Structural integration all started with the legendary Dr. Ida Rolf, Ph.D. The story that made the greatest impression on Darla is that Dr. Rolf had helped a young boy out of a wheelchair with her innovative therapy.
Based upon the work of Dr. Ida Rolf Ph.D., structural integration is a type of bodywork that focuses on the connective tissue, or “fascia,” of the body. Fascia naturally surrounds muscles, organs, and nerves. Injury, stress, aging, and repetitive movements, can cause our fascia to become shorter, tighter, and denser. Over time, hardened fascia even pulls our muscles and skeleton out of alignment, which causes pain, discomfort, and fatigue.
Structural Integration aims to affect the whole person by removing hindrances caused by emotional and physical stress. This works to lengthen, stretch, and soften facial tissue. It restores postural balance, eases movement, and gives you a feeling of being more “at home” in your own body.
A Structural Integrationist must understand anatomy, physiology, and most importantly – the anatomy of fascia. In many ways, the body is a web of fascia. By tracing the lines of that web, your Structural Integrationist gleans a greater understanding of how your body works, why the pain travels and treats the source of your pain. Leading you on a path to healing.
Darla’s instructional lineage can be traced back directly to the greatest heroes in Structural Integration. See below.
Scientist, Innovator of Structural Integration, Founder of The Rolf Method, Rolfing®, and The Rolf Institute of Structural Integration.
Dr. Ida Rolf earned a Ph.D. in biochemistry from the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Columbia University in 1920. She also studied atomic physics at the Swiss Technical Institute in Zurich. She worked at the Rockefeller Institute in the Department of Chemotherapy and Organic Chemistry.
Dissatisfied with existing medical care in the 1930s, Dr. Rolf continued to search passionately for answers to family health problems. This led her to study many systems including Osteopathy, Chiropractic, Yoga, Homeopathy, the Alexander Technique, and Korzybski's work on states of consciousness.
By 1940, Dr. Rolf began applying her more than twenty years of studies, utilizing specific physical techniques to treat chronic disabilities. By manipulating the body's myofascial system Dr. Rolf discovered that she could achieve remarkable changes in posture and structure. She named her body of work “Structural Integration,” embracing a holistic system of soft tissue treatment and movement education that organizes the whole body in gravity.
Recipients of Structural Integration found that the work dramatically altered both their posture and structure. People sought out Dr. Rolf to receive Structural Integration as a way to ease pain, address chronic stress, and improve performance in their daily activities.
After 30 years of developing her methodology and training curriculum for other practitioners and instructors. Dr. Rolf opened her own school, The Rolf Institute, Boulder Colorado. In 1967 Dr. Rolf started the Guild for Structural Integration. Dr. Ida Rolf, Ph.D. dedicated the rest of her life to developing and teaching the future generations a technique that was to later take her name. Clients and practitioners dubbed her world-renowned work as Rolfing®.
Taught directly by the legendary Dr. Ida Rolf, Ph.D. First President of The Rolf Institute, Founder of Hellerwork Therapy and Hellerwork International Institute of Structural Integration.
Joseph Heller started his career as an aerospace engineer. He had a fascination with bodywork upon involving himself in the study of humanistic psychology.
Trained under Dr. Ida Rolf Ph.D. the originator of Structural Integration, Heller became a Rolfer. He continued his studies through 1978. Joseph Heller became the first president of the Rolf Institute in 1975. Under the tutelage of Judith Aston, he also became a Structural Patterner. Heller pursued advanced training with Dr. W. Brugh Joy, M.D. a preventative medicine physician and energy-based healing practitioner.
As a result of his unique combination of expertise and training, Heller began to synthesize a new form of bodywork called Hellerwork. In 1978, he left the Rolf Institute and moved to the San Francisco Bay Area, where he founded The Hellerwork International Institute of Structural Integration.
Hellerwork synthesizes 3 streams: bodywork, movement education, and the conversation that relates the mind and body. Turning to Somatic Education, he wished to address the whole person in the relationship to movement, physical and psychological awareness, learning, and their environment.
The holistic theory states that how we live is central to the health – that is, what we eat, exercise, relax, breathe, love, and think. The changes that the world is going through affect each of us physically, emotionally, and mentally. With this in mind, Hellerwork is as much educational as it is therapeutic. The focus is on teaching how the mind affects the body and a profound level of self-responsibility. Thus, empowering clients.
Taught directly by the legendary Joseph Heller
Founder of The Midwest Institute of Natural Healing and
Body Somatic Therapy.
For 27 years, Carmelita “Carm” Davis-Beets was a Professional Ballroom Dancer and National Ballroom Dance Champion before turning her career to the healing arts. During her years of dance, she developed a real passion for understanding the body. She attended Cleveland Chiropractic College, became a black belt in Tae Kwon Do, a Master Reiki Practitioner. She earned the statuses of Fellow in the Acupuncture Society of America and Clinical Technician at the International Academy of Clinical Acupuncture.
A major turning point in Carmelita's life came when she became a Certified Hellerwork Practitioner trained by the legendary Joseph Heller himself in 1985. Structural integration, with its training in movement education, balance, and body-mind-spirit had a profound effect on her.
Building upon a combination of 2,500 hours of alternative therapy education across the United States and her own research, she incorporated different healing modalities and developed a structural integration method that became known as Body Somatic Therapy.
Body somatic therapy remarked Davis-Beets, “is structural integration with the intent of balancing the body, but also of establishing balance in the emotional, mental, and spiritual aspects. It is a remarkable means of working on the deepest tissues of the body to release any pain or restrictions and to restore normal function."
In 1992 Davies-Beets founded her own school called The Midwest Institute of Natural Healing which, incorporated all her extensive training and emphasis on Body Somatic Therapy. In 2004, the method earned further accreditation by the Integrative Massage and Somatic Therapies Accreditation Council (IMSTAC).
Directly taught by Carmelita Davies-Beets
Darla studied Structural Integration at the renowned Midwest Institute of Natural Healing, directly trained by the school's founder Camellia Davis-Beets. A driven helper of others, Darla’s bodywork career began in 2001 with a part-time practice while still working in the social work field. Advancing her practice full time in 2003, Darla has since worked with individual clients and was a contracted massage therapist for the Kansas City Brigades when they were stationed here.
While finishing her schooling, Darla tutored her fellow students and organized numerous study groups. This natural desire to teach others led to an assistant teaching position in 2004. By 2006, Darla became the lead teacher in her program.
Returning to school once more in 2006 to learn Massage Therapy, Darla then became certified in Pregnancy, Swedish, Sports, Hawaiian Lomi Lomi, PNF Stretching, and Hot Stone Massage. Out of all the massage techniques learned, Lomi Lomi holds a special place in Darla's heart because she found that Lomi, which is a relaxing, nurturing, full-body massage.” Darla’s fist love and passion remain Body Somatic Therapy, which is the majority of her practice to this day.
Darla’s studies did not stop there however, pursuing certification from the Bellanina Institute, she became a Bellanina Facelift Massage Practitioner.
Along her quest for holistic health and wellness, Darla returned to the Midwest Institute of Natural Healing, leading her to become a Holistic Nutritional Consultant. Allowing her to give nutritional advice to her clients. Nutrition opens up more support for her client’s journey to wellness.
A well-rounded practitioner, Darla Ketchum, LMT caters to each session with the client’s needs. Remarks Darla, “I can sum up my practice with two different goals in mind. Either I can work on getting you out of pain or I can relax you.” Clients remark that she is highly effective on both fronts.
"I feel honored and blessed to be able to carry on the work of these three amazing healers."
- Darla Ketchum, LMT*