A picture of massage therapist during Rolfing session


Rolfing® is a soft tissue manipulation and movement education that organises the whole body in gravity, originally developed by Ida Rolf. Rolfers affects the body’s structure by manipulating the fascial system (connective tissue).

Often considered a deep-tissue approach, Rolfing bodywork actually works with all the layers of the body to ease strain patterns in the entire system. Rolfing creates efficiency in muscle and patterns of movement by allowing glide between tissues. Rolfing has also been shown to significantly reduce chronic stress or pain and enhance neurological functioning.


Fascia is the stringy, fluid, gelatinous tissue that fills all the empty spaces between our cells.  Its weblike nature envelopes muscles, bones, blood vessels, nerves and protectively surrounds internal organs from head to toe. Fascia, also known as connective tissue, provides the structural and mechanical framework of the body, allowing tissues to slide and glide against each other during movement.



Dr Ida P. Rolf (1896-1979) is the founder of the Rolfing® Structural Integration method that she developed and first taught in California, U.S.A. She is one of the first women to have obtained a PhD in biochemistry at the University of Columbia, New York, in 1920 and furthered her knowledge of the body through her scientific work in organic chemistry at the Rockefeller Institute.

Dr Rolfs interest in Structural Integration came about through her research for solutions to personal and family health problems for which conventional methodologies had proven unsatisfactory.

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. 




People come to Rolfing for a wide range of reasons.


Rolfing® responds to the needs of those who feel uncomfortable in their body, run down, stress or in pain.


For rehabilitation from an old injury, trauma, emotional shocks or resolve problems from scar tissue (broken bones, torn muscles or ligaments, overstretched tissue, whiplash, etc.) so that the organism can fully recover and find ease again.


People seeking to free lesions from repetitive movement. To improve ones posture or scoliosis. The elderly and for the ageing body - to keep mobility, balance and well-being.


Many athletes and/or artists wanting to improve performance and extend their careers seek Rolfing.


Or to simply want to feel better - to have more energy and flexibility. Still others sense a need for change in their lives and in their bodies. They see Rolfing as a way to reconnect with their bodies - emotionally, physically, and spiritually.


While both, Rolfing and massage, involve soft tissue manipulation, the intention is different. Rolfing is defined by the method in which the practitioner employs.


Rolfers affect bodies structure over the long-term. Changing the shape and function of facial tissues. Unlike massage, which often focuses on relaxation and relief of muscle discomfort, Rolfing is aimed at improving body alignment, fascial glide and function.


In a Rolfing session the practitioner will engage movements while working the soft tissues innervating fascial glide, while in a massage the client is most likely passive.


Also Rolfing is different from deep-tissue massage, in that practitioners are trained to create overall ease and balance throughout the entire structure, rather than focusing on areas presenting with tension. As a structure becomes more organised, chronic strain patterns are alleviated thence pain and stress decreases.


Many forms of massage exist and are a great way to compliment ones preferred alternative therapies.

Kristy Shelley - Rolfing session

To know more about Rolfing® and how to become a Rolfer visit:

www.rolf.org                                                         www.rolfing.org


Picture with logo of Rolfing