What's Rolfing: Structural Integration?
Rolfing is a form of bodywork also known as Structural Integration. It was given the nickname "Rolfing" in response to the successful work of its creator Dr. Ida P. Rolf. Rolfing utilizes a variety of hands-on and perceptual interventions directed towards improving an individual's posture and relationship to gravity. In involves a systematically direct and indirect application of pressure to fascia surrounding muscles, bones, joints, and ligaments as well as movement education intended to help someone further break out of patterns of restriction in his or her daily activities. Due to its holistic approach Rolf sessions cover a lot of territory in order to get to the issues in the tissues and many sessions are organized into a series of ten separate sessions, commonly referred to as "The Ten Series" or "Ida's Recipe". This approach helps reorganize, realign, and reintegrate the body so that it will be able to move with minimal pain and optimal efficiency.
- Improved posture and alignment
- Improved movement efficiency
- Improved athletic performance
- Improved balance and coordination
- Increased bodily awareness and education
- Reduced symptoms of chronic aches and pains
- Increased embodiment of self
- Increased awareness and presence
- Improved sense of well-being
What Are SOME REPORTED benefits?
What's a session/series like?
"It's not how deep you go. It's how you go deep." - Ida P. Rolf, PhD.
Noel prior to and after 10 sessions of Rolfing: SI, 2016.
Each session begins with structural and functional assessments of your body. The Rolfer gathers objective information from observing your posture and qualities of movement while getting feedback from your own felt experience. You and the Rolfer will develop a strategy based on the goals for the session in relation to the goals for your series and then decide where to begin. Common methods used are sustained pressure with the use of the Rolfer's body in order to encourage response in your body's connective tissue. A Rolfer may also encourage you to move while receiving manual work and explore movements on your own in order to observe, develop, and refine healthier postural patterns.
Within the classic 10 Series the first three sessions are grouped together as superficial sessions since they are focused more on balancing you within your three-dimensional space; unwrapping structural elements so as to make it easier to go deeper into the territory with following sessions. The next four sessions are referred to as core sessions since they are focused more on clearing up the deeper elements comprising your structure. The last three sessions are intended to begin the process of closing off a series through integration. Integration means you will be learning how to coordinate movement with the changes made during the series. Even though there's always more to do, getting to the end of a series leaves you with a deeper level of embodiment which lasts a lifetime.
How often should I get Rolfed?
The frequency of visits varies from person to person
depending on how one responds to the work and his or
her readiness for the next session. Once a week or twice
a month is normal for a 10 Series yet clients have
received sessions as close to each other as twice a week
and as far apart as once a month. If you sign up
for a 10 Series then you should consider keeping your
sessions consistent throughout the entire course of the
series so as to best optimize the effects of the work. After
finishing a series you may find need to continue with
the work and an additional series of 3-5 sessions may
help in addressing some larger projects. You may also
come in as needed and receive "tune-ups" from
normal stresses related to your everyday demands or from
unexpected life events.
Click to view a sample of a Rolfing session in progress.
How much is it?
Rolfing: Structural Integration sessions are $120 per 60-75 minute session. Three, five, and ten session packages are also available upon request. (See Booking Page for Discounts for active students, active military, and seniors of 65+ years).
Helpful Links and Articles
Fascial Plasticity: A Neurobiological Explanation by Robert Schleip, 2003
Variations in Ida Rolf's Recipe by Thomas Myers, 2004
Grounding Structural Concepts in Physical Reality by Hans Flury, 2004
Structural Integration: The Journal of the Rolf Institute Vol 45 No. 1, 2017 (Features Noel Poff's article "Closure")
Rolfing Structural Integration 10 Series Overview by Matt Hsu, Upright Health, 2016
Rolfing: Structural Integration by Noel Poff, Oblique Magazine, May 2018
Structure, Function, Integration: Journal of the Dr. Ida Rolf Institute, November 2019 (Features Noel Poff's Article "Movement Integration Through Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation")