About Us

Our Mission:

We seek to discover and discuss inherent bias and racism in our lives, our work as Structural Integration (SI) practitioners, and in the functioning of our institutions. We examine relationships the theory, pedagogy, history, and practice of SI (and of somatic practices in general) have with legacies and systems of racism and oppression. Wherever we find intersections of our field with racism and oppression, our intention is to clarify them, and wherever individual or institutional actions contribute to harm, we will call for accountability.

Who We Are

We are a group of practitioners of Structural Integration (SI) who came together in June 2020 in the wake of George Floyd’s and Breonna Taylor’s murders by the police. Our current members are all Rolfers® and majority white. Inspired by the momentum of the Black Lives Matter Movement, and by somatics leaders such as Resmaa Menakem and Don Hanlon Johnson, our initial intention to become anti-racist co-conspirators has led us to focus on the relationships that the theory, pedagogy, history, and practice of SI (and of somatic practices in general) have with legacies and systems of racism and oppression. Scroll down for our individual bios.

Our Vision:

Liberation Somatics engages our community of bodyworkers and those who work more broadly in somatics around issues of racial and social justice. We believe that freedom, as well as many varieties of bondage and oppression, are experienced and propagated in our embodiment as human beings, therefore an exploration of somatics will contribute greatly to the liberation of all beings, and the undermining of white supremacy and other systems of oppression.

Guiding Questions:

  • Are there racist and colonial preconceptions within the work of Rolfing and Structural Integration?
  • Are SI sessions somatically safe and available for BIPOC communities?
  • What specific changes to SI education will result in antiracist somatic education?
  • Can Rolfing SI be a tool for liberation, and if so, how?
  • How is whiteness and a white supremacist culture experienced, performed, and transmitted somatically?
  • What could the SI community’s contribution be to reparations?

Bios:

Carol A. Agneessens

Carol A. Agneessens

 

Carol A. Agneessens began exploring "bodymind" in 1975. Drawn to the "mystery school of Rolfing", she enrolled in 1981. Her curiosity inspired delving into an on-going study of Cranial Sacral Therapy and Embryology. As a former special education teacher, Carol realized that kinesthetic learning is crucial for engaging individuals in their academic process. Her classes emphasize sensorial learning and movement. Having grown up in Detroit, Carol was exposed to the poverty and discrimination toward people of color. Freedom and equality for all have been at the forefront of her thinking and action for many years.

Ryan Hofer

Ryan Hofer

 

Ryan is a Board Certified Structural Integrator and Certified Rolfer. He's currently working on many projects to increase cultural access to SI and Somatic Education. Ryan is the chair of the Certification Board for Structural Integration.

Mike Knapp

Mike Knapp

 

Mike Knapp practices Rolfing Structural Integration™ and is the owner of Freedom Rolfing in Fayetteville, NC. He works mainly with active duty personnel, veterans and their families. The unique needs of this selfless and highly adaptive group are met with Mike's safe space and trauma informed touch. His blend of martial arts and bodywork experience helps him to better understand our protectors. Mike joined Liberation Somatics to further understand systemic racism.

Tristan Koepke

Tristan Koepke

 

Tristan Koepke is a dancer, educator, and Rolfer™ based in Minneapolis, MN. He holds a certificate in Rolfing® Structural Integration from the Dr. Ida Rolf Institute®, where he now serves as Chair of the newly-formed Committee for Diversity and Antiracism. He is currently the Associate Director of the Young Dancers Workshop at the Bates Dance Festival and is pursuing an MFA in Dance at the University of Maryland, College Park. Tristan is passionate about cultivating inclusive spaces that promote holistic wellness and somatic practices.

Katy Loeb

Katy Loeb

 

Katy Loeb is a Certified Rolfer newly based in Seattle, WA. Prior to becoming a Rolfer, Katy worked for a decade in museums and galleries and holds MA's in Art History and Arts Administration. Years of working at a desk compelled Katy to seek a Ten Series, after which she felt liberated and transformed in her body. Her experience and belief in Structural Integration's potential to relieve pain, and aid in collective liberation inspired Katy to change careers. She completed her training at the Dr. Ida Rolf Institute in July 2019, and continues to remain committed to somatic and political liberation.

Karin Wagner

Karin Wagner

 

Karin Wagner, Certified Advanced Rolfer™, has been practicing in Portland, Oregon since 2004. She has a blackbelt in Ki Aikido. She enjoys teaching for the public on topics related to posture, movement, and the nervous system.

Paul Wirth

Paul Wirth

 

Paul is a Structural Integration practitioner and Certified Advanced Rolfer™ practicing in Los Angeles. He's interested in the ways that culture, soma, and psyche co-create each other to produce what eventually becomes history.