What is Rolfing®?

Rolfing® is a system of fascial manipulation and movement education that organizes the whole body in gravity. Rolfing affects the body’s posture and structure by manipulating the myofascial system and the nervous system’s influence on postural health. Research has demonstrated that Rolfing results in 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, and enhance neurological functioning.

For more information about Rolfing research please visit rolf.org and navigate to “Research” under the “Members” pull down menu.

People seek Rolfing as a way to reduce pain and chronic stress, generally resulting from physical and emotional traumas or just the daily strain of living in a human body. Rolfing is used by many professional athletes, dancers and entertainers to improve performance. 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 are incorporating Rolfing in the therapeutic approach. Greater physical support and ease ultimately influences emotions and energy levels.


What are the origins of Rolfing?

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 her and her family members’ health problems led her to examine many systems that studied the effect of structure on function. These included yoga, osteopathy, chiropractic, and the burgeoning human potential movememt. Dr. Rolf combined her research with her scientific knowledge to stimulate a deeper appreciation of the body’s structural order resulting in the theory and practice of Rolfing. There are more than 2,200 Certified Rolfers worldwide.


What Rolfing isn’t.

While Rolfing is often grouped with massage and other hands-on forms of bodywork, there are fundamental differences between Rolfing and the other modalities. Rolfing works to address the structural integration of your body and not the symptoms of resulting from the body’s misalignment. The aim of Rolfing is to provide a more functional body for the long term beyond the temporary ease of symptom relief.


About the Rolf Institute®

The 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 carry on 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.

Successful applicants complete a 731 hour training program. The basic training includes the biological sciences, the theory and practice of Rolfing, and clinical work under supervision. Advanced training is usually undertaken within four to seven years after basic training. Continuing education is required as long as a Rolfer is practicing.


Rolfing®, Rolfer™, Rolf Movement® and the Little Boy Logo are service marks of The Rolf Institute of Structural Integration®, Boulder, CO.

Rolfing® designates the Rolf Institute’s brand of structural integration, the discipline developed by the late Ida P. Rolf, Ph.D. While the Rolf Institute is Dr. Rolf’s original school of structural integration, it is now one of many schools of structural integration; and Rolfing® structural integration designates the practice of structural integration by graduate members of the Rolf Institute, who are licensed to use its service marks.


To learn more about how Rolfing works and the benefits of Rolfing, please visit the Rolf Institute® website.


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