About Rolfing

"Bodywork can extend athletic careers. I truly believe if I had received Rolfing in the early part of my career, I would still be pitching today."

Craig Swan
Former N.Y. Mets Pitcher
Certified Rolfer

"Like yoga, Rolfing is one of those practices that your body instantly tells you makes a lot of sense."

Vogue Magazine
(March 2007)

 "There is one major reason to take Rolfing seriously: it works. Not only can it dramatically change people's bodies, it can transform their lives as well. Rolfing is powerful stuff."

Larry Dossey, M.D.
Best-selling Author

"My wife recommended Rolfing highly. The first of ten sessions fixed my back pain."

Willie Nelson
New York Times Feb. 23, 1995

Rolfing® is an original and scientifically validated system of hands-on soft tissue manipulation and movement education developed by Dr. Ida Rolf.

History of Rolfing

Ida Rolf received her Ph.D. in biochemistry in 1920. Intrigued by alternative healing, Dr. Rolf explored homeopathy, osteopathy, chiropractics and yoga. She came to the realization that gravity is the fundamental influence on the body and if the structure is out of alignment, gravity will pull it further out of balance and the whole body will gradually adapt to the deviation. As a result of her studies and personal exploration, Dr. Rolf discovered how pliable and moldable our structures really are and that by manipulating the body's connective tissue, called fascia, remarkable changes can occur in posture and structure. Her work, originally called Structural Integration, was later named Rolfing.

How Does Rolfing Work?

Physical, mental and emotional events from our lives are recorded and stored in our bodies via the system of fascia. This creates holding patterns in our bodies that affect our posture, the way we move, feel and function. What may seem like a simple imbalance, like one hip slightly higher than the other, becomes a cycle of one's pattern affecting movement and the movement affecting the pattern. In addition to these imbalanced holding patterns, is the constant affect of gravity dragging us down and more out of alignment. Over time, we often experience the result as chronic pain, discomfort, restricted movement and an overall compromise in feeling our best.

The Certified Rolfer analyzes these patterns and through refined and intelligent pressure softens and lengthens the fascia, allowing the body to right itself.

Benefits of Rolfing

People of all ages come to Rolfing for a variety of reasons. Results of Rolfing will vary from person to person, however, clients commonly report the following benefits:

The 10 Series

Ida Rolf developed a 10 session series to balance the body in gravity. Within the context of the overall goals for the series, each session has a specific focus and goals that are adapted for each client's unique needs. While the 10 series seems to be most beneficial for lasting results, you can still get the benefits of Rolfing from fewer sessions.

  1. Breath
    This session focuses on the areas affecting breathing. We work on the chest, ribs, shoulders, back and neck. There will be some work on the arms or legs.
  2. Support
    This session focuses on the lower legs and feet to establish connection with the ground and give support to the body. Some back and neck will be included.
  3. Sides
    This session focuses on the sides, which are often neglected in massage. We will work on the sides of the body from the neck to the knees.
  4. Core/Lower Body
    This session focuses on the inner line of the legs from the feet to the pelvic floor.
  5. Core/Upper Body
    This session focuses on the deeper structures of the pelvis, abdomen and chest.
  6. Back
    This session focuses on the entire back of the body from the feet to the neck.
  7. Head, Neck, Face
    This session is often a favorite as it focuses entirely on the head, neck and face. We also work on the jaw in this session.
  8. Integration
    This session focuses on the lower body and comes back to trouble areas.
  9. Integration
    This session focuses on the upper body and comes back to trouble areas.
  10. Whole Body Integration
    This session covers the entire body.

How Many Sessions Do I Need?

This is different for everyone depending on where you are in life and what's going on in your body. It could range from a few sessions to 25 or more. Most people going through the 10 series come every week or every other week. Others on maintenance may come once a month. Everyone is unique and you should do what works for your body, your schedule, your budget and your life. We will work together as long as you are benefiting from Rolfing.

How is Rolfing Different From Massage?

  1. Rolfing aims at the underlying cause of the pain and tension while massage often focuses on temporary relief of symptoms. Rolfing often results in more significant and longer lasting changes.
  2. Rolfing is likely to feel different than massage. Rolfers work slowly and use firm and sustained pressure to allow fascia to soften and lengthen.
  3. Clients will be engaged in the process both verbally and through movement.
  4. Rolfing is unprecedented in its focus on the successful integration of the whole body structure in relation to gravity.

Does Rolfing Hurt?

Many people have heard that Rolfing is painful and are apprehensive about making an appointment. Yet I am sure that whether it is yourself, your friends or your family, you know someone personally who lives with pain in their bodies all the time. From my own experience and that of others who have experienced Rolfing, the work can certainly have intense moments, but the result is more freedom, more space and less pain. Many people have described the intensity as "productive" or "good pain." Rolfing should never feel sharply painful or overwhelming. I can assure you that I work closely with my clients to ensure that the depth of work is both enjoyable and effective.