scaffolding” on which you grow and mature as an organism. Fascia varies in texture, directionality, thickness, and even contractability. Your nervous system goes everywhere your fascia does. It listens to all the receptors throughout your web of fascia and other tissues to inform your brain about the ever-shifting picture of your internal landscape.
Have you ever people watched? Of course you have. Isn’t it fascinating? Everybody moves differently. We all have our own signature patterns. These are different because we’ve all lived out very different life experiences. It takes however long you’ve lived and just the right circumstances to move how you move. A Rolfer™ looks at these very subjective patterns and sees the details of your relationship with gravity and your environment.
Why is this important?
Because your relationship with gravity is directly related to how you move and hold yourself- and the amount of effort it takes you to sit up, stand, and move through your world every day.
What are Rolfers™ doing?
We listen. By this I mean paying attention to your process. We enlist our senses- sight, sound, and touch while working with you so that we have a holistic view of how you move. We listen to what you say. We watch and feel for restrictions and inhibitions. We try to get a detailed three-dimensional picture of how you move through the world-both internally and externally.We assess. We see what is working and what could use a little help. We identify what is resource, what is lesion, and what is inhibition- both structurally and functionally, and what’s the best way to facilitate and evoke the changes that will bring ease to your everyday existence. We work. As we listen and assess, we work with you by manipulating, calling for movement from your body structures in a way that brings awareness, differentiates the structures and patterns of movement, and integrates the “structures” to be one collaborative system. Each structure and system in your body relies on all other structures and systems to function in a healthy way. A body that is not integrated is at risk of illness. Ida Rolf once said: “This is the gospel of Rolfing: When the body gets working appropriately, the force of gravity can flow through. Then, spontaneously, the body heals itself.”
But there’s something more. We can talk about structure and function and gravity all day long. And these are the nuts and bolts of what we do and how we work. But the essence of Rolfing is the connections that are made. The connections internally and externally. The awakening of sensation and presence of experience. The enlivening of your body and your relationship with the environment you exist in.
My personal philosophy as a Rolfer™ is that Rolfing® SI evokes a presence of mind and body in relationship. It wakes us to the realization that we are alive 24 hours a day. What we do and how we live is manifest in our bodies. The way we carry ourselves, the way we feed ourselves, the time we allow for rest and the challenges we take on shape our relationship with our environment.
The truth is we have an astonishing capacity to live fully. And Rolfing® SI is a springboard to experiencing our life process in ways our bodies haven’t completely forgotten.