New Rules of Posture -How to Sit, Stand, and Move in the
Healing Arts Press.
by Polly Waterfield
published in STATNews, January 2013)
book came my way through a teacher who was receiving
Structural Integration work, and is written by a
practitioner of Structural Integration (aka Rolfing) from
California. The Rolfing background
wouldn’t have been a recommendation to me, but as soon as I
picked it up I realised here was a goldmine. Published in
2007, it is user-friendly and beautifully laid-out with
spacious format, clear illustrations, and inspirational
quotes. The interconnectedness of mind and body is addressed
in a compassionate and articulate way throughout and is
illustrated with chatty case studies.
Structural Integration was developed in the 1950s by Ida
Rolf as a manual therapy that restores balance by enabling
release in the connective tissues. In this book the ‘organ
of posture’ of the connective tissues is described as ‘your
body’s internet’ -what a brilliant and universally
book contains a wealth of specific anatomical knowledge and
detailed descriptions of ‘practices’ and ‘explorations’.
While I wonder just how much use a lay-person could make of
‘explorations’ have illuminated and informed my
understanding of the directions. With our knowledge of
inhibition as the fundamental starting point for any
learning, the information in this book is indeed valuable. I
haven’t found anything that runs counter to our work, and
I’ve found much that complements it and helps me go deeper.
be put off by the title! She explains immediately that ‘The
New Rules’ are to do with change from the inside out rather
than imposing an idealised posture. Her trust in the
possibility of re-training accurate sensation may not appeal
to all teachers, but coming to this material with an open
mind could repay dividends. It’s humbling to find that
amongst extensive appendices the only mention of Alexander
Technique is Wilfred Barlow in ‘Books of Related Interest’.
Like it or not, in this day and age we operate within a
network of body-mind educators. In our ongoing quest to
define what we do, perhaps comparing and contrasting with
other disciplines could help us articulate where there is
overlap, what makes us different, and what our strengths and
Polly Waterfield is an AT teacher in Cambridgeshire.