Rolfing & Research
Dr. Ida Rolf was studying fascia in the 1920's at the Rockefeller Institute, and Rolfing practitioners have been fascinated with the properties of the body's fascial web since the 60's. But, until recently, mainstream medicine viewed facia as little more than the stuffing surrounding all the really interesting parts (bones, muscles, and organs).
Fascia is now in vogue among the research and medical communities and studies are ongoing. Although much of the research is focused on basic science (What exactly is fascia? What is is made of? What are it's properties?), there is increasing interest in the role that fascia plays in musculoskeletal strain disorders such as low back pain and instability; postural strain patterns; fibromyalgia; pelvic pain; respiratory dysfunction; chronic stress injures; wound healing; and trauma recovery/repair.
For the latest in structural integration and fascia research, visit the following websites:
The Ida P. Rolf Research Foundation - The only nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting structural integration research and collaboration between research and clinical communities.
The International Fascia Research Congress - A project of the Ida P. Rolf Research Foundation, the Congress was the brain-child of Certified Advanced Rolfer Tom Findley, MD, PhD. The Third Internation conference will be held in Vancouver, BC in 2012 and — as usual — will present the latest and best fascia findings. DVD recordings and proceedings books from prior Congresses are available on this site. Also check out the Science Magazine article.
fasciaresearch.com - Searchable website created by Certifed Advanced Rolfer, Robert Schleip, PhD. Be sure to look through Schleip's Fascia Research Project in his lab at Ulm University, Ulm, Germany.
Rolfing structural integration treatment of cervical spine dysfunction demonstrates that the basic ten-session series of Rolfing Structural Integration (RSI), when applied by a physical therapist with advanced RSI certification, is capable of significantly decreasing pain and increasing active range of motion in adults with cervical spine dysfunction.
her 1963 study, Project Breakthrough, Ida Rolf
found that children who had received Rolfing work exhibited
better muscle tone, better alignment, and improved social responsiveness. Photo courtesy of Rolf Institute of Structural Integration.
Valerie D. Hunt and Dr. WayneW. Massey of the UCLA Department
of Kinesiology completed a five-year controlled study in
1977, entitled, A study of structural integration from
neuromuscular, energy field and emotional approaches.
They found that subjects who had receivedRolfing exhibited:
larger, and less constrained extraneous movements
movement efficiency and improved neuromuscular balance
dynamic and energetic body movements, with less fatigue
more erect carriage with less obvious strain to maintain
emotional calmness, a greater sense of well being, and decreased anxiety.
recent research findings include the positive effects
of Rolfing on the autonomic nervous system (published in The
Journal of the American Physical Therapy Association, Mar.
1988) and benefits of Rolfing for chronic back pain (The Journal
of Orthopedic & Sports Physical Therapy, Sept.1997).
Integrating Manual and Movement Therapy with Philosophical
Counseling for Treatment of a Patient with Amyptrophic Lateral
Sclerosis: A case study that explores the principles of holistic
intervention. J. Cottingham, M.S., P.T. & J. Maitland,
Ph.D., Alternative Therapies In Health and Medicine,
Three-Paradigm Treatment Model Using Soft Tissue Mobilization
and Guided Movement-Awareness Techniques for Patients with
Chronic Back Pain: A case study. J. Cottingham & J.
Maitland, The Journal of Orthopedic & Sports Physical
Therapy, Vol.26, No.3, Sept.1997.
of Soft Tissue Mobilization on Pelvic Inclination Angle, Lumbar
Lordosis, and Parasympathetic Tone: Implications for treatment
of disabilities associated with lumbar degenerative joint disease. Cottingham
JT. Public testimony presentation to the National Center of
Medical Rehabilitation Research of the National Institute of
Health, Bethesda, MD; March 19, 1992. Rolf Lines, 20
(2): 42-45, 1992.
Structuring for Figure Skating: Preliminary pilot study report
for the U.S. Figure Skating Association. Helen James, Katharine
Robertson, & Neal Powers, Olympic Training Center Camp,
in Pelvic Inclination Angle and Parasympathetic Tone Produced
by Rolfing Soft Tissue Manipulation. J. Cottingham, Frances
Nelson Health Center, Illinois. The Journal of American
Physical Therapy Association, Vol. 68, 1364-1370, 1988.
of Soft Tissue Mobilization on Parasympathetic Tone in Two
Age Groups. J. Cottingham, Frances Nelson Health Center,
Illinois, 1987. The Journal of American Physical Therapy
Association, Vol. 68, 352-356, 1988.
With Cerebral Palsy. Cindy Potter, 1986.
Evaluation of Rolfing in Cerebral Palsy. Perry, Jones & Thomas. Developmental
Med. Child. Neurol., 1981, 23.
Evaluation of Structural Integration Techniques. V. Hunt & W.
Massey, UCLA. Psychoenergetic Systems, Gordon & Breach
Science Pub., U.K., 1977.
of Structural Integration on State-Trait Anxiety. R.
Wagner & V.
Hunt, UCLA, 1976. Journal of Clinical Psychology, Vol.
35, No.2, April 1979.
Stimulus Intensity Control, and the Structural Integration
Technique. Silverman, Rappaport & Hopkins. Confinia
Psychiatrica, Karger Publisher, Switzerland, 1973.
Integration, I.P. Rolf, Rockefeller Institute, N.Y., 1918 1927.