Sunday, May 24, 2015

Gravity Ace

"Balancing the Body with the Gravitational Field of the Earth"

— Stacey Mills, Seminal Master Teacher of Rolf Structural Integration

"Someday, after mastering the winds, the waves, the tides and gravity, we shall harness for God the energies of love, and then, for a second time in the history of the world, man will have discovered fire." 

― Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

"Gravity Ace" is a term of art of peers in the Structural Integration community. It refers to the one who holds the creative tension toward the goal of establishing Structural Integration as a recognized and sought after approach to human health and performance.

Specifically, the intention to see the field accepted in its own right. And, on its own terms: that is, the central benefit of balancing the body with the gravitational field of the earth.

The benefit of Rolf Structural Integration is bodily balance. It's an important and too often overlooked aspect of  balance in the definition of health. Balance along the same lines of gravity which we know is necessary for soundness in all physical structures. The kind of balance inherent in the anatomical design of the human body. Balance which is in keeping with the Laws of Physics.

Such bodily balance supports health and top performance. Full creative expressiveness. Quality of life. Effortlessly upright, unstressed, easy. Present. Peaceful. Powerful, graceful, capable.


Though it probably predates even the great Imhotep — among his many accolades, Imhotep is known historically as the designer of the very first pyramid — the idea that constructed things endure when they are built plumb (vertically centered) and level goes back to the beginning of human history.

Even in his personal bearing, representations of Imhotep depict him as a human being who embodies those essential design principles in the very makeup of his body. A visual proof of why he was called "the one who comes in peace ... is with peace."

Consider, the great Imhotep must've — nay, had to have — a plumb line and level to build such an enduring structure. The Leaning Tower of Pisa is a curiosity for its being off kilter. Just know the folks there in Pisa take a lot of pains to make sure it doesn't fall down.

And, that's the point we're making here, really. It takes pains to keep a structure from falling down when it's off balance. Our bodies are no exception. Pains. And, you can imagine associated limitations on performance, creativity, general effectiveness. 

The idea that things stack up vertically is something we all learn implicitly in early childhood playing at stacking stacking blocks. In architectural design and in the construction trades plumb and square is the rule. Never mind the so-called "deconstructivism" of architect Frank Gehry. You better believe at the core of all that non-rectilinear dislocated distortion there's a stable center of plumb and square around which all that beautiful helter-skelter is balanced. 

Now What?

Simply put, the next step is to do something about the balance your body. It does take doing. 

The pattern of your body has taken its shape over a period of time. It shows a history of learning and use. Most likely mixed in with bad habits, accidents, and traumas. In respect to the balance of our bodies, how structurally things fit and work in relationship, in this area we are mostly self taught. Our models of adequate bodily balance were those figures around us, many not good exemplars of correct arrangement.

What To Do?

We know from our Mother's knee what to do. Sit up straight. Walking, point your toes to the front. (You would be off in a jiffy to the repair shop if your front wheels were out of alignment.) At work, keep your posture upright on a supportive chair. Make sure the computer screen is at eye level. That smart phone or tablet, raise it to eye level; not looking down at it, straining your neck and shoulders. 

Those are things we all know to do. Now, go do it!

When you take stock of your own situation, and you want to really get back to where you belong. Help is at hand ...

Rolf Structural Integration offers personalized assistance to transform the level of balance of your body to a vertically upright, unstressed, easy stance. 

In Conclusion

So what the heck you ask does this have to do with the "Gravity Ace" business? Well, this message has been brought to you by Gravity Ace. (And, you are welcome.)

Any Certified Practitioner of Structural Integration who wishes to use the appellation "Gravity Ace" is qualified to do so after taking this lifetime pledge:

"I promise to hold the intention to keep the idea of balance in gravity central to my work with clients for Structural Integration, and in all my communications about this peerless and definitive approach to human health and performance."


We understand, in the contemporary demand for health services, balancing the body along the lines of gravity is not on the tip of just about anybody's tongue. In practical terms we must meet our clients where they are; not just where we want them to be, or where we think they should be. Yet, in actual situations serving others, it is possible to water down our essential benefit to a point where it gets lost in the focus on symptom relief. Not just in terms of having body balance be an item of conversation. But, in terms of actually having body balance as an applied intention in our goals with our clients. 

Be that as it may, according to the Standards of Practice in the field of Structural Integration, Certified Practitioners should  1) disclose to their clients when actions and/or procedures are not "Structural Integration", and — according to the best tradition of "Gravity Ace" — 2) be sure those we serve understand the goal of our work is first and foremost the balance of the body in gravity. Symptom relief, stress reduction, and improvements in performance are by-products of that whole-body balance. The latter point, not just in actual practice, but in all communications.

That's what "Gravity Ace" is all about!

And ... You are welcome!

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