Structural Integration works with the fascia, or connective tissues, of the body. All major systems of the body lie within these connective tissues. It is through the connective tissues that nutrients are delivered and wastes are removed. As the connective tissues are cleared, balanced and aligned, the major systems of the body are enhanced with better physiological and energetic flow. Forces of gravity can then move through and life-force energies of Qi can be a healing force. Qi is another name for life-force energy that arises out of the gravitational fields in which we live.
The meridians of acupuncture lie within the fascial planes of the body’s connective tissues and consist of electrical circuits or pathways that carry this subtle life-force energy through the body. This energy is subatomic and is comprised of very small, fast moving particles such as electrons and protons. Electrons conduct the flow of electricity in the body. Protons conduct the flow of energy generated by the mitochondria, the powerhouse of the cells.
There are two basic laws of physics. The first is Ampere’s Law that states and requires that electrical currents produced within the body by the activities of the heart, brain, muscles, and organs MUST produce magnetic fields around the body. The second is Faraday’s law, which states that that movement in the magnetic fields around the body must produce electrical currents within the tissues of the body. In this way, movement is life. Movement stimulates electrical activity in the body!
We are energetic. We are physical. Modern science supports the idea that the body is suffused with currents of electromagnetic energy. The human body has an electromagnetic field around it. Science has caught up with these ideas in the emerging science developing within Geophysics, Biophysics, Biomagnetism, Magnetobiology, Electrical Engineering, Electrophysiology and Medicine.
Life-force energy is equated with electrons and the movement of tiny subatomic particles. Every living thing has an electromagnetic field around it. The Earth has an electro-magnetic field around it too, created by the movement of minerals in the core of the earth, and the penetration of the sun’s rays and lightning strikes.
The electromagnetic field on the surface of the Earth is comprised of a vast reservoir of subatomic electrons. These electrons support everything on the Earth that has roots, paws or feet. Electrons from the Earth move into the body through the bottom of the feet.
There is also an electromagnetic field created by the sun. Those energies penetrate our body through our skin. We are made of life-force particles. We ingest them through the food and drink we take into our bodies. These subtle particles can also organize around intention. We can resonate with them and consciously move them into our bodies. Having a more organized body allows this to happen more easily.
Dr. Ida P. Rolf, was a pioneering thinker, a woman ahead of her time. She knew that the smaller electromagnetic field of the body could be enhanced by the larger electromagnetic field of the Earth. Dr. Rolf received a Ph.D. in biochemistry in 1920 at the age of 24 and went on to study a variety of disciplines including atomic physics and mathematics, osteopathy, chiropractic, homeopathy, and yoga.
Rolf knew that the human body is basically an energy field that operates within the greater energy of the earth’s gravitational field. “As such,” she said, “the individual’s smaller field can be enhanced or depleted in accordance with the spatial relations of the two fields….”
“We want to get a man out of the place where gravity is his enemy. We want to get him into the place where gravity reinforces him and is a friend, a nourishing force.
“The unimpeded flow of gravity through a human structure supports and maintains that structure. When the body gets working appropriately, the force of gravity can flow through. Then, spontaneously, the body heals itself!
“This is the gospel of Rolfing: when the body gets working appropriately, the force of gravity can flow through. Then, spontaneously, the body heals itself…and gravity becomes the therapist.”
In the late 1970s, Dr. Rolf met Dr. James L. Oschman, a biophysicist who had experienced the ten-session series of Structural Integration with one of her students, Peter Melchior. Dr. Rolf asked Oschman to create a scientific explanation of her work that anyone could understand.
At the time, Nobel Laureate Albert Szent-Gyorgyi was James Oschman’s mentor. Szent-Gyorgyi determined that the proteins of the body, when hydrated, became semi-conductors of the subatomic movement of protons and electrons.
Oschman took Szent-Gyorgyi’s ideas a step further and developed the theory of the Living Matrix—the body-wide network of connective tissue. He developed a hypothesis of how subtle life-force energy is conducted through the connective tissues of the body at quantum speeds. Oschman stated, “This system is accessed by acupuncture and other complementary medical approaches. Thousands of years ago, the ancient Chinese Taoists who studied qi, or subtle life-force energy, described the acupuncture meridians that flow through the fascia or connective tissues.
Dr. Rolf developed several original ideas: She ascertained that:
- the body is comprised of stackable segments.
- fascia is malleable.
- the body has a significant relationship with gravity.
Structural Integration really got going through Dr. Rolf’s work with a close friend who had been crippled since childhood. Dr. Rolf would organize a section of Grace’s body, and ask Grace, “Where do we need to go next?” Through her two-year work with Grace, Dr. Rolf began to develop what she called her Recipe for the ten-session series.
Dr. Rolf’s ten-year period of study in yoga also influenced her thinking about the structure of the body. Perhaps she noticed that when the alignment of her spine was upright, energy could flow more noticeably through her body. In any case, within the ten-session series of Structural Integration that Dr. Rolf developed, it was important to her that the major segments of the body be aligned around the central vertical axis of the body that runs along the front of the spine and energetically extends into the earth and heavens at each end. She established that balanced alignment of the structure of the body would improve its function!
With proper structural alignment, the relationship of the body to the gravitational field is enhanced. Systems of the body can function more optimally. Physiological and energetic flows are enlivened. Information moves through the body more quickly and clearly. Healing occurs. Yes! Gravity can be a beneficial force!