IASI Symposium 2021 Schedule Day 1 

Keynote 1: Friday, March 26, 2021 | 9:30 AM – 10:30 AM PDT

A Key Conversation: Recognizing White Privilege & Racial Bias within Structural Integration

Because Rolfing/Structural Integration was based on a Eurocentric model, the somatic therapy has been a reflection of that model.

Awareness of cultural and ethnic differences in bodies have often been overlooked, as well as biases--both conscious and unconscious.

Our “key conversation “ will be a dialogue among 4 Rolf Structural Integration practitioners from different backgrounds, age groups, ethnicity, and somatic work experiences. We will share insights surrounding the evolution of somatic work, as it directly relates to race and culture. How we as a somatic organization hope to bring more diversity and inclusion into our recruitment, education, and practices will also be an important topic of conversation.

Presented by: Marekah Stewart, Carol Agneessens, Mela Berger, and Tristan Koepke


Marekah Stewart

Marekah's first career was in nursing, followed by 2 years in the late 1960s as a VISTA volunteer (domestic Peace Corps) — her first year in Denver, Colorado working in mental health; the second year, in Watts, California working in community organization.

Marekah was introduced to Rolfing after a return to nursing. She received the basic 10 series from Emmett Hutchins in 1972. She moved from Los Angeles to Boulder in 1973, eventually receiving the advanced series from Peter Melchior. After leaving her nursing career, She began working in the office of the Rolf Institute in 1980. Anna Hyder was the Admissions Director, and Richard Stenstadvold was the Director of the Institute.

Marekah's journey into holistic health began in 1979 with the study of Jin Shin Jyutsu with Mary Burmeister. With much encouragement from Peter and others, she entered Rolfing training. In 1983, she completed the Auditing phase with Tom Wing and Jason Mixter; the Practitioner phase with Stacy Mills and Ray McCall. Her Advanced training in 1986, was co-taught by Peter and Emmett. At that time, she was the second African American, and the only female, to become a Rolfer.

In the mid-1980s, she spent a year Rolfing in Copenhagen, Denmark. Through the Guild for Structural Integration in the late 1990s into early 2000, she was an assistant instructor on several occasions, with both Peter and Emmett.

She maintained a private practice in Denver from 1986 until 2020. She retired after a 41-year practice of Jin Shin Jyutsu, and a 37-year practice of Rolfing. She now serves on DIRI’s Diversity and Anti-Racism committee.

Carol Agneessens
The Rolf Insitute

Carol Ann Agneessens, MS. has been a practitioner of Rolfing and Movement Integration for 38 years. She has been serving on the faculty of the Rolf Institute since 1993.

She is the author of the book, The Fabric of Wholeness, (2001).

With a master’s degree in Special Education from the University of Wisconsin: Madison, Carol focuses on developing ‘Kinesthetic Intelligence’ within each student. Kinesthetic Intelligence underlies the cultivation of a listening and dimensional touch which ignites the sensory experience of whole-body awareness.

Carol teaches an Embryological Orientation to Cranial Sacral Therapy, and workshops in The Embryonic Gestures of Formation that include practical applications to Structural Integration.

Carol resides in Aptos CA where she maintains a private practice as well as teaching internationally. www.holographictouch.com

Mela Berger

My goal is to help people empower themselves and experience optimal health physically, emotionally, intellectually, and spiritually. I am committed to implementing healing and empowering cessation and prevention of Adverse Childhood Experience and Post Traumatic Slavery Syndrome.

I have over 40 years of training and experience. I specialize in The Rolf Method of Structural Integration, Wellness Coaching, Food/Nutrition, Emotional Balancing, and Movement. I am the founder and director of The International Institute Of Healing & Cultural Arts. I am Board Certified by the International Association of Trauma Professionals, National Certification Board of Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork I am a graduate of The Arizona Trauma Institute, International Professional School of Bodywork, International Academy of Neuromuscular Therapy, National Academy of Sports Medicine. United States International University, San Diego Mesa College, University of San Diego. I am on the Board of Directors of the International Association of Structural Integrators.

I am also the Chair of 100% Humane International, a charity formed for the purpose of providing low and no-cost therapy. 100% Humane is registered in the United States and Barbados.

