I have had several clients recently ask about fascia and Ida Rolf’s theory of how structural integration works. This short video (less than three minutes) provides a good explanation of what fascia does and looks like. Dr. Robert Schleip discusses his research, including that fascia can stretch and contract independently. This sheds light on how fascial issues can contribute to your body’s stiffness and pain. Structural integration may indeed work by softening and stretching fascia to reduce stiffness and improve pain, as Ida Rolf believed.
In their book Fascial Release for Structural Balance, James Earls and Thomas Meyers provide this reframing of the concepts of muscles and fascia:
Your fascial webwork began as a unified whole about the second week of your development, and will remain a single connected web from top to toe and from birth to death. … While every anatomy lists around six hundred separate muscles, it is more accurate to say that there is one muscle poured into six hundred pockets of the fascial webbing.