Structure, Function, Integration is the journal that Ida P. Rolf (1896- 1979) started in 1969, right at the beginning of our structural integration (SI) profession. Our colleagues wrote articles and read those articles, cultivating ideas amongst themselves.
More than fifty years later, Rolfers® and SI professionals write these articles, edit these articles, and we offer them to the members of the Dr. Ida Rolf Institute® (DIRI), SI colleagues, manual therapists, somatic educators, movement specialists, and everyone who has an interest in the structure, function, and integration of their own body. In this July 2023 issue (Volume 51, Issue 2), we have two collections of articles alongside our regular columns and Perspectives articles: Space, Ground, and Gravity, and Our Face, Our Voice, and Our Words. We invite you to take a look at our table of contents, notice which article stands out to you, and start there. There is much to discover.
Rolf gave us the gift of including gravity in our understanding of human wellbeing, to concentrate on observing the force of gravity interacting with the client standing and walking before us. We have two articles and a poem within the Space, Ground, and Gravity theme. DIRI faculty member Pierpaola Volpones has written about the shared experience of being embedded in the gravitational field. I quite enjoyed my conversation with Rolf Movement® faculty member Kevin Frank. He has
been teaching gravity orientation and the application of Hubert Godard’s tonic function model for decades.
In “Fascia Insights: Humans in Microgravity,” our science column summarizes two peer-reviewed articles from spaceflight research about the biology of human tissue in microgravity.
It turns out the human body has gravitysensing organs – more than that, every cell can detect it. In the absence of gravity, our bodies must adapt to that change to sustain life. This informs what the presence of gravity gives us here on Earth.
Our second theme, Our Face, Our Voice, and Our Words, has articles about ‘the upper pole’ as Dr. Rolf said about the head. In particular, the authors focused on elements pertaining to the visceral cranium: the face. DIRI faculty member Ellen Freed shares her orofacial experience and learning from when her tongue swelled so large that she couldn’t talk for a few days. Andrew Rosenstock
and Nikki Olsen generously shared with us an excerpt from their podcast, Touching Into Presence, when they spoke with Dr. Mark Johnson about the embodiment of meaning. And I asked Monica Canducci to talk with me about how words are a part of her healing model. While we are not talk-therapists, we still learn a lot by listening to the tone and content of our client’s words. As Rolfers, we carefully choose our words when with our clients to enhance the embodiment experience that encompasses our structural integration work.
Of special note is the article, “Mysteries of the Sacrum Revealed: An Interview with Jan H. Sultan.” Sultan talks about how the biomechanics of walking and the physiological movements of the craniosacral rhythm converge at the sacrum. In the Business of Rolfing SI column, Lu Mueller-Kaul asserts some pricing strategies to allow for a healthy work-life balance. And our Caution Column focuses on autoimmune disorders, and is a general discussion of things to consider when a new client mentions their diagnosis.
“Any child knows that only if he [sic] stacks the blocks vertically (the center of gravity of each block being vertically above the center of gravity of its neighbor below) will he have a stable arrangement. [If wrapped in an envelope of elastic fabric], this stability would be evidenced in lack of strain on the enclosing elastic envelope. Any deviation from a stable arrangement will be registered by the elastic surface. There is only one strain-free arrangement: perfect vertical alignment of the centers of gravity of the blocks (32). . . . Relieving rigidity and improving in some measure support from
the gravity field gives a degree of restoration reaching beyond local myofascial improvement. (203)” – Dr. Ida P. Rolf (1989) in Rolfing: Reestablishing the natural alignment and structural integration of the human body for vitality and well-being.
Rochester, Vermont: Healing Arts Press.
Our authors and editors have put a lot of time into these articles. For the love of the work, we offer this July 2023 issue to you, so that it may illuminate and encourage you in the SI perspective to feel your relationship with gravity and attend to your face, voice, and words.
Have a wonderful summer,
Lina Amy Hack
Structure, Function, Integration