Structural Integration

Daphne Berwind-Dart

As the English agriculturist Sir Albert Howard once said, "The whole problem of health in soil, plant, animal, and man is one great subject." To be interested in health is to be interested in connections — the relationships that make us whole and bind us to each other. Obvious distinctions can be made between mind and body, between me and you, between us and the world, but we are nevertheless caught in a network of mutual dependence and influence that is the substantiation of our unity. When all the parts of this network are working together under each other's proper influence, our lives are orderly and whole. Indeed, the word "health" comes from the same Indo-European root as "heal," "whole" and "holy." To be healthy is to be whole; to heal is to make whole.

Yet the modern approach to health is increasingly divided. For any given problem, we have experts and "quick fixes." As a social system, the specialist scheme makes sense. It puts the problems of government, education, agriculture, etc. into the hands of the most skilled, best prepared people. The difficulty arises when we apply this approach to the well-being of individual persons. What is left for the individual to take care of when there are endless experts to consult? The more we abdicate responsibilities, the more we lose sense of our personal involvement.

The cure to this predicament cannot be further division, for division is the disease (dis-ease). The hope for healing lies in the assumption of responsibility and the renewal of connections. I became a Rolfer because Rolfing is a practice of restoring connections based on an appreciation of personal wholeness. Rolfing is one way for individuals to reclaim responsible involvement in their own health.

Daphne (Berwind-Dart) Mitcheson grew up in San Francisco, California and Belmont, Massachusetts. She graduated summa cum laude from Barnard College with a degree in English literature. Outside of school, Daphne has studied dance, piano, acting and singing. She has worked in internet-based publishing and public relations. Daphne received her Rolfing certification in 2005 from the Rolf Institute® of Structural Integration. She regularly supplements her training with courses in advanced Rolfing and osteopathic techniques including craniosacral therapy, visceral manipulation and neural mobilization. Daphne is an avid student of the Gyrotonic Expansion System® and a devoted practitioner of Continuum Movement. She lives in Lincoln, Massachusetts with her husband, Luke, and their two sons, Henry and George.