Structural Integration to Restructure Body Alignment
Structural Integration, (also called Rolfing), is the belief that everything physically harmful to your body in your life; all the bumps, bruises, car accidents, spills, blows, tumbles, breaks etc., rearrange and affect our bodies physical structure over time. And NOT in a good way.
Ida Rolf developed a series of massage manipulations that can be used to help reverse the negative impact that all these 'little or big accidents' have on our physical structure.
With the force of gravity pulling you back down to earth over a lifespan, you might envision how your body gets all crunched together. The union of gravity holding you in place compromise your basic skeletal structure.
How Ida Rolf Changed Massage Therapy
Structural Integration was developed and invented by Ida Rolf. She was truly a woman beyond her times in believing that the body could be healed by manipulating tissue in the body in specific ways. To say that she changed the field of bodywork in a big way is an real understatement!
Ida Rolf received a Ph.D in biochemistry from Columbia University in the 1920’s. After that, she worked as an assistant in research and organic chemistry at the Rockefeller Institute for over 12 years. She went on to study atomic physics and mathematics at the Swiss Technical University in Zurich Switzerland, combined with studies in yoga, philosophy, chiropractic’s, osteopathy, and homeopathy.
Her studies in alternative medicines taught her about the ‘law of cure’ and the secrets of healing the body in its present origin.
Her studies in osteopathy led her to understand physical manipulation of tissue to realign body structures. Her yoga studies led her to believe that the body needs to be lengthened and balanced in order to function correctly by increasing the space between bones and muscles. During this time, she also realized that soft tissue could be relocated and moved in order to create physical wellness. (Spatial and Positional relationships)
By the 1950’s, she started teaching her new approaches to students and developed the Rolf Method of Structural Integration, a 10 hour session to restructure alignment.
What is Structural Integration?
Structural Integration helps to restructure and correct your body's natural alignment.
Ever notice how limber children are? Well, that's because we’re all born that way. We’re born with a natural 'C' shape to our spine, which evolves into a natural ‘S’ curve over the first few years of our lives. This helps us bend more easily, almost spring like. We lose that natural flexibility as we age, as forces of nature impair us.
When you are born, there is plenty of oxygen between your bones and your muscles. The oxygen 'cushions' your muscles and bones so we can bend and move more easily. That’s what keeps our flexibility. Over time, (because of the way we abuse our bodies and the spills we take), this oxygen is lost and our bones and our movement's suffer because they get ‘crunched’ together.
We don’t sit or stand up straight with our shoulders down and back, head up, chest out, stomach in and our hips flexed back. (Did you notice how much you moved to correct your own posture while you were reading this?)
Instead we hunch over and don’t get the exercise we need to maintain our natural flexibility. We lose the natural ‘S’ shape that we’re born with and the ‘S’ becomes inverted or backwards. The natural flow of the spinal fluid, which is the lubrication our spines need to move correctly, gets cut off so we can’t bend as easily anymore.
It all makes a lot of sense if you think about it.
Structural integration is a series of massage therapies done over an 8-10 week period. (Some therapist's may require more sessions, some less.) In that time, your massage therapist will help to realign your basic skeletal structure, which provides more oxygen in between your muscles and bones.
The result? When the sessions are over, you should have much greater flexibility and be pain-free. You will also have better freedom of movement and feel re-energized and renewed.
If you think you need Rolfing or Structural Integration, check out your local yellow pages and see if someone nearby can help you. It's worth the investment if you experience and suffer from recurring or frequent back pain.
Always consult your physician before using natural remedies, especially for anyone with preexisting conditions or anyone currently taking prescription medications. Although many efforts are made to ensure that the advice given on this site is professionally sound, the advice is not intended to replace a mutual relationship with a medical provider.
Related Pages on This Site
Back Stretches for Back Pain
Tips to Relieve Back Ache!
Relief for Chronic Shoulder Pain
Prevention of Lower Back Pain
Lower Back Injury – How to Recover
What is Structural Integration?
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