Rolfing® Structural Integration
What is Rolfing®?
Rolfing is a hands-on healing modality that realigns posture and offers pain relief by releasing tension, tightness, and restrictions that are held in the connective tissue, allowing the body to right itself effortlessly in gravity.
In 1920, Ida Pauline Rolf received her Ph.D. in biochemistry from the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Columbia University. She furthered her education as a research scientist at the Rockefeller Institute studying proteins in connective tissue.
Driven to find solutions to her own health problems as well as those of her two sons, she spent many years studying and experimenting with different systems of healing and manipulation. Throughout most of her life she was intrigued with and explored many forms of alternative healing including homeopathy, osteopathy, chiropractic and yoga. The notion that proper alignment, physiologic function and anatomical structure are related is the basis of many of these healing methods.
“One individual may experience his losing fight with gravity as a sharp pain in the back, another as the unflattering contour of his body, another as constant fatigue, and yet another as an unrelenting threating environment. Some may call it old age; yet all these signals may be pointing to a single problem so prominent in their own structures and the structures of other that it has been ignored; they are off-balance; they are at war with gravity.” - Dr. Ida P. Rolf
Her life’s work was devoted to investigating how proper body alignment will lead to proper movement and on overall sense of well-being. This led to the system of soft tissue manipulation and movement education that we now call Rolfing® Structural Integration. In order to pass along her work to others and to make the education process accessible, she developed an expedient series of ten sessions, which came to be known as the Ten Series.
Dr. Rolf continues to be recognized as a pioneer and leader in soft tissue manipulation and movement education. Since her death in 1979 at the age of 83, the Rolf Institute® of Structural Integration has continued to share her work by certifying Rolfers™ and Rolf Movement® Practitioners, supporting research, and building upon her inspiration. Today, there are more than 2,000 Rolfers™ and Rolf Movement Practitioners worldwide.
How Does Rolfing® Work?
The Rolfer uses physical pressure to lengthen and soften the connective tissue or fascia to return the body to its original symmetry and balance. Traditionally, Rolfing is done in a ten session series with each session building upon the previous sessions. The sessions are generally one-hour to one-and-a-half hour in length, typically a week or two apart. Each session addresses specific areas of the body and its relationship to other areas. The end result is new movements can now become possible and greater body awareness is accessed.
The end goal is to restore normal function to the structure by re-establishing the body and its relationship to its central vertical axis in gravity. The goal is to have permanent changes
with no need to constantly return for visits.
The Rolfing experience is a very individual process based on the client’s history of injuries and chronic tension patterns. Every Rolfing session is unique and the sensations can range from mild to strong and range from pleasurable to momentary discomfort. However, most clients experience a slow, steady pressure followed by a feeling of release of tension and tightness.
The Benefits of Rolfing®
Rolfing is a wholistic approach to treating the root cause of pain and/or dysfunction. It is essential to address not only the particular area of pain, but the entire structure itself in order to provide lasting change. The benefits of Rolfing are:
Greater ease and fluidity of movement
Improved flexibility, balance, and alignment
Relief from chronic pain
Increased body awareness
Greater sense of well-being