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  • Writer's pictureKirstie Bender Segarra

Get off of your F*&3cking High Horse

April 26, 2024



As the birds are singing, calming my vagal tone, here in Taos, New Mexico on April 26, 2024. I am tuning into how my left knee inflamed a week and half ago as I was carrying the pain of my dearest Bambu, a 17 year old Tuxie, who had paralysis in their hind legs and proceeded to shut down internally in the process of dying. Meanwhile, my social media feed is inundated with the on-going genocide of Palestinian people in Gaza entering its 8 months in a couple of weeks. This shows up in my fifth lumbar and nervous system as it wraps over the sacrum as pain. I am blessed to have somatic awareness and continue to cultivate my own growth by challenging my assumptions and find ways I can live in support of freedom. Freedom in biological systems is one of my first passions. It is my responsibility to cultivate this freedom in my beingness. Breathe. Move. Heal.

 

I have a flying frog hand carved and painted in Bali, Indonesia hanging over my bodywork table. It reminds me of my first teachers in systems theory and jazz who both revered the frog for its ability to read the environment through the skin as a Zen animal. Frogs are inherently sensitive to toxins in the environment and will die if there are poisons in the ecosystem. As a highly sensitive empath I live in a hyper state of awareness around such toxins. Toxins can come in the form of words, deeds, actions as well as the environment. When we choose to use certain language it can perpetuate violence, gas lighting, racism, hatred, inequality and more. For example, boosting oneself up other others as superior (one who knows more or is more spiritual) is a form of narcissism and if the person is white, can be seen as white supremacy.

 

I am sharing this today due to a letter written by a teacher in my field of Structural Integration a.k.a. Rolfing. Within the letter they clearly wrote that Structural Integration schools were vocational and lacked basic knowledge of what Dr. Ida Rolf was teaching. There is a history of egoic teachers perpetuating that they know more, and the Dr. Ida Rolf was a mystic and the art of Structural Integration will be lost blah blah blah. For myself, this is a way of perpetuating more white supremacy, violence and gas lightening other educators in the field.

 

My invitation, is educators should take the time to do their own work and process what they say, how they say and ask themselves are they truly operating as an educator? Dr. Ida Rolf was an educator first, to practice Structural Integration is to be an educator. One might confabulate her teachings with the hands-on form of bodywork that she incorporated from her trainings with osteopaths, Hatha yoga, metaphysics and more. Dr. Rolf did have a strong presence and trained many people to carry on the lineage.

 

What we don’t need is to continue to idolize her as if she was the only person of interest and creative who developed something. There are many who have developed great forms of work and many who we don’t know such as the Shaman in a small village on an island somewhere.We also need to be careful how we language (talk and write) about her work as it is easy to fall into exercising power differentials, racism and more. Structural Integration has inherently had a place for the privileged and more fortunate folks. It is time for us to walk a new path of inclusion, non-bias, and create more accessibility to our field for all kinds of people and creatures of this earth.

 

Wholeheartedly,

 

Dr. Kirstie Segarra

(they/she)

 

Biography:

 

Dr. Kirstie Segarra, BCSI is a Doctor of Integrative Medicine and Osteopathy (DOMP). Founder of the Structural Integration Program at the University of New Mexico-Taos 2019. Dr. Kirstie has over 28 years in the field and 18 years of full-time teaching in bodywork/movement and is tenured faculty. They may be contacted at drkirstietaos@gmail.com or drkirstie.com.



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