Tristan Koepke

Tristan Koepke (he/him/his) is a professional dancer, educator, choreographer, and Rolfer™. A co-instigator of Liberation Somatics, Tristan is passionate about cultivating inclusive spaces that promote holistic wellness and somatic practices. He is a Board-Certified Structural Integrator™ with a certificate in Rolfing® Structural Integration from the Dr. Ida Rolf Institute®, where he now serves as Chair of the Committee for Diversity and Anti-racism. Tristan holds a BA in Dance from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities as well as a Certificate in Yoga Instruction from CorePower Yoga, and has studied many somatic practices, such as Klein Technique™, Alexander Technique, Reiki, and SpiralDynamik®. He is currently the Associate Director of the Young Dancers Workshop at the Bates Dance Festival, where he has worked since 2010, and is pursuing an MFA in Dance at the University of Maryland, College Park. His current areas of research include somatic phenomenology in dance performance, historicizing bodies and somatic practices within multidisciplinary fields of inquiry, and situating liberation work within the fields of dance and somatic education.

Session 1: Friday, March 26, 2021 | 10:40 AM – 11:55 AM PDT

Trauma-Informed Skills – Practical Ways to Use the Polyvagal Theory in Practice

Neuromuscular tension is one of man's most primitive responses to threats of danger, and was developed in early times when most of human danger were physical in nature. In many threatening confrontations that fill the human past, the nervous system evoked the mobilization of muscle power to meet the contingencies of fight or flight. Today, these responses are pre-programmed in the nervous system of every normal person. Thus, every fear, every worry, every anxious moment holds the elements of a threat in some measure. In the physical responses that follow, the nervous system has not forgotten the neural pathways and groups of muscles it learned to use in the long ages of the past. Whether there is to be muscular action or not, descending motor stimuli from higher centers set the prime movers in states of tension and, at the same time, evoke movement to meet contingent needs. Dr. Stephen Porges, originator of Polyvagal Theory, identified a biological order of human response that is active in all human experience.

Presentation Highlights:

  • How do we translate the understanding of Trauma Research into our clinical work and into our physical intervention?
  • Polyvagal Theory in Therapy: Engaging the rhythm of regulation.
  • How the fascial system mirrors the autonomic nervous system’s response to the threat.
  • Understand the role of the trauma memory and intervention strategies
  • Mapping the autonomic nervous system and the intelligence of symptoms.
  • How to use our own nervous system therapeutically, in order to develop specific clinical techniques to work with stress and trauma symptoms.
  • Three case studies: clinical techniques to work with stress and trauma symptoms

Presented by: Herbert Grassmann
SKT Institut

Since 2018 Professor of Psychosocial Studies and Body-mind Healing at the Parkmore Institute/South Africa, Johannesburg. Faculty member at the Matepe University in Istanbul for MA in Clinical Psychology with Body Psychotherapy Certificate. TSRC Advisory Board Traumatic Stress Research Consortium and Research Collaboration with Stephen W. Porges of the Kinsey Institute Indiana University’s. Since 2010  Research Chair at the European Association for Body Psychotherapy. Since 1993: Founder and Executive Director of the Institute for Structural Body Therapy SKT and Somatic Memory Systems. In the late ‘80s and early 90s, trained in Structural Integration at the Guild for Structural Integration with Emmett Hutchins, Peter Melchior, and Stacey Mills. Certified Hakomi Therapist (Pat Ogden and Halko Weiss), and trained with Dr. Peter Levine, founder of Somatic Experience.


Session 2: Friday, March 26, 2021 | 10:40 AM – 11:55 AM PDT

Zoga Multidimensional Movement

The Zoga movement is a concept that is designed to build and support the goals of the structural integration process. It can have a form of movement class where the group follows different sequences of movements and follows certain mechanical challenges that are in each class to target areas that would follow the goals of each session of the Structural Integration process. It can also have a form of one on one therapy process that can be combined with or incorporated in each structural integration session. It is a movement modality that looks at the structural organization of a human body, uses yoga asanas and its many modifications to functionally testability of the body to move and create sliding movements around the soft tissue tensegrity system of the body. Looking at each body segment, each bone, and relationships between all big sliding surfaces of a human structure the Zoga movement wants to find areas of imbalanced sliding possibilities of different layers and create spatial changes in the relationship of different body segments and soft tissue structures. Directs movement into areas that are restricted in gliding on surrounding tissues and helps them to release into a freedom of movement. www.zoga-movement.com

Presented by: Wojciech Cackowski

Wojtek has been fascinated with movement, sports, and bodywork all his life.

He received his degree in Sports Education and Physiotherapy and is a board-certified ATSI (formerly KMI) Structural Integration practitioner. He has been practicing manual therapy and yoga therapy for ten years, also combining these with myofascial therapy done in the water. The happy father of two children, he lives in Poland and practices in a medical spa where he has built a team of therapists who are using ATSI and Zoga combined with physiotherapy.

