Integration III: Intra-Subjective Equilibrium

Through the process of Rolfing® Structural Integration, we invariably arrive at a more refined awareness of our bodies. We furthermore begin then to take notice of factors & conditions that influence their state. Our bodies do not operate in a vacuum, but rather function in an unimaginable interplay of information, continually exchanged between a myriad inter-dependent systems. We recognise a crucial component in this eternal commerce to be our peculiar pychological conditions. Mind & body dance together in this exchange; inseverable partners in this perpetual polka. As one changes steps, so follows the other.

Rolfing® Structural Integration strives to expand our kinetic awareness. Yet the scope of the latter presents no limit to the former’s effects—mind & body are not the only partners in the ballroom. We recognise indeed the mind to be a mirror of the body. We also see the converse: that the state of the soma as an image of the psyche. This relationship, however, transpires amidst innumerable conditions & stimuli peculiar to every situation.

So mind mirrors body—& everything else, ad infinitum. The interplay within this mise-en-abimê is extraordinary: how often have we noticed tension in the jaw upon awakening from a particularly unpleasant fantasy featuring Siberian tigers & tax-collectors after having cared for a little-too-friendly neighbor’s bloodthirsty tom-cats? And we notice that it is an exceedingly rare occasion indeed that we meet the severe physical adversity of vicious house pets with unadulterated equanimity of mind.

It is not logically impossible to sever the psycho-somatic marriage & achieve complete autonomy for mind & body from one another (neither is a “triangle with four sides”, for that matter), but it is obviously natural. And I am not convinced it were even desirable. Life is naturally integrated, psycho-somatic. Reductionism in this matter would be…reductionistic, like arbitrarily partitioning pure water, or randomly compartmentalising the human body—which is not made of pieces—as one finds accomplished by any anatomy reference book. We divide ourselves conceptually, & then we pretend we came that way.

Integration is to reconcile this rift—to usher in a reunion of our fragmented selves. As we explore & refine our awareness of our physical structures, we concomitantly deepen our awareness of our psychological ones. “Man, know thyself!” was the immortal counsel etched in the stone at the Oracle of Delphi. Rolfing® SI provides a method for this great enterprise.

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