Structural Integration
Tues-Fri 10:30 - 4:30 (By Appointment)
Call: (218) 235-1732

046_Blissful_small.jpgRead my blog post "My Story of Pain and Relief"

The Rolf Method of Structural Integration (also known as "Rolfing") was developed and founded by Ida Rolf PHD. In her search for solutions to family health issues, she studied many holistic practices including yoga, chiropractic, and osteopathy.  Using her innate curiosity and sharp observational skills, she came to ‘see’ peoples’ structures in a way that was unique to the world at that time; a body organized around a vertical line, operating in a field of gravity.

To schedule an appointment for Structural Integration in Ely Minnesota, Click here.

Benefits of the Rolf Method of Structural Integration:

  • Improved postural alignment
  • Deeper, fuller breath
  • Increased flexibility and balance
  • Chronic pain relief
  • Increased energy and stamina
  • Sense of 'lightness' and fluidity
  • Heightened body awareness
  • Release of stored trauma
  • Enhanced athletic performance
  • Grounding
  • Integration and evolution of body, mind, and spirit

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The ‘structural’ mission of Structural Integration is to allow the body to operate with ease within the field of gravity.  In other words, to get the head above the spine, the spine straight, the legs under the spine, and the pelvis horizontalized, so that there is less strain in the body to walk, sit, stand, and etcetera.  The development of a vertical line allows the proper balance of the horizontal lines of the body; shoulders, hips, and knees.  We are all like houses, in that if there is a structural issue in a vertical support, it will affect the soundness of the structure of the whole house. 

The ‘secret’ mission of Structural Integration is to expand the ‘Rolf line’.  This line already exists in each person, running just forward of the spine, into the center of the Earth, and out through the top of the head into the Cosmos; grounding us and connecting us to our Purpose and Intuition.  This line is compromised by stress on the body, such as stress trying to hold up a head that is hanging heavily out from the spine.  Each of us only has so much life energy to use each day, and if we use it to compensate for poor structure, little will be left for immune system function, mental acuity, or fulfilling our Purpose. 


The Rolf method of Structural Integration is a series of 10 sessions in which the body is guided through a process of alignment.  Although there are very precise goals for each of the ten sessions, those goals are achieved in a fashion that is tailored specifically to the client and their particular structure.  Though Structural Integration can be quite intense, the client is in control of how deep the sessions go, again tailoring the experience to the client.

The fascia, a system of structural support which runs 3-D throughout the whole body, is the ‘handle’ we use in structural integration to organize the body.  Over a lifetime of stress, strain, accidents, and surgeries, the fascial web can become contracted, dehydrated, twisted, and restricted.  In Structural Integration, we work without oils or lotions, using fingers, palms, and forearms, ‘sinking’ into the fascia, stretching, and opening.  The feeling of the work is long, open, and fluid.

It is recommended to receive the 10 sessions one to three weeks apart, with once a week being ideal.  However, it would be beneficial for sessions 4 and 5 to be one week apart regardless of the spacing of the rest of the sessions. 

Sessions 1-3 focus on the extrinsics (outer layers) of the body.  

Session 1: Create more breath by freeing the ribcage, address the pelvis, arms, and hamstrings.

Session 2: Align the feet and legs, get feet under the pelvis.

Session 3: Create a lateral line; ear over shoulder over hip over knee over ankle.

It is recommended that if you are not committed to finishing all 10 sessions that after session 3 is the ideal place to stop.

Sessions 4-7 focus on the core, the intrinsics (inner layers).

Session 4: Bottom of the core: legs and pelvic floor.

Session 5: Front of the core:  the psoas-rectus abdominus relationship.

Session 6: Back of the core: creating space in the pelvis and sacrum.

Session 7: Top of the core: head and neck.  

Sessions 8, 9, and 10 shift the focus to integration.

Sessions 8-9 focus on balancing the body and connecting all movement to the LDH; lumbo-dorsal hinge.  These two sessions are split into 'upper' and 'lower' segments, but are two parts of one session.

Session 10: Integration, horizontalizing, drawing the parts of the body into an integrated whole.  This session is calming, energizing, and grounding.

Along with the bodywork, movement cues and body mechanics education help ground the work, bringing it into everyday life.  The Rolf bench is used for backwork and tracking.  Some people are content with the 10 series, the results can last months, years, or a lifetime, depending on the individual'’s lifestyle.  Some will desire further work.  It is recommended that a period (four to six months) of integration be allowed following the 10 series, then advanced work can be done.   

Your next step:

If you are intrigued by this bodywork, please contact me, I will be happy to answer your questions.  A session of Connective Tissue Massage (CTM) is an ideal way to meet me, to experience my work, and to see if you like the feel of fascial work.  Are you ready for real and lasting change?

