The 5 Principles of Rolfing® Structural Integration



The three types of intervention are relaxive (i.e. massage, aromatherapy), corrective (i.e. chiropractic, surgery), and wholistic. Structural Integration is wholistic, meaning that a Rolfer strives to be aware of how she’s affecting the whole person - their entire structure, as well as their movements & energies - rather than simply addressing the parts.


Over the course of our lives, we are constantly adapting to the world based on the challenges we face. A person is only able to stay in order to the degree that they can adapt, be it physically, emotionally, or otherwise. When we learn how to use our bodies & minds efficiently, we increase our ability to adapt to our environment.


One of the ‘challenges’ we face as humans is the gravitational pull of the earth. As upright beings in a world with gravity, we need our feet to support us all the way up to our heads. When the body is well supported, it becomes free to adapt to our needs.


The word palintonic comes from the Greek ‘palantonos’, meaning “stretched back and forth”. Our bodies have a natural desire to expand & move in opposing directions - up & down, side-to-side, front-to-back, in & out. A Rolfer is aware that when she addresses a pattern or movement, she is also affecting the relating movement.


Rolfers want their clients to integrate & maintain the changes that take place during a Structural Integration session. In order for this to happen, the client should leave each session with a sense of completion, fully prepared for the next part of the series. Naturally, then, closure is especially important at the end of the last session, when the client takes the complete series of work into his daily life.