What is Rolfing?


Ida P. Rolf, Ph.D., a biochemist, developed Rolfing therapy (a.k.a. Rolfing Structural Integration) in the 1940s. What is Rolfing therapy? It’s a type of bodywork that spiked in popularity in the 1970s. Recently, interest has once again resurfaced.The concept behind Rolfing is that we can greatly improve our health by manipulating our fascia.

What is Rolfing therapy?

To understand what Rolfing is,you must first understand what fascia is. This is a webbing-like structure that holds all our internal body parts in place. Your organs are surrounded by your muscles’ fascia. It keeps your bones stable. Every muscle, tissue,tendon, bone, and ligament in your body is covered in fascia.

Rolfers focus on the fascia, which they claim can help treat a variety of ailments, instead of manipulating your muscles like a massage therapist oryour bones like a chiropractor. Movement education is also incorporated into the Rolfing practice.

What distinguishes Rolfing from massage?

Massage and Rolfing are hands-on techniques for reducing stress and bringing about physical and emotional relief.

However, they differ in a few significant ways.

Massage is more focused locally.  A massage therapist will work with you to address specific problem areas, whereas Rolfing is a full-body protocol.

Many massage therapists use a technique that’s known as myofascial release.It aims to reduce fascial tension. In doing so, most massage therapists concentrate on a particular area of your body that you tell them feels uncomfortable to you. On the other hand, Rolfing focuses more on lengthening fascia all over your body.

Rolfing seeks to change structures. Since it concentrates on realigning, integrating, and changing structural aspects of your entire body, it provides you with long-lasting relief. With massage, you’ll only experience its effects for a while. Of course, during that time, you’ll feel looser and more at ease.

Rolfing is typically more intense.  While some massage techniques use less pressure (e.g.,deep pressure massage), others are more calming (e.g., a relaxing spa massage). Both are different from Rolfing, which is known for being aggressive.  Of course, different practitioners will approach pressure in different ways. Regardless of the approach, you should feel comfortable enough with the practitioner to express any pain that you may be feeling throughout the treatment.

Is Rolfing safe?

Although based on some established scientific theories, more study is required to fully comprehend the safety and risks associated with Rolfing. What is currently known comes from a few small studies that say that Rolfing may aid in the treatment of fibromyalgia and back pain. According to a different study, Rolfing helped a group of kids with cerebral palsy walk better. The findings from those studies, however, haven’t been confirmed because they were all conducted with tiny participant populations. Therefore, now that you know what Rolfing is, if you decide to consider having a Rolfing treatment, you should select a certified practitioner.

Where can you have Rolfing done?

Williams Rolfing in Tampa, FL, is a well-known and respected Rolfing therapy business. They can answer what Rolfing therapy is, and their certified practitioners will help you maintain realistic expectations when undergoing Rolfing. Contact them to get a consult before starting this new treatment.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Therapy Work

Does Music Therapy Work?

838 ViewsAlthough obviously not intended as an alternative to life-saving medicine, music therapycan be used to help treat people with a variety of health conditions, both mental and physical. For example, those suffering with cancer may find that the use of music therapy helps to reduce anxiety associated with their illness and the treatment they […]

speech therapy Scotch Plains

Stuttering – You’re Not Alone

823 ViewsStuttering is a complex issue that many struggles with. For some, stuttering is a fleeting nuisance that appears only occasionally. For others, stuttering is an ongoing problem that can cause distress and anxiety. While most people will experience stuttering from time to time, the condition can be debilitating for some sufferers. The struggle of […]