“The range of what we think and do is limited by what we fail to notice. And, because we fail to notice that we fail to notice, there is little we can do to change; until we notice how failing to notice shapes our thoughts and deeds.” R. D. Laing

It’s a Question of Balance

Balance. Who isn’t for that?! But, there is an aspect of living in balance that we may generally take for granted. Actually, it is widely overlooked. And it has to do with gravity.

Some individuals may perceive their losing fight with gravity as a sharp pain in their back, others as the unflattering contour of their body, others as constant fatigue, yet others as an unrelentingly threatening environment. Those over forty may call it old age. And yet all these signals may be pointing to a single problem so prominent in their own structure, as well as others, that it has been ignored: they are off balance; they are at war with gravity.” Dr. Ida P. Rolf

Toward Normal Balance

Dr. Ida P. Rolf originated a peerless and definitive approach to human health and well-being. She named it Structural Integration. The primary goal of Structural Integration is to establish balance and order in the overall, head to toe, arrangement of the body along the lines of gravity.

This original method offers personalized assistance to balance the whole body to an unstressed, symmetrical, and effortlessly upright stance. People of all ages and varying backgrounds and levels of physical ability will get wonderful, long lasting benefits.

In the most basic and general sense Structural Integration is about freeing oneself from chronic pains and stress. More, it is about living well, with tangible support and empowerment to reach your goals and excel in physical performance, creative expressiveness, and everyday life.

“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.” Dr. Rolf

Ecology of the Human Body

Scientifically, from Anatomy, we know the design of the body calls for the centers of gravity of the major segments (head, neck, torso, abdomen, hips, legs, and feet) to be aligned with the central vertical axis. There is also left/right symmetry and horizontality (or level), not tipped forward or back or to one side or another.

Since the body has a great deal of plasticity and is much broader at the top than at the base, it is greatly affected by gravity when imbalances exist. The average individual lives with the segments of the body slipped away from that natural pattern. Also, the body’s balance around the vertical axis is important in terms of the laws of Physics.

Regarding gravity...Gravity is an ecological fact. In that there is no choice. There is choice in how we deal with it, however. Gravity is the single most prominent physical force the human body has to deal with. Just like any other structure on this earth, the human body must deal with the ever present and constant pull of gravity. Again, this calls for vertical alignment, symmetry, and horizontality. What every architect and tradesman knows: plumb and square and level.

“There is a mystical virtue in right angles. There is an unspoken morality in seeking the level and the plumb. A house will stand, a table will bear weight, the sides of a box will hold together only if the joints are square and the members upright. When the bubble is lined up between two marks etched in the glass tube of the level, you have aligned yourself with the forces that hold the universe together.” Scott Russell Sanders The Paradise of Bombs

How We Get to Be the Way We Are

The average person reaches adulthood with a complex set of structural imbalances and associated compensations fixed firmly into the fabric of the body. We automatically grow bigger and stronger as we mature into adulthood. Not so with structure, that is learned. We grow up learning to use our bodies mainly by trial and error. Add to this one’s own unique history of accidents, traumas, and bad habits. We take this rough approximation of true normal balance as given, as who we are. We live in default with chronic pains and stress, unaware of the cause of limitations and drain on energy due to bodily imbalances.

It’s quite simple. Out of balance…gravity saps your energy, distracts you from your full potential, and tears you down. In balance…gravity is supportive and nurturing.

Structural Integration Specifically

Over the course of the 10 weekly sessions of Structural Integration processing the body transforms to a noticeably easy, balanced, symmetrical, and effortlessly upright stance. This is essentially an educational process. As Dr. Rolf asserted: “Gravity is the tool. Gravity is the therapist.” Relative to medical or other therapies it can be a powerful complement.

Each of the 10 weekly sessions is guided by a set of precise structural anatomical goals. The work consists of gentle, sculptural manipulation of the soft connective tissue (fascia) and movement education. The power and genius of this method is in its proven effectiveness to gracefully evoke significant and lasting positive change in so short a period of time.

“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.”  Dr. Rolf