About Rolfing


Rolfing is a system of bodywork developed by Dr. Ida Rolf nearly a century ago.

“Dr. Ida Pauline Rolf began developing her system in 1920 to help the chronically disabled unable to find help elsewhere, with the main goal of organizing the human structure in relation to gravity… This method was originally called Postural Release and later Structural Integration, also known as Rolfing.

In 1971, Dr. Rolf founded the Guild for Structural Integration, which later changed its name to the Rolf Institute of Structural Integration.

The Rolf Institute and 16 other schools… currently teach Structural Integration, but only Rolf Institute graduates may use the term Rolfer.”  (from Wikipedia)

Rolfing is a cooperative effort between client and Rolfer with the intention of transforming the structure (shape) of the body so that it can function free of tension and/or pain. Although the result of this work is a fully integrated relationship of all facets of our being, the work’s primary focus is softening and lengthening fascia (connective tissue) that has become bound and restricts muscles from working in concert with one another.


Anyone who hurts

John rolfing a client 


Rolfing looks at the body as an integrated whole, for when we suffer an injury, emotional trauma, or stress, our  entire body responds. Our bodies reflect our histories.  Tissue is our storage system for all traumas we have experienced.

Although initially we attend to the injured area itself, working with isolated areas is rarely enough to address the aftermath of trauma. For lasting change, the entire body must be brought into balance. Our response to trauma produces stress which restricts our vitality, affects our ability to breathe, impairs flexibility, and causes us to hold ourselves in postural patterns which we may not even recognize or feel we can change.

A skilled Rolfer recognizes these patterns, seeing them in the client’s posture and movement. Confirming these holding patterns through touch, the Rolfer palpates these patterns of stress, helps the client release them, and suggests movement that helps stabilize the changes which have occurred.

Increased freedom of movement benefits all of us and enhances all of our endeavors with grace and ease. So, why not get Rolfed?


Since becoming a certified Rolfing practitioner, my work has evolved. In 1998 I was introduced to Biodynamic Cranio-sacral work which views each human being as part of a larger breathing web that embraces all life. Touch in this work is gentle, encouraging the practitioner to ‘listen’ with his or her hands. In this way, my Rolfing has become more about responding to my clients’ bodies and working with them to bring about change.

In 2006 I was introduced to Positional Release Therapy as taught by Denise Deig. PRT utilizes specific and gentle manipulation of muscles and joints, addressing both pain and inflexibility. This particular practice resonates with me as a Rolfer and I have learned it in depth.

In my practice I have found that incorporating a lighter touch eliminates the resistance that once arose with the more forceful approach of my initial training. Clients respond deeply to this concentrated, gentler, more specific touch. I believe that this new way of working has afforded my clients a safe and quiet environment in which to release both physical and emotional pain as well as unnecessary tension brought about in our daily lives.

The Rolfing experience I offer now still provides the structural changes for which Rolfing is renowned, but with listening hands it is brought about in a deeply gentle way.

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