Structural Integration - Deep Tissue Bodywork, Posture and Movement Education

"When the body gets working appropriately, the force of gravity can flow through. Then, spontaneosly, the body heals itself."
Ida Rolf, Ph.D.

Bodywork as Meditation

November 9, 2009 : Blog, News

Bodywork as Meditation
Using Structural Integration as a Pathway
By Raymond J. Bishop, Jr

Openness to a different type of listening and following are essential for the meditative to emerge.

Bodywork as a meditative discipline may at first seem rather peculiar. Certainly, many seasoned bodyworkers meditate, rightly believing that regular practice of any of a wealth of meditative modalities will promote an increased sense of mental clarity and calmness and may potentially enhance the experience of everyday life, as well as the quality and depth of their work. However, accepting the idea that the act of doing integrative bodywork can be both the source of meditative insight and an ideal milieu through which we move toward higher levels of consciousness will, for most, require a shift in paradigm of a fairly high order. This perceptual difficulty will be further magnified when applied to those therapists engaged in disciplines that are thought of as intense and whose work is generally described as deep-tissue manipulation — work such as the style of structural integration called Rolfing®. That such a modality offers a gateway to “the meditative” will at first seem contradictory in the extreme, owing to a number of fundamental misapprehensions about the nature and intent of this and related integrative modalities. Furthermore, the idea that those who do bodywork may choose to do so in part as a selfish desire to attain an altered mental state may seem curiously at odds with the altruism that we associate with those drawn to healing touch modalities. Yet, we will argue for the virtues of this type of selfishness (Ayn Rand, notwithstanding).

Read more at Massage & Bodywork Magazine’s website…
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Used with permission. Originally published in the
August/September 2005 issue of Massage & Bodywork Magazine