a system of soft tissue manipulation and movement education that
organizes the whole body in gravity. Rolfing bodywork affects the bodys
posture and structure by manipulating the myofascial system (connective
tissue). Often considered a deep-tissue approach, Rolfing bodywork actually works with all the layers of the body to ease strain patterns in the entire system. Research has demonstrated that
Rolfing creates more efficient muscle use, allows the body to
conserve energy, and creates more economical and refined patterns
of movement. Rolfing has also been shown to significantly reduce
chronic stress, reduce spinal curvature in subjects with lordosis
(sway back), and enhance neurological functioning.
seek Rolfing as a way to reduce pain and chronic muscle tension, generally
resulting from physical and emotional traumas. Rolfing is used
by many professional athletes to break up scar tissue, rehabilitate injuries, and increase range of motion to improve performance and avoid future injuries. Dancers and musicians often use the work to increase increase comfort in their bodies while performing, as well as avoid repetitive stress injuries.
Additionally, some manufacturing companies have employed Rolfing
to decrease workers compensation costs due to repetitive
stress injuries. And, based on the mind/body connection, many counselors
and therapists incorporate Rolfing in the therapeutic approach.
Greater physical support and flexibility ultimately influences
emotions and energy levels.
Where did it come from?
Rolfing® structural integration is named after its creator, Dr. Ida
P. Rolf. Dr. Rolf received her Ph.D. in biochemistry from Columbia University
in 1920 and furthered her knowledge of the body through her scientific
work in organic chemistry at the Rockefeller Institute. Her extensive search
for solutions to family health problems led her to examine many
systems that studied the effect of structure on function, including yoga,
and chiropractic medicine. Dr. Rolf combined her research with her scientific
knowledge to stimulate a deeper appreciation of the bodys structural
order, resulting in the theory and practice of Rolfing. There are more
than 1,200 Certified Rolfers in 27 different countries. The Rolf Institutes
international headquarters is located in Boulder, Colorado, with offices
in Germany, Brazil, and Japan. To learn more about Dr. Rolf, visit the Ida P. Rolf Research Foundation website.
is Rolfing different from massage?
soft tissue manipulation and movement education, Rolfers affect
body posture and structure over the long-term. Unlike massage,
which often focuses on relaxation and relief of muscle discomfort, Rolfing
is aimed at improving body alignment and functioning. Rolfing is different from deep-tissue massage, in that practitioners are trained to create overall ease and balance throughout the entire structure, rather than focusing on areas presenting with tension. As a structure
becomes more organized,
chronic strain patterns are alleviated, and pain and stress decreases.
Rolfing can speed up injury recovery by reducing pain, stiffness
and muscle tension; improving movement and circulation around
joints; and attending to both the injury and any secondary pain
that may develop from favoring the injury.
Structural integration is generally performed over a series of ten sessions. This approach
allows the Rolfer to affect the clients structure in a
methodical manner. This includes loosening superficial fascia
before working deeper areas, improving support in feet and legs
before affecting higher structures, and helping clients find
ways to benefit from freer movement in their daily activities.
About The Rolf Institute of Structural Integration
Rolf Institute was founded in 1971 to carry on Dr. Rolf's work.
Its major purposes are to train Rolfers™ and Rolf Movement® Practitioners; to promote research; and to provide information to the public.
Headquartered in Boulder, Colorado, the Rolf Institute is
the only school accredited to teach Rolfing and is the sole certifying
body for Rolfers. Only individuals trained and certified by the
Rolf Institute may use the Rolfing® service mark.
applicants complete a training program that usually requires
two years of study and includes a continuing education program
extending for 6 additional years. The training includes the biological
sciences, the theory of Rolfing, and extensive clinical work