About the terms "Structural Integration"

Structural Integration, a path of personal growth and development by Emmett Hutchins - Original Text

(Emmett Hutchins and Peter Melchior were the first teachers who led a course of Structural Integration)


When Dr. Rolf decided to name her work, it was after years of careful contemplation. She selected her words well. Indeed, the name, Structural Integration, does imply the full scope of her teaching.

To begin with, her choice of the word, „structure“ is clearly descriptive. For it was her way of looking at the human physical body, as one would any other material structure, which grounded her work upon the basic laws of physics. However, since structural anlysis alone is of limited value, it was Dr. Rolf´s original research in biochemistry which provided a key for unlocking the human structure and which gave birth to her method. The Recipe, her procedure for establishing myofascial balance and relieving chronic structural stress, is her gift to human kind.

„Integration“, however, is the word which best descibes the true thrust of her work.

On the physical level, „Integration“ means the relating of various parts so that they act as a unit.

„Integration“ includes the concepts of balance, symmetry, and wholeness. But it is here that we leave the realm of  pure science. For we cannot understand „integration“ until we first comprehend relationship. Dr. Rolf believed that one cannot enter the complex world of „ relationship“ without leaving the world of things.This is a great challenge, a shift of consciousness. The world of “ things“ is a rational, linear, scientific, verbal world.

Where the world of  „relationship“ is non linear and non verbal and, therefore, not accessible to the purely rational mind. So it is here that we cross from science into art, from technique into mastery.

As Dr. Rolf said, „it is the art of integration which separates the cooks from the chefs.

Dr. Rolf“s work and major discoveries lie firmly rooted in physical reality. She used to say, „because that`s what I can get my hands on“.

But the full focus of her intellectual curiosity was not aimed toward structure alone. Rather her motivating interest was in the energy fields which surronud human structures. The gravity field  and its relationship to structure, therefore became the dominant theme of her teaching.

What if a human structure could be integrated within the gravity field so that all movement could flow in continuous balance? Would the effects and experience of gravity not change from a downward, negative, entropic force into a supportive, positive, organizing force? (Many of us would now answer a resounding „yes“ , from personal witness).

This is remarkable, since even the best of us lives in this balanced state for brief periods of time only! Would this person live longer? Stronger? Healthier? Happier? How would this affect mental health and function? Maturity? Responsiveness? Sensitivity?

What would be the effect of a life lived with the perpetual support of our own cosmic field – rather than in conflict with it?

Our bodies are our gardens, to which our wills are gardeners.

W. Shakespeare - Othello