About Ida Rolf
Structural Integration® came to presence during the Human Potential Movement in the 1960’s. Dr. Rolf noticed that, despite the authentic spiritual, mental, and emotional growth that was happening at this time, our bodies were not quite along for the ride. (I see this in my own practice; the body will sometimes bring attention to itself in order to resolve this imbalance. This can look like disease, pain, discomfort…). She saw the dynamic sets of relationships, which we call structure, as a context for who we are, and how we behave as physical beings in physical reality.
Dr. Rolf observed that most bodies are in conflict with themselves, therefore in conflict with gravity, and that this is a condition for conflict in all relationships. She was primarily concerned with the evolution and potential of our species, which she thought had to do with the degree to which we can be in clear relationship to ourselves, and to the world. Seeing deeply into the ways in which our bodies defend against inner conflicts and perceive outer threats, she postulated that this is a primary condition in unclear relationships, and why we fight.
Dr. Rolfs particular emphasis on the body as the primary context for who we are, and a source of physical, emotional, and perceptual limitation was revolutionary in the west. That the body can be systematically changed in favor of increased organization, and that these changes would have correlative effects on the mind, was also an idea that greatly emerged through her work.
She found that Fascia, a form of connective tissue which forms a matrix throughout the body like a web, is what contextualizes the relationships in and between the muscles, bones, joints, fluids, viscera and perception. Fascia holds the shape of the body. It is, in a sense, the physical and perceptual expression of how we were shaped by our experiences, e.g. family and cultural patterns, ancestral and karmic patterns, and physical and emotional traumas. Fascia also holds the story of how we shaped ourselves with respect to achieving early childhood needs. Rolfers work with the systems of the body as contextualized by the fascial matrix, in order to establish clearer, more correct relationships within the body, among the segments of the body, and between the individual and her field.