The History of Soma Structural Integration®


With roots in the pioneering structural explorations of Ida P Rolf, PhD, the Soma Institute of Structural Integration®, developed in 1977, is a successor to the classic form of ten session series Structural Integration. Taking the reins as the Soma Institute’s director and owner in 1986, Karen Bolesky continued to evolved the program as the exclusive place to learn this innovative and unique modality. Today, her nephew Jesse Guerrero, Kelsi Giswold, and others carry Karen’s legacy by growing, refining and teaching Soma Structural Integration.

Soma is a unique form of Structural Integration that balances the body’s fascial structure. While all forms of structural integration are based on the work of Dr. Ida P. Rolf, Soma also incorporates unique assessment models and reflective journaling, all focused on expanding mind-body integration.

”To Bill Williams who converted Florida to Rolfing” Ida P. Rolf

“To Bill Williams who converted Florida to Rolfing” – Ida P. Rolf

The Soma Institute of Structural Integration® (formerly the Soma Institute of Neuromuscular Integration®) was developed in 1977 by Bill Williams, who had a PhD. in Psychology and was an accomplished Rolfer® who studied directly with Ida P. Rolf. A lens of psychology expanded the approach beyond attention to the body’s physical structure and relationship to gravity. The added layer of acknowledging body, mind and spirit as an inseparable whole system supports the multidimensional human being and distinguishes Soma as the place to learn structural integration.

The Soma Institute currently offers a 768 hour training program in structural integration (SI) theory and technique. It is staffed by a dedicated group of experienced core Soma instructors with decades of combined SI experience. Jesse Guerrero, the current co-director has been involved in Soma since he received the 10-Series in 1985 at 8 years old. He became a practitioner of SI in 2002 and has been closely involved with the Soma Institute ever since.

The Soma Institute is recognized as one of the core schools of SI by the International Association of Structural Integrators (IASI), it is also a state and national massage licensing program. Soma is also accredited and a CE provider with the National Certification Board of Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (NCBTMB) and is licensed by WA State Workforce Training and Education Coordinating Board and the Washington and Oregon Board of Massage.