What is Structural Integration?

Our Bodies are Shaped by Our Lives

In every moment we are shaping our bodies into a posture that fits your world. The mother continually carrying her child on one side begins to readjust the fine balance in her hips and spine. The body builder reshapes his structure through weight training. The person unable to express emotions may be “on hold” in their chest and arms, creating such tension that they eventually cannot freely breathe or extend and relax their arms. Each of us falls into patterns of body use which create postures that reflect our attitudes, thoughts and feelings. As life goes on, more of these patterns become embedded in the tissues of our body.

 Structural Integration is an innovative approach to well-being that recognizes a natural order inherent in the human being. When the musculo-skeletal system is re-balanced and re-aligned and optimal movement restored, our innate self-healing abilities stimulate a new vitality. The Structural Integration is designed to restore natural structure and function. Specific myofascial techniques, movement repatterning and guided awareness are some of the tools that a practitioner will use to guide a client to a new balance. The essence of Structural Integration is to foster growth, an expansion of body awareness and conscious choice to bring aliveness, alignment and fluidity to daily body use.

As one client reported…“After my first session I felt like an absentee landlord finally coming home to my body.”

Why is Structure Important?

Structure and function are inseparable. The body is more at ease and functions more effectively when its structure is balanced. Change at a structural level can positively affect the body metabolically, emotionally, psychologically and often spiritually. Balance and freedom of movement, a key component of Structural Integration, can create a myriad of beneficial changes in a person’s health. Life is movement and distortions in the body can freeze into place.Our posture, the way we function and even our emotional being, i.e. the way we present ourselves to the world, can change over time in a negative way. Some of these changes, when we are unbalanced and frozen can include chronic pain, lack of energy and the inability to communicate freely, almost like emotional compression. Our body’s shape and movement patterns have evolved over the years and are influenced by stress, emotional trauma, consistent repetition, accidents and disease. Distortions in the body, caused by these events, are kept in place by the fascia.

Fascia-The Organ of Support

Fascia is the body’s main structural organ. It is a seamless whole that extends from our core to our surface, with localized changes reflected throughout its entirety. It strengthens any pattern: accumulating, thickening, and gluing itself together. Multiple layers of connective and protective tissue become locked into place inhibiting energy and blood flow. During serious emotional and/or physical events, disassociation from the body can often occur and traumatic events can freeze the fascia into what is known as an energetic cyst – an area of this hardened tissue. It is often coupled with an energetic component creating an inability by the body to express itself both physically and emotionally. The good news is that fascia is a plastic-like medium that can be remolded with manipulation. These aberrant changes can be removed, balance and harmony can be restored.

What is the Process?

Structural Integration uses techniques of deep directed pressure in combination with movement to release the fascial restrictions. This allows the body to integrate changes at a deep level and once again find balance. Gravity plays a role and as Dr. Ida Rolf, founder of this work, often said, ìGravity itself is the true therapist.î With Structural Integration, you can expect more mobility, lightness and greater flexibility after even one session. After a few sessions you will begin to notice that you will no longer automatically resort to your old patterns. Major functions such as circulation, respiration and lymph movement will also improve as the tension from the overlying fascia is removed. Each session is different, but always uses the original recipe created by Dr. Rolf, with a focus on your own body’s personal needs. Emotional traumas, which often arise, are handled with extreme sensitivity.

What to wear for your session:

Men need to wear loose shorts or underwear; women should wear either a two-piece bathing suit or loose shorts or underwear and bra.

“I felt like I had been given new legs. After I finished my fast, I went running for the first time in over a week. I could not believe how my range of motion improved – my running was more fluid. I felt like my hips, knees, ankles and feet were all working together effortlessly. I also experienced some profound emotional release during my sessions. I let go of a lot of old baggage – old experiences stored in my muscles that were released when the alignment was corrected. Michael is a gentle, sensitive and supportive therapist who was a tremendous help in these moments. The work is intense and very rewarding. I still feel the benefits of the work I did with Michael and look forward to working with him again.” ~ Elizabeth V.


michaelstabile Photo copywritten by Michael Stabile

Graduate, Swedish Institute of Massage,1982

Graduate, Rolf Institute, 1992

Nationally Certified Bodyworker

Arizona Licensed




Michael is our on-site rolfing therapist, for more info about his services check out the 100% Organic Spa page