His fascination with fascial anatomy, movement analysis, the use of ultrasound, and the exploration of spatial tissue relationships in cadavers have been the foundation for the development of the ZOGA MOVEMENT PROJECT. A combination of yoga asanas, structural integration, and precise manual interventions have led to a method that influences spatial organisation of human body architecture.

Wojtek also teaches Scarwork of Sharon Wheeler, clinical applications of Structural Integration for neurological issues in children, scoliosis, and on structural approaches for foot specialists. He has presented at conferences in Poland and Europe on physiotherapy, manual medicine and movement.

He is involved in health projects including "Worldwide Exercise is Medicine" and "Walk for Health."

He is on the Board of Directors for the Polish Manual Medicine Association, which is setting standards and direction for development in manual medicine in Poland. Wojtek is involved in research projects focused on fascial layer movements, the clinical influence of Structural Integration, and measurements of structural changes created by manual and movement interventions. His biggest passions are bodywork and holistic approaches to the treatment of musculoskeletal disorders. He brings this passion - combined with his interest in anatomy and manual therapy techniques - to the workshops he teaches.


Session 3: Friday, March 26, 2021 | 12:30 PM – 1:45 PM PDT

Connected Anatomy in the NeuroMyoFascial Web

This talk addresses several issues of interest to the Structural Integration community:

  • The Fascial System is central to our practice - how can we visualise and explain it so other practitioners and the public will understand its importance and significance? We offer new dissections and updated images to make the operations of this system on posture easier to understand
  • What is the relationship between fascial and neurological patterning? Does fascia matter, or is it all placebo - ’stretch tolerance’ , energy and intention, or ’tone of voice’?
  • Structural Strategies - Addressing common postural problems through a Structural Integration lens - pelvic tilt / shift, and forward head posture.
  • The Anatomy Trains 12-series - why bother changing the 10-series?

The field of Structural Integration is moving ahead, and is set to make a grand leap when the virus is done with us. This lecture points at some of the ways forward.

Presented by: Tom Myers

Tom Myers, BCSI, directs Anatomy Trains, which offers certification in Structural Integration in the USA, Australia, and Europe, as well as short courses in manual therapy and functional anatomy worldwide. Tom is author of Anatomy Trains (2020, 4th ed), and co-author of Fascial Release for Structural Balance (2017, 2nd ed).

The Anatomy Trains myofascial meridians, which connect the muscles through the fascial fabric, is increasingly employed in a wide variety of rehabilitation and performance enhancement modalities.

Tom studied directly with Buckminster Fuller, Ida Rolf, Moshe Feldenkrais, Judith Aston, Emilie Conrad, and a variety of European osteopaths. He has practiced Structural Integration for over forty years in a wide variety of clinical and cultural settings.


Session 4: Friday, March 26, 2021 | 12:30 PM – 1:45 PM PDT

Working with Pro Athletes, On and Off-Season

SI with professional athletes can be a game-changer in helping athletes develop performance consistency, prevent injuries, lengthen their potential careers, and promote good physical health post-career. By looking at the timing of where an athlete is within their performance week, pre-season, in-season, off-season, and career, we as practitioners have the opportunity to watch our work manifest into action, possibly even on ESPN:). Selecting appropriate treatment for the appropriate time is possible with an embodied understanding of the Structural Integration protocol, expertise in movement patterning and development, biomechanics, and a thirst for investigation.
“In the middle of the 2018 football season, I was brought in to work with a high profile NFL quarterback whose injuries were taking over his ability to perform. Being mindful to restore structural balance without disrupting his athletic function certainly had its own learning curve for me. Since then, my practice has exploded with NFL athletes in all possible phases throughout the year. My wish is that there were more practitioners with my skill set interested in this type of work because it is so exciting and the learning never ends!”

Presented by: Kaylee Cahoon

Kaylee Cahoon is a nationally recognized Movement Educator, Anatomy Trains Structural Integration Practitioner, former internationally touring professional modern dancer, former television and theater choreographer, and a teacher of movement and manual therapists. Kaylee’s thirty-plus years of exposure and training in various somatic movement methods such as the Pilates Method, Feldenkrais Method®, Ideokinesis, Alexander Technique, Bartenieff Fundamentals, Laban Movement Analysis, and well as her own movement explorations combined with progressive and evolving understandings of anatomy, physics, and neuroscience, provide the infrastructure for her perceptive and integrative teachings.Kaylee works with a wide variety of populations from high-profile professional athletes, dancers, and entertainers to people with diagnosed medical issues such as MS, traumatic brain injury, pediatric neuromuscular conditions, and both acute and chronic pain patterns. The medical community often refers patients to Kaylee for injury prevention, developing core stability, neuromuscular repatterning, and balancing, and biomechanical problem-solving.

