The fascia is the central “tool” of Structural Integration according to Dr Ida Rolf. Her discovery of the key significance of the fascia for human wellbeing dates back to the middle of the 20th century. Fascia (lat. fascia meaning band, bundle) is the soft part of the connective tissue, which runs through the human body as a surrounding, continuous mesh.
Recent research suggests that the fascia is also one of our most important organs of self-perception (proprioception), as it is endowed with many sensory receptors. These receptors also play an important role in the perception of pain. Due to their many receptors and nerve endings, muscles and the fascia can also be viewed as part of our “sensory organs”. They provide information about our movements and our posture, and contribute to the way we express ourselves, sense and feel with our body.
Working with the fascia
With its many and varied qualities of touch, Structural Integration uses and fosters the fascia’s plasticity and gliding properties. Using very specific forms of touch, it is able to rebalance tensions in the fascia. Everyday stress and strain, injuries or surgical procedures can affect this tension and lastingly impair the fascia. This leads to structural problems in the body and to poor posture.
Today, ultrasound scans are already able to clearly show the effects of Structural Integration treatment. The tissue is rehydrated, adhesions are reduced. Our body regains its ability to align itself in gravity with less effort and thus less pain.