Structural Bodywork uses manual therapy methods and movement education to facilitate economy of posture and freedom of movement in the human body. These methods are rooted in the theory and methodology of Structural Integration, developed by Dr. Ida Rolf (1896-1979).
Ida Rolf: A Ph.D in Bio-chemistry in the 1930's, Dr. Rolf left a career at the Rockefeller Institute to explore Osteopathy, Chiropractic Medicine, Yoga, The Alexander Technique, Homeopathic medicine, and other awareness-based practices. During her research she made a fundamental discovery about the human body: the network of connective tissue that permeates the body can be manipulated into more ease-full and dynamic patterns when it has moved out of alignment. She developed her techniques into a methodology and a training program that continues today. This work and research continues to evolve.
When the body can function appropriately, so that the force of gravity flows through, the body heals itself. - Dr. Ida Rolf
Fascia: Structural Bodywork addresses restriction in the soft tissue of the body, most specifically the connective tissue (fascia, ligaments, tendons). Fascia forms a whole-body, continuous, 3-D matrix of structural support and wraps around every single cell, connecting cells to organs, organs to organ systems, and interpenetrates every muscle in the entire body. Structural Bodywork practitioners utilize specific techniques to facilitate a re-education, or tuning of the client's connective tissue with the aim of helping the client to find a posture of greatest ease relative to his or her body, resulting in increased awareness, circulation, mobility, and resilience.
Spatial Medicine: How do we evoke health in space? This is a question of embodiment and structure, posture and movement vocabulary, spatial relationships and psycho-emotional habituation. As practitioners of Spatial Medicine, we recognize that the rigor of our times requires a commitment to continually return to our proprioceptive and sensory experiences; that by deepening the experience of our bodies, we deepen our experience of the world to which we belong. We believe that somatic practices such as Structural Bodywork are an essential response to a humanity that is quickly losing touch with its humanness and its intimacy with the environments that we inhabit. As an agent of health, Spatial Medicine utilizes the physical body as a point of access; we acknowledge that the body is one part of an interconnected whole that includes and reflects an individual's belief systems, attitudes, emotions, behavior patterns, etc., and that changes on a physical level innately resonate with other parts of our being. We recognize that while there are many ways to access and integrate health, in a culture that is often distanced from a sensational experience of our bodies, a somatic approach to healing is increasingly vital.
Further Reading: Wellness Through Structural Integration by Marcella Durand
"Ida Rolf saw her work as a special kind of education whereby the burden of gravity upon the human body is alleviated. I have taken this to mean that a Rolfer's job is to connect with and cultivate whatever it is in us that knows how to find ease in sitting, standing, or lying down. To be honest, I do not know what this knowing is. I do not know what to call it or how it does what it does, but I know it. I know how to work with it. I know that it can be lost or forgotten or prevented from expressing itself. And I know that it exists in every living being. For me, every session is an opportunity to communicate with this knowing, in both myself and whomever I might be working with. To communicate and connect with this knowing can make for profound healing, an experience that is almost sacred, characterized as it is by silence, peace, mystery and play." - Soken Graf