She has presented in universities (Vanderbilt University, University of TN, Middle TN State University), massage schools, public and private middle and high schools, TN board of education, non-profit state dance associations, Yoga, Pilates, and Dance Studios, and corporate environments on a variety of topics such as 'How and Why to Integrate Movement into a Massage Practice,' 'Fascial Planes in Movement, 'Movement Education,' ' Surviving a Sitting Job,' and 'Creating a Movement Curriculum.' Kaylee founded and directed the Franklin School of Performing Arts (1991-2015) and has former students located around the world as professional dancers, artists, and somatic practitioners. She founded and directed Pilates of Cool Springs (2004-2015), and developed her own movement approach to fitness and athletic performance, SMARTCore® Method in 2014.

Currently, Kaylee is a manual and movement therapist to many NFL starters from several teams working in all stages of their seasons. She is grateful to her lifelong movement passion in that it has fed her soul in more ways and directions than she could have ever imagined.


Session 5: Friday, March 26, 2021 | 1:55 PM – 3:10 PM PDT

Natural Alignment – Are We Born With It?

Natural Alignment is the alignment that is specific to the individual - the structural blueprint with which we are born. This idea is that Natural Alignment is inherent and not a factor of learning, patterning, or injury. It can be assessed by the shape of the bones and the required fascial patterning needed to support bones. This primary pattern of Natural Alignment exists regardless of the body's asymmetries or compensations. Structural Integration seeks to aid and support ease, functional excellence, and well-being for our clients. Contemplating Natural Alignment and learning assessment skills to understand it can help meet these goals and further the possibility of achieving equilibrium, i.e., specific counter-balancing of the girdles and appendicular structures unique to the individual's structure.

Presented by: Alyssa Dodson

Alyssa Dodson completed her initial Structural Integration training in 2002 at The Guild for Structural Integration with teachers Emmett Hutchins and Peter Melchior. Since then, she has had a private client practice and been teaching Structural Integration techniques for 18 years.

Alyssa teaches two courses: The Biomechanics of Adaptable Alignment and Core Integration: Visceral Manipulation. Both courses are based on the work of  Elizabeth Gaggini, a Rolfing™️ practitioner and teacher who Alyssa assisted for 10 years. Alyssa’s teaching style is influenced by her work with Monica Caspari in Structural Integration, Juliu Horvath in the Gyrotonic System, and Irene Dowd in Functional Anatomy. Prior to her Structural Integration career, Alyssa was a modern dancer for 15 years, and taught movement and alignment, including with the Martha Graham Company, The Metropolitan Opera, and Tanglewood Music Festival.



Session 6: Friday, March 26, 2021 | 1:55 PM – 3:10 PM

The Art of Yield

‘The Art of Yield’, is developed by Rolf Movement instructor Hiroyoshi Tahata, has been described by Mary Bond as “ an exploration in being fully present and in observing the whole again and again.” This approach is designed to engage the client’s own self-regulatory intelligence, rather than forcing change that the practitioner believes needs to happen. It demonstrates that effective structural change can be achieved through gentle and brief, but precisely timed touch. The practitioner’s touch invites a very deep relaxation in the whole body-mind system, facilitating decompression of joints and core-space expansion. Recent studies show the possibility to refine this approach by working with Ma, Japanese concept of time and space. The presenter would demonstrate the session with this approach.

Presented by: Hiroyoshi Tahata
Japanese Rolfing Association

Hiroyoshi Tahata has worked as a Rolfer since 1998. He joined the Rolf Movement faculty of the Rolf Institute® in 2009. He brings to this work a depth of creativity and understanding that integrates the principles of structure and function through a gentle and non-invasive approach to transformation. His background in biochemistry clearly bridges the inquiry between science and art. While working at a biotechnology-based company, before becoming a Rolfer, they collaborated on a project with two physicians, Drs. Omura and Shimotsuura, who are using a procedure they call the Bi-Digital O-Ring Test (US patent No.5579783). From his experience with doctors, Hiro understood that it is possible to heal a living organism with very little stimulation. The essence of the Art of Yield came out of his collaboration with his mentor, Carol Agneessens. With the support of his mentor and much clinical research with clients, Hiro found a way to incorporate the Art of Yield into the 10 series of Rolfing. In collaboration with Yojiro Katayama, the originator of Migama Seitai, Hiro continues to explore the art of incorporating the Japanese concept of 'ma'. *His latest work, uses 'ma' to promote a profound experience and physical geometric balance; to find out more and see before and after photos from the work, visit https://yielding.work/.* *Hiro provides Rolf Movement® certification program and continues to study/teach  Spatial Somatics and the Art of Yield with his colleagues internationally.


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