Medical services

Structural core therapy at Park Igls

‘Rolfing’ aligns body and mind

Park Igls Mayr clinic offers structural core therapy, a type of holistic bodywork and fascia therapy. Biochemist Dr Ida Rolf, the creator of Rolfing, had the groundbreaking idea of integrating gravity into therapy.

park igls mayr clinic innsbruck tyrol austria Structural core therapy

Gravity is constantly working on the body, generating tension or compression. If the body is knocked off balance, either physically or mentally, it attempts to restore that balance to hold itself up. The muscles and fascial network are constantly in demand, sometimes with a high energy input. A stooped posture, adaptive postures after accidents and operations, and one-sided strains result in fascia in specific areas of the body becoming ever more compressed. They become matted, lose elasticity and are not as well ‘watered’ as healthy tissue.

Ida Rolf referred to fascia as ‘the organ of structure’. She theorised that conscious, targeted mobilisation of this tissue has a freeing and beneficial effect on the body. Structural core therapy always addresses the whole body rather than focusing on individual symptoms. The aim is to ensure that the fascia tissue is supple and lubricated again, to better align the body, relieve unnecessary tension, and remove any basis for issues linked to bonded, matted fascia. Structural integration can help the body to reorganise itself and raise itself up using gravity.



The therapist’s targeted, deep-tissue work on the patient reconfigures individual areas of the body both separately and in relation to each other. Bonded layers of connective tissue are released, contractions are stretched and hardened tissue is made supple again. The aim of every session is to integrate the structure as much as possible. This also means patients can get close to their pain thresholds. Communication between therapist and patient regarding the quality and intensity of perceived pain is crucial during treatment. We are not generally used to monitoring pain and expressing it in words. Saying ‘stop’ when things get too much isn’t easy and has to be learned. This can be an important part of structural core therapy and can fundamentally change the way that a person deals with pain.


park igls mayr clinic innsbruck tyrol austria Structural core therapy



The main focus of structural core therapy is improving structure, posture and movement. This method is therefore suited to anyone looking to improve their physical wellbeing for the long term. It is also beneficial for chronic tension, adaptive postures and reduced movement due to accidents and operations, and for women after pregnancy and birth. Ida Rolf developed a series of treatments to systematically improve posture and movement patterns. In the initial sessions, the therapist focuses on the superficial fascia layers to ensure more elasticity in the thorax, freer breathing, a healthier alignment of the pelvis, thorax and shoulders, and better organisation of the feet and legs. The following sessions address the deeper fascia layers, and the body can then continue to align itself better to a vertical axis. In the final sessions, the body is aligned as a whole to improve balance and increase mobility. Particular attention is given to working on both body awareness and the art of moving in order to ensure that the changes are sustainable. Structural core therapy is also excellent for preventing tension and pain. ‘The basis of every single session is body reading. Every patient is examined in detail: how they walk, sit and stand, whether they have pelvic obliquity, whether their shoulders are hunched,’ explains Hanni Gartner. She and Josef Schöffthaler provide structural integration at the Park Igls Mayr clinic.


park igls mayr clinic innsbruck tyrol austria Structural core therapy


Ida Rolf

    Ida Rolf (1896–1979) was an American biochemist, who began to work with people out of professional interest and as a result of chronic conditions in her family. Over the years, she discovered that the human body and its structure, which is expressed in the posture among other things, can be more substantially changed than previously thought using specific types of tissue manipulation. She called her work structural integration. Since then, other fascia methods have been developed based on Ida Rolf’s ideas. One of these is structural core therapy.