What is Rolfing® Structural Integration?

Rolfing is a type of therapeutic bodywork that uses soft tissue manipulation and movement education to balance the body in gravity.  Dr. Ida P. Rolf, who received her PhD in biochemistry from Columbia University in 1920, spent decades developing this system of bodywork which she named “Structural Integration.”  Dr. Rolf recognized that chronic strain in the body, whether caused by injury, poor posture or stress, results in patterns of imbalance that affect overall health and well-being.

Who Goes to a Rolfer?

People of all ages and walks of life use Rolfing to decrease pain, improve posture and address chronic tension.  Athletes, dancers, martial artists, yogis and musicians use Rolfing to enhance performance and move beyond achievement plateaus.  Rolfing can help speed healing from surgeries or accidents.  Rolfing improves balance for older people and assists flexibility and growth in children with developmental issues. (Many people use Rolfing to move through life’s transitions more comfortably.)

What Are Rolfing Sessions Like?

Dr. Rolf based her work on a series of ten sessions.  The sessions are designed to work with every aspect of the body creating balance from front to back, side to side, top to bottom and deep to superficial.  Not every person needs ten sessions; some need more, others less.  In every case, the sessions are geared to that particular person’s specific needs and goals.

Sessions usually last 75 to 90 minutes.  During a session the client will spend time standing, sitting, walking and lying down.  For example, a client whose goal is postural improvement might spend more session time sitting or standing, while a client seeking pain relief might be lying on the table for much of the session.  Always, the client’s goals and needs determine my Rolfing strategy.

Rolfing touch can be fingertip light or more intense when appropriate.  I have worked with fibromyalgia clients who can only tolerate minimum pressure, and with athletes who require a deep, strong approach.  (Like spicy food, I find that one person’s enjoyment is another person’s overwhelm.)

What About Combining Rolfing With My Martial Arts, Yoga, Physical Therapy?

Rolfing is a very effective complement to a yoga, pilates, martial arts practice or any sports activity.  If you are working with a Physical Therapist, Acupuncturist or other healthcare provider you will want to discuss Rolfing with them so that we can serve your goals together.