"[Ben Hanawalt] has helped my husband more than any other therapist he has been to [since his stroke]." - BL

Structural Integration . The Ten Series . Benefits . FAQ . Ida Rolf . Your Practitioner . Resources

"If you can imagine how it feels to have a fluid, light, balanced body, free of pain, stiffness and at ease with itself and earth's gravitational field, then you will understand the goals of Structural Integration." -- Ida P. Rolf PhD

What is Structural Integration (SI)? SI is a somatic therapy developed from the roots of Osteopathy and Hatha Yoga. With the intention of restoring balance and function, SI utilizes fascial manipulation, awareness, and movement education. Gravity is a powerful and ubiquitous force in our lives that can either support us like the rock sculpture above, or drag us down. The stresses of daily life, physical injuries, unhealthy movement patterns and attitudes are things that can take a toll on one’s physical structure. In a misaligned state, the body's valuable resources are used inefficiently, laboring to keep a person upright. Over time, the body will shorten, tighten and twist to accommodate stresses, creating stiffness, pain, fatigue and lack of well being. When that happens, we loose our potential for the grace and ease of Expansional Balance, and often rationalize that discomfort to ourselves as the inevitable effects of getting old. Structural Integration changes all that.

The Four Parts of Expansional Balance as described by Ed Maupin, PhD in "A Dynamic Relationship to Gravity".

"Opening Movements of the Michuan T'ai Chi Sword Form", Self-Portrait and Study of Expansional Balance.

What does that mean?

  • For an Retired Gentleman who had suffered a Stroke and was unable walk even after a year of Physical Therapy, it meant walking unassisted with a renewed sense of strength and balance.
  • For a Varsity Nordic Ski Racer whose only other option was surgery for the extremely painful condition of Compartment Syndrome, the relief she felt meant taking her ski-racing to a whole new level. She went on to win two All-American finishesat the 2010 NCAA Championships, receiving Montana State University's Best Athletic Performance by a Female Student-Athlete award.
  • For a Disabled Veteran whom a spine injury has left with a disabling numbness in his legs and feet that felt like 'concrete boots', it meant having sensation return as well as the balance, ease and stamina needed to do a hundred jumping jacks, and push mow his lawn for the first time in years.
  • For an Independant Contractor with 30 years of hard labor creeping into every part of his body, it meant wielding a chainsaw above his head without shoulder pain, and being able to best the 'young pups' on the job, while smoking less cigarettes.
  • For a Single Mother on a shoe string budget, it meant finding the physical and emotional energy as well as the inner strength, and courage to move out of the trailor park and invest in a house for herself and her children.
  • For a New Grandmother, it meant being able to hold her granddaughter without worrying that her hip would once again buckle out from beneath them.

Read more about what people are saying!...

Pictures taken of two children before and after only ten sessions of Structural Integration.

Millions of years on this planet have brought us to a standing posture uniquely human, one which uses gravity as a positive energy flow. -- Ed Maupin, PhD

How is that accomplished? We begin by bringing muscles and joints back into proper relationship with the body as a whole. Using intention, movement, breath and a nudge in the right direction, we systematically and sustainably reshape the body into its strongest, most balanced, and resilient form. Since the body as a system can only accept so much information and/or change at one time, we most often work in cycles, with each session preparing the body for the next. Three sessions are able to address many superficial issues, but a full series of ten sessions is needed to work with the core structures of the body and integrate the profound changes that take place. As Ed Maupin says, "[The Ten Series of SI] offers a systematic plan for taking an old structure apart and replacing it with a new, more efficient one, and it leaves the body balanced enough, physically and emotionally, to deal with so much change." In a Series of Ten Sessions, the whole body can fall into place as you discover the potential for new ways of moving, experiencing and conversing with your body. Truly, "a more humane use of human beings".

"Structural Integration is about the whole person, it is about fascia and feeling. The sensation of moving from weakness to strength, the exhilaration of owning a new part of oneself, the immediate and simultaneous re-education of one’s being and action, the joy of self – empowerment, waking up, these are the experiences of Structural Integration."-- Emmett Hutchins, Guild Instructor

How is that even possible? The body is a composed, (you could even say 'orchestrated') by a plastic medium known as Fascia, or Connective Tissue. The material of your shampoo bottle is called 'plastic' to describe its ability to permanently change shape, without loosing its internal coherance, when the required energy and guidence is added to the system. Fascia shares those properties and forms an endless web of tensional bands that hold all the little pieces (bones and muscles) of the body together in a resilient and adaptable structure. You could easily imagine the fabric of a tent which holds all of the poles together. Through their support, the fabric gains form, and through form, function. What began looking like a lumpy and useless pillow, became a warm, dry protective shelter as its parts were integrated into a whole. In the body, the same principles apply. With the Rolf Method of Structural Integration, we are able to lengthen, derotate and integrate the human body towards a more balanced and functional form. The Rolf Method is indeed change you can believe in.

“I know of no part of the body that equals the fascia...In every view we take of the fascia a wonder appears. The part that fascia takes in life and death gives one of the greatest problems to solve. It surrounds each muscle, vein, nerve and all the organs of the body...By its action we live, by its failure we die.” -- Andrew Taylor Still, DO Philosophy and Principles of Osteopathy

How was this system developed? We can all thank a women by the name of Ida Pauline Rolf, for her insatiable curiosity, and conviction that on every level, people can change. By all reports, she was a daunting woman. Ida recieved her Doctorate in Organic Chemistry from Columbia University in 1920, a time when it was exceedingly hard to recieve such advanced education for a women, especially in the Sciences. But she would not be deterred. Through her work at the Rockefeller Institute, she found how limited chemically based, allopathic medicine truly was. She continued to ask questions, and along with her own research distilled from the roots of Osteopathy, Yoga, Feldenkrais, the Alexander Method, and General Semantics among many other modalities. In the early 50s, her research had coelesced into the Rolf Method of Structural Integration, and by the 60s, the Guild for Structural Integration had been formed.

"So many therapists are striking at the pattern of disease, instead of supporting the pattern of health. One of the things that you as Rolfers must always emphasize is that you are not practioners curing disease; you arepractitioners invoking health. Invocation is possible by an understanding of what the pattern is, the structural pattern of health. As you bring a man's structure to conform to that pattern of health, you achieve health. You invoke health." -- Ida P. Rolf, PhD

As with much of life, there are no promises. * However, based upon the amazing transformations I have witnessed and facilitated such as those shown above, there is no reason but to believe that what you suffer from can and will improve. For some, they are relieved from a lifelong pain. For others, the level of stress and anxiety in their life recedes, addictive tendencies fall away, and they are able to step into their lives as they never have before. Everyone benefits in their own unique way, and invariably this can be described as an increased quality of life, or as I like to say... 'A Life of Grace'...

Please, feel free to write to me of your situation, either as a letter, or a phone call ( 579 4363), that you may fully share your experience. At my Office, I continually offer Free Consultations and a Cup of Tea.

Breathe . Perceive . Adapt . Create . Proceed

Structural Integration . The Ten Series . Benefits . Questions . Ida Rolf . Your Practitioner . Resources




© 2010 All rights reserved

*The Rolf Method is not an alternative, or a preventative form of medicine. We specialize in the expression of Life, healing and well being. In contrast, medicine specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of symptoms, sickness and disease. It is not my goal or intention to diagnose, treat or attempt to cure any physical, mental, or emotional ailments, or to give advice about medical conditions. If while being served you become concerned about symptoms or conditions, I suggest you seek the help of a symptom, sickness and disease care professional.