There is a growing amount of mainstream scientific research documenting the effectiveness of Structural Integration (SI), the therapy originated by Ida Rolf for reshaping the body’s connective tissue matrix. There has also been significant interest in SI at the newly formed International Fascia Research Congress, as knowledge and understanding of how important connective tissue is to the body’s freedom of movement becomes more apparent.
One researcher reported that muscle contractions only account for roughly 20% of human movement and that after an action is initiated, the fascia does the other 80%, pointing to the possibility that connective tissue, the tissue we work on in SI work, is more important than muscles in determining how well a person moves.
In 1992 a presentation was made to the National Center of Medical Rehabilitation Research on the effectiveness of Structural Integration used in the treatment of degenerative joint disease.
A 1997 article in The Journal of Orthopedic and Sports Physical Therapy reported that Structural Integration can provide effective and sustained pain relief from lower back problems.
A 1988 study in the Journal of the American Physical Therapy Association indicated that Structural Integration greatly influenced the parasympathetic nervous system, which can dramatically influence the healing processes of the body.
In conjunction with the California Department of Mental Hygiene, The Department of Movement Behavior at UCLA has also shown that Structural Integration creates a more efficient use of muscles, allows the body to conserve energy, and creates economical and refined patterns of movement.
Other recent studies have shown a significant increase in hight after an 11 session series of Structural Integration. While there are volumes of research to be done to understand exactly how and why Structural Integration is so effective, to feel the effects it only takes the first session.