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Structural integration (including Rolfing)

Structural integration aligns, balances and lengthens the body by pressing into the connective tissues of the body and maneuvering them back into place.

Is structural integration recognized in the medical profession as a accepted form of treatment?

Rosemary Rickard (Tampa, FL) on Dec 27, 2011
Structural Integration is one of the many massage therapy modalities. There are many different types of Structural Integration in the massage therapy profession. Massage therapy in the state of Florida is overseen by the Department of Health.
Anne Hoff (Seattle, WA) on Dec 27, 2011
Structural Integration is a relatively small field (compared to, say, PT or massage), so not all medical professionals know about it, and those that do know of it may or may not understand what it truly is. Chiropractors and other health professionals who work hands-on with the body are more likely to have some understanding. But perhaps your question is really about whether insurance companies consider SI an accepted form of treatment. That will vary state by state. In states where structural integrators are licensed in the "massage therapist" grouping, insurers should treat it in the same way they treat massage. This is true where I work, Washington, so my clients are able to get insurance reimbursement if their plan covers massage. I am able to bill PIP for auto accidents, and work comp will cover my work.
Amy Murry (Olympia, WA) on Dec 27, 2011
It is not an individual billable modality of massage in the insurance billing process. However, techniques used in structural integration are tools that a practitioner can use to evaluate and perform massage within the medically referred treatment process. Massage therapy referred from an M.D. is usually for a very specific area of the body, rather than a whole-body alignment.
Attila Pegan (Savage, MN) on Dec 27, 2011
The recognition of Structural Integration is an issue even in the field of bodywork, and it is not known by the medical profession. If your question is about if health insurance covers it, then the answer is yes. You can find SI practitioners in your area who will work with insurance.
Sally Cina (Saint Louis, MO) on Dec 27, 2011
To answer your question I am going to quote Dr. Jim Montgomery: "Rolfing is an established leader in the field of alternative medicine and somatics education. Research reports that the public is spending over $14 billion in alternative medicine. Insurance companies, hospitals and medical schools are taking notice and preparing to change the way they do business. Based on peer reviewed scientific studies, as many as 60 million adults in the United States are using alternative medicine therapies in conjunction with conventional medical treatments for various health related conditions." (Journal of the American Medical Assoc., May 1998). Fifty years ago, Dr. Ida Rolf, a biochemist at Rockefeller University, recognized that the traditional approach in medicine was effective, but some cases of unsolved health problems were not being solved by established treatments/ existing medical practices, so she applied her knowledge of the human tissue and discovered the fundamental Rolfing principles of connective tissue release and structural integration. This led her to formulate and perfect, after years of research, experience and use by her clients, the first structural integration techniques. Rolf specifically designed both Rolfing ® and Rolfing Movement instruction -- a system that re-educates the bodys movement patterns -- as holistic approaches to healing. Dr. Montgomery is in good company with many other medical professionals in recognizing the efficacy of Rolf Structural Integration. As research continues more and more traditional medical professionals are utilizing Structural Integration as a valuable and effective part of their treatment protocol.
Robert Rex (South Burlington, VT) on Dec 27, 2011
Some doctors do recognize the value of SI/Rolfing as a successful form of treatment. But the vast majority don't, probably because insurance companies don't recognize SI as such. That being said, there are some insurance plans that do reimburse for SI treatments. Typically, these are flex spending plans (sometimes called "cafeteria plans"), and health savings accounts (HSAs). Even though SI/Rolfing is not massage, sometimes I've had to include that word as part of the reimbursement scheme, and/or use the treatment code 97140--manual therapy. Hope this helps, Robert Rex Certified Rolfer
Minki Kim (Astoria, NY) on Dec 28, 2011
Yes, the Rolf Method of Structural Integration is an accepted form of treatment in the Complimentary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) field and Western medicine. Dr. Rolf created Structural Integration deeply rooted in scientific academia (biochemistry and physics) along with a mind-body approach. On Facebook, you can read and watch an in-depth clip on Structural Integration and Dr. Rolf's process in creating it by searching for 'Dr. Rolf: Of Grace and Gravity.'