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Structural Integration: Origins and Development,

Eric Jacobson, PhD

J Altern Complement Med. 2011 Sep; 17(9): 775–780.

doi: 10.1089/acm.2011.0001    PMCID: PMC3162380    PMID: 21875349


Structural Integration (SI) is a system of manual therapy and sensorimotor education that purports to improve human biomechanical functioning as a whole rather than to treat particular symptoms. This article briefly reviews its origin and development; the theory, clinical methods, and scientific research have been summarized elsewhere.1 The content presented here was drawn from the existing literature, the author's training experience with the method's originator, and consultation with other senior SI practitioners.




Rolfing: a somatic approach to the integration of human structures. M Bernau-Eigen

  • PMID: 10214226//. Nurse Pract. Forum, 1998 Dec;9(4):235-42.


This report describes a system of bodywork called Rolfing (Rolf Institute of Structural Integration, Boulder, CO). A review of the historical considerations in the development of the process of Rolfing is discussed as well as a description of Rolfing. The viewpoint that a therapeutic treatment modality is based on supporting health through the organization of body structure makes this narrative of interest to nurse practitioners. Rolfing is a type of treatment that is compatible with nursing principles. This author's vision is that nursing will teach forms of healing and education that support the innate healing intelligence within each of us.


Fibromyalgia syndrome treated with the structural integration Rolfingr method. Stal P, MJ Teixeria.  Rev Dor Sao Paul0, 15(4), 248-52, 2014.

Subjects: Thirty female subjects aged 28-62, diagnosed with fibromyalgia according to American College of Rheumatology criteria, who had been in conventional treatment for at least one year, were recruited from among outpatients attending the Pain Center, Neurological Clinic, Clinicas Hospital, School of Medicine, University of São Paulo.
Treatment: 10 Rolfing sessions of approximately 30 minutes each were provided by Dr. Stall. All patients continued routine outpatient pharmacological treatment as prescribed.
Data: Patient completed questionnaires included a verbal numeric analog scale (0-10), Beck Depression Inventory (BDI), and Beck Anxiety Inventory (BAI). Data
were collected at enrollment, the final treatment session, and 3 months follow-up.

Analysis: Non-parametric Friedman test.
Results: There were no dropouts. Statistically significant improvements were found pre versus post treatment in pain, depression and anxiety (each p&l t;0.001). Between post treatment and three months follow up there were no significant changes in pain or depression, but significant improvements in anxiety continued between post treatment and 3-month follow-up (p=0.028).
Conclusion: Rolfing ® treatment was associated with statistically significant reductions in pre-treatment levels of pain intensity, anxiety, and depression both immediately post treatment and at
3 months follow up.
Funding: Dr. Stall's effort was supported in part by a grant from the Rolf Institute ® of Structural Integration.


Structural Integration as an Adjunct to Outpatient Rehabilitation for Chronic Nonspecific Low Back Pain: A Randomized Pilot Clinical Trial.  Eric E. Jacobson, et al.

Evidence Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, Volume 2015 |Article ID 813418 | https://doi.org/10.1155/2015/813418



Structural Integration (SI) is an alternative method of manipulation and movement education. To obtain preliminary data on feasibility, effectiveness, and adverse events (AE), 46 outpatients from Boston area with chronic nonspecific low back pain (CNSLBP) were randomized to parallel treatment groups of SI plus outpatient rehabilitation (OR) versus OR alone. Feasibility data were acceptable except for low compliance with OR and lengthy recruitment time. Intent-to-treat data on effectiveness were analyzed by Wilcoxon rank sum, per group. Median reductions in VAS Pain, the primary outcome, of 26 mm in SI + OR versus 0 in OR alone were not significantly different . Median reductions in RMDQ, the secondary outcome, of 2 points in SI + OR versus 0 in OR alone were significantly different . Neither the proportions of participants with nor the seriousness of AE were significantly different. SI as an adjunct to OR for CNSLBP is not likely to provide additional reductions in pain but is likely to augment short term improvements in disability with a low additional burden of AE. A more definitive trial is feasible, but OR compliance and recruitment might be challenging. This trial is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov (NCT01322399).