Rolf Structural Integration

Grace and ease are the natural conditions of the human frame in space. Rolf Structural Integration is a hands-on bodywork method of reorganizing the body, but it is first of all a theory of movement.

The very essence of structural integration, what makes it different from other deep tissue manipulation, is Dr. Ida Rolf’s principle: “hold things where they are supposed to be and induce movement”. It pursues the goal of integrating the whole body in a unified, dynamic relationship with gravity. Awareness, the body’s own experiential awareness, is what enables a change to occur. To be present to touch is to be present in the body and to be aware in the present moment.

Dr. Rolf argued that the major segments of the body should be aligned so that the line of gravity passes through the center of the pelvic floor, up forward of the spinal column, and out through the crown of the head. Rolf Structural Integration organizes the structure of the body through a somatic process of touch and movement.

"Structural Integration: Reawakening Your Core" By Nathan LeBlanc, CMT #70086

At its essence, Structural Integration is movement-oriented deep tissue bodywork. It is most commonly a ten-session systematic approach to working with the connective tissue of the body that can allow for the possibility of more ease of movement, relief from chronic pain and/or enhanced athletic performance. The sessions are a co-creative process in which the client uses the practitioner’s contact, along with specific guided movements to find and release areas of chronic tension or restriction.

The first three sessions are directed at opening and differentiating the “sleeve” of the body, which are the bigger muscle groups that give us power, but can also restrict movement and lead to chronic pain or injury. Sessions four through seven focus on contacting and reawakening the deeper muscles of the “core” that gives a new sense of stability to the “sleeve”. Sessions eight, nine and ten integrate these two “layers” of the body and provide a sense of completion, along with a new way of relating to your body and the way it moves.

The intention for every session is to empower the client by providing a new felt-sense of their body so they can recognize their current movement patterns while finding and exploring new ones.

Here is a brief description of the goals of each session of the Ten Series:

“Sleeve Sessions”
Session 1 - Free the breath, begin balancing the shoulder and hip girdles
Session 2 - Balance and awaken the feet for support
Session 3 - Balance the shoulders, differentiate arms, scapula, and torso

“Core Sessions”
Session 4 - Free and balance the pelvis along the medial leg and thigh
Session 5 - Relate pelvis to the front of the lumbar spine, lengthen/stabilize the lumbar spine
Session 6 - Find a balanced, horizontal pelvis, from the back
Session 7 - Free the head and neck

“Integration Sessions”
Session 8 - Relate the legs to the core
Session 9 - Relate the arms to the core
Session 10 -Integrate both girdles across the core
-Experience the counter-balancing sleeve/core relationship

Although the work is designed as a series, there is great benefit in receiving just one or two sessions.

Nathan LeBlanc currently is a Certified Massage Therapist and Structural Integration Practitioner at The Metta Space in San Diego, California.