Rolfing® Structural Integration

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Rolfing Structural Integration is a supportive system of hands-on body work that utilizes slow consistent pressure applied to connective tissues in order affect change in the client's body and awareness.

Research has demonstrated that Rolfing SI creates a more efficient use of the muscles, allows the body to conserve energy, and creates more economical and refined patterns of movement. Research also shows that Rolfing SI significantly reduces chronic stress and changes in the body structure.

Dr. Ida P. Rolf

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Rolfing SI was created by the pioneering biochemist Ida P. Rolf, Phd. Dr. Rolf first began teaching structural integration in the 1950's to chiropractors and osteopaths. As her teaching developed she founded the Rolf Institute of Structural Integration in Boulder CO which continues her legacy as one of the many international schools of structural integration.

What Sessions Are Like

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A typical Rolfing session begins with a conversation between the client and the practitioner about the client's goals, progress, and concerns. After the initial interview, client's will change in private into their "Rolfing uniform", usual their underwear or shorts and sports bra, or whatever the client finds comfortable. Upon return to the studio, the practitioner will perform a visual assessment of the client's posture and ease of movement in order to form a strategy for the hands-on portion of the session.

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During the hands-on work, the client will lay on a massage table and the practitioner will utilize a spectrum of touch to assess, engage, and influence the client's connective tissues. Rolfing is an active partnership between client and practitioner. The client will be asked to engage with the work through their awareness of self and through the movement cues provided by the practitioner. 

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Sessions last for 60-75 minutes from arrival to departure. The session ends with integrative work that involves organization of the myofascia of the neck, the characteristic sacral cradle, and often some "back work" on the Rolfing bench. Clients frequently report leaving a Rolfing session felling, grounded, relaxed, at ease, energized and/or uplifted.

What Are the Benefits of Rolfing?

Different people pursue the process of Rolfing Structural Integration for different reasons. Some of those reasons include:

  • To be free of pain

  • For help after an accident

  • For support after a major life change, career, pregnancy, divorce, death of a loved one

  • To Reduce stress

  • To support personal growth and transformation

  • To improve posture

  • To address specific issues that haven't responded to other methods

  • To be relaxed and at ease in their bodies

  • For increased performance in sports, business, art or other creative pursuits

Does Rolfing Hurt?

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Rolfing received a reputation for being a painful but beneficial process. This developed in the early days as Rolfers strived to invoke the maximum change possible in a session.

Rolfing has changed with the times. Based on research into how connective tissue responds to touch, today's Rolfers understand how to effect change with a spectrum of touch that includes an awareness of the client's comfort and adaptability to the work. Most client's find the work of Rolfing to be a pleasant experience. There are moments that the client may find challenging as the work goes deeper to loosen adhesions and repattern inhibitions. These moments are to be expected and can be quite rewarding. "New school" Rolfing is just as effective as "old school" Rolfing without the bad rap.