Rolfing is a type of manual therapy that was developed by Dr. Ida P. Rolf in the 1970s. She called her work ‘Structural Integration’ because her goal was to integrate a person’s structure - a.k.a. to align and balance the segments of their body. When our body is in alignment we no longer have to struggle against the pull of gravity, allowing us to sit, stand, and move with greater ease.
Rolfers help their clients establish balance and ease through direct manipulation of the fascia - the connective tissue that wraps around all of our muscles, bones, and organs - with hands, knuckles, and forearms. Fascia is the most prolific substance in the body; it is one continuous web-like membrane, spanning from just beneath the skin all the way into the deepest structures of the body. By addressing the fascia, rather than individual muscles or joints, we can create lasting, global change in a person’s body.
In addition to hands-on interventions, Rolfers also use movement education and coaching to help clients embody the changes they experience during their Rolfing sessions. This is, perhaps, one of the most important elements of this work. When you’re able to feel subtle differences in how you hold yourself, it empowers you to make deliberate choices about how you use your body.
Rolfing is typically performed in a series of 10 sessions. Each session is focused on one area of the body and, by the end of the series, we will have addressed the entire body. We don’t chase symptoms or limit our work to the area of pain because we acknowledge that, when there’s an imbalance in one area, the entire structure is affected. For more information about the Ten Series, click here.
Improving posture & range-of-motion
Enhancing body awareness
Increasing resilience & adaptability
Developing a stronger sense of self
What To Expect
Sessions are typically 45-75 minutes long. Please allow up to 90-minutes, especially for your first visit.
We’ll begin each session by assessing your posture and movement; for this portion we may ask you to walk or do some simple movements. The hands-on work will be done on a bodywork table or a bench. We may prompt you to participate in the work by taking a breath, doing subtle movements, or bringing your awareness to an area of your body. At the end of the session, we’ll repeat the assessments we did at the beginning and discuss any changes you notice. We may introduce ‘home-play’ exercises for you to practice between sessions.
There is no draping. Please wear or bring underwear, a swimsuit, or fitted athletic clothing. Loose-fitting boxers, sheer materials, and otherwise revealing garments are discouraged.
Rolfing has a reputation for being painful. When the modality was first developed, our scientific understanding was that the practitioner needed to manually separate layers of tissue - ouch! We now understand that, in order to affect change in the tissue, we must correspond with the recipient’s nervous system. Some areas may feel more sensitive than others, but it is important that we do not cause pain when working. If the sensation you’re experiencing is intense enough that your muscles activate or your breathing changes, please let your practitioner know.
What Clients Are Saying
“…each of those 10 sessions were an amazing, eye-opening experience that left me with new awareness and a better understanding of my body.”
“After completing the full 10 series, I felt like I was at home in my own body for the first time in my life. From start to finish, the process helped me to understand my own body, what true balance felt like and how my body was actually supposed to function.”