Structural Integration for People
As you have likely already read, Dr. Ida P. Rolf created Structural Integration for humans. When an individual is imbalanced as a result of a serious injury, illness, or some other defect, they are well aware of the imbalance, because for them every step feels like they are in a constant battle with gravity.
Well, it’s true, when holding patterns in the body change the structure so that the spine needs to contort to keep the head upright; gravity takes hold and exacerbates the problem. If something isn’t done to correct the imbalance, the contortion continues to intensify as a result of gravity’s influence.
Taking an individual like the one we are describing here and having them stand on two side-by-side bathroom scales with one foot on each, the imbalance will be clear in easy to read numbers. The weight readings of the two scales when added together will total that individual’s actual body weight. The interesting part is that the two scales will likely have very different readings. It is not uncommon for a typical adult with a condition like this to be carrying thirty to fifty pounds more weight in one leg than the other.
Now imagine yourself as a horse that is carrying this person on your back. Every time this rider posts in the saddle you have to deal with that massive weight differentiation in your own body. Even if you have a perfectly fitting saddle you are going to have one side of that saddle jamming into your back at every step. Not only that, but the strain that is inflicted upon your entire body as it is forced to maintain its balance while carrying this lopsided load, and you are trying to perform at your best, creates a degeneration process that affects your entire structure. Over time the strain from this begins to break down the joint structures in the legs also, especially on the side that is receiving the heaviest impact from the rider.
You may be saying that this is an exaggerated example of an imbalanced rider, and that is true. The part that most people are not aware of is that very few people are actually truly balanced and this exaggerated example is actually a very common reality in our society. An individual can feel as though they are perfectly balanced and still be carrying ten or fifteen pounds more body weight in one leg than the other.
The benefits of Structural Integration can be talked about all day long, but cannot be truly understood or appreciated until an individual actually goes through the experience for them self.
The basic ten series for people can be life changing, not only for the individual but also for the horse that carries that individual. The following picture series is an example of some of the changes that are possible through this approach.