The History of Soma Structural Integration®


With roots in the pioneering explorations of Ida P. Rolf, PhD, Soma Structural Integration® was developed in 1977 as a successor to the classic Rolfing® Structural Integration. Soma is a unique form of Structural Integration that balances the body’s fascial structure through the Soma 11-Series. While all forms of Structural Integration emerged from the work of Ida P. Rolf, Soma 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 established in 1977 by Bill Williams, PhD, an accomplished Rolfer® who studied directly with Ida P. Rolf, and held a doctorate in Psychology. The lens of psychology expanded this 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 the Soma Institute as the place to learn Structural Integration.

Taking the reins as the Soma Institute’s director and owner in 1986, Karen Bolesky, MA, LMHC, LMT, leveraged her psychological and somatic training to continue to evolve the program for over 30 years as the exclusive place to learn this innovative and unique modality. Today, her nephew Jesse Guerrero, Kelsi Giswold, and others carry Karen’s legacy forward by growing, refining and teaching Soma Structural Integration®. The Soma Institute currently offers a 768-hour training program in Structural Integration theory and technique. It is staffed by a dedicated group of experienced core Soma instructors with over 75 years of combined Structural Integration experience.

The Soma Institute is recognized as one of the core schools of Structural Integration by the International Association of Structural Integrators (IASI). It is an accredited state and national massage licensing program, 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.