What people are saying about Structural Integration and Blissful Body:

I sought treatment from Stephanie because I am a general dentist and I have practiced for 28 years.  I can recongnize a dentist by their posture that has been set because of the demands of my profession.  Sitting in the same position and performing repetitive motions creates an imbalance that interferes with other activities and creates daily discomfort.  Stephanie has improved my posture, reduced my muscle fatigue, and made me more aware of my daily posture.  I would encourage anyone who has a job that requires repetitive motion or sits in a chair for hours a day to go through the Structural Integration series of ten.  Scott Anderson DDS, Ely

I have nerve damage in one leg and a new knee in the other leg, plus scar tissue from heart sugery.  Each session of Structural Integration is so much more than a massage.  It is integrating your whole body (section by section) to a final solution to any problems you may have.  I always feel better after each session.  They may be a bit uncomfortable at the time, but the end result is always good.  I am more aware of my body and how I can make it feel better with the help of Stephanie.  I would recommend this bodywork - if you are willing to forego a "regular massage" to tackle specific problems that eventually flow into helping all of you feel better.  Virgie, Ely

Structural Integration chose me, I was having trouble with my foot and Steph said she could help me - and she did!  I liked knowing it would make a change in my body somehow.  Long term, not just for that hour.  Some of the work was quite uncomfortable, but when the session was over I felt relaxed and in an altered state.  Structural Integration has improved my life - I can walk again.  I now pay attention to how I walk, stand, and hold myself.  I would recommend to check it out to see if it's for you.  Terry, Ely

I first visited Stephanie for massage therapy.  At that time I had seen many therapists with a variety of backgrounds and skills.  After my first visit my thoughts were "totally amazing, cleansed and rejuvenated".  As Stephanie and I worked together with CTM and SI I became re-aligned with myself and surroundings and felt more connected than ever before.  My experience with Blissful Body has affected my Mind, Body and Spirit.  Thank you Stephanie.  David R Anderson

My work is very strenuous and sometimes hard on my body.  I began seeing Stephanie about 4 +/- years ago for "feel good massage".  It was a soothing experience...  A couple of years ago, she began expanding her work into Connective Tissue (fascia) Massage which was even more therapeutic for me.  I had persistent back and neck pain with my hard outdoor work and the fascia work seemed to keep my pain free for a couple of weeks.  Now, since Stephanie has been studying Structural Integration, I took the complete 10 series.  It seems to have aligned my entire body, one session at a time.  I think I completed the last sessions in April and May, just before my heavy workload in the garden began.  It is now November and I have had almost no occasions of back pain.  I really attribute my good health to the SI work that Stephanie has done with my body.  I am very grateful that she is in Ely and I would recommend her bodywork to anyone that feels they want to decrease the pain in their lives.  Karen Nielsen Friedrich

I chose the 10-series of Structural Integration offered at Blissful Body because I was seeking relief of chronic pain and correction of posture.  I left each session feeling more balanced and in tune with my body.  The experience of going through the 10-series was overall very positive- professional bodywork in a relaxed atmosphere.  However, it did feel good when you stopped! The work itself improved my life.  In addition to that, I learned more about my body and the far-reaching influences of body mechanics and daily stress on my posture, and I learned effective strategies for reversing those effects.   I would recommend this bodywork for others.  Thanks for everything.  You can walk tall knowing that you helped me walk tall.  Brian

Quotes from Ida P. Rolf PHD

When the body gets working appropriately, the force of gravity can flow through.  Then, spontaneously, the body heals itself.”  

“Over and over again, people come to me, and they tell me, you just don’t know how strong I am.  They say “strength” and I want to hear “balance.”  The strength idea has effort in it; this is not what I am looking for.  Strength that has effort in it is not what you need; you need the strength that is the result of ease.” 

We are not truly upright, we are only on our way to being upright.  This is a metaphysical consideration.  One of the jobs of a Rolfer is to speed that process along.  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.”

Rolfing is permanent.  As one student put it, after you’re Rolfed you'’re like a Jaguar.  No matter how long you drive a Jaguar, it’s not going to turn into a Ford.

Fascia is the organ of posture.  Nobody ever says this; all the talk is about muscles.  Yet this is a very important concept, and because this is so important, we as Rolfers must understand both the anatomy and physiology, but especially the anatomy of fascia.  The body is a web of fascia.  A spiderweb is in a plane; this web is in a sphere.  We can trace the lines of that web to get an understanding of how what we see in a body works.  For example, why, when we work with the superficial fascia, does this change the tone of the fascia as a whole?”

Rolfing and Physical Reality by Ida Rolf