The goal of Rolfing® Structural Integration is to align and balance the body’s components until the entire system is a smoothly functioning coordinated whole. The primary philosophy behind Rolfing® is finding the right relationship between the different segments of the body. The practitioner is interested in building supportive connections throughout the body. This means that many segments of the body are compared and considered (right to left, front to back, top to bottom, and inner to outer) so that the entire body may be guided towards greater balance around a central vertical axis.

Rather than addressing issues at the local level exclusively, a Rolfer approaches them from a body-as-system point of view. Dr. Rolf believed in looking beyond individual complaints into the entire system for the cause of dis-ease. For example, the origin of low back pain may be a non-local problem, or a symptom of something else. In many cases, such a disorder can be traced to a lack of support in the feet and legs, or in the misalignment between the pelvis and shoulder girdle. By establishing better structure and function overall, individual symptoms are often relieved.

The process of integrating the whole body typically involves a series of ten individual sessions. While one can benefit from a few sessions, the full series is recommended in order to achieve complete and lasting results.

The Basic Ten Series was designed in a way that makes sense to the body as it allows for a progress to build on itself. Very simply, the sequence can be understood in three parts. The first three sessions (1-3) address the most superficial fascial planes of the body's major segments, the next four (4-7) attend to the deep, intrinsic layers, and the final three (8-10) blend and coordinate the results from previous sessions.

Nearly every session includes some work in the neck, pelvis and back. While the ten series is like a template, specific attention is given to individual patterns during the ten-session process. Photos are usually taken before and after the series to document the changes in the body.

The Basic Ten Series offers a lasting foundation, which many people are satisfied with. However, clients who wish to, may explore further work by returning for post-ten "tune-ups" or an advanced series. This varies from person to person. Athletes, those with scoliosis, musculoskeletal conditions or physically/menatlly demanding jobs benefit from maintenance work which can be performed every 2-6 weeks. Many others will wait several months before scheduling multiple sessions with specific goals. Speak with Elias to see what is best for you. 

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What Kind of Training Does a Certified Rolfer® Have?

Most applicants of the Dr. Ida Rolf Institute come from a variety of backgrounds mostly in the health field including fitness professionals, nutritionists, yoga instructors, Pilates instructors, massage therapists, physical therapists, chiropractors, nurses, psychotherapists, and other backgrounds. Successful applicants of the Dr. Ida Rolf Institute complete a training program that typically requires 2 years of study. Training covers anatomy, physiology, kinesiology, Rolfing theory, structural analysis, soft-tissue manipulation, spinal mechanics, joint mobilization methods, Rolfing Movement Integration techniques, individual research, written essays, and extensive supervised clinical sessions.

The Dr. Ida Rolf Institute is headquartered in Boulder, CO with additional institutes in Canada, Brazil, Germany, South Africa, Japan, and Australia. The Dr. Ida Rolf Institute is the only organization accredited to teach Rolfing.

The History of Rolfing®

"This is the gospel of Rolfing:
When the body gets working appropriately, the force of gravity can flow through.
Then, spontaneously, the body heals itself."

~ Ida P. Rolf

Rolfing Structural Integration was developed by Dr. Ida Rolf, a trained biochemist who earned her Ph.D. from the College of Physicians and Surgeons  of Columbia University in 1920.

Driven to find solutions to her own health problems as well as those of her two sons, she spent many years studying and experimenting with different systems of healing and manipulation including osteopathy, chiropractic and  yoga.

Dr. Rolf agreed that the body functions best when the bony segments are in proper alignment.  She believed that the imbalances in structure placed demands on the body's pervasive network of soft tissues thereby creating compensations throughout the body structure.

Her life's work was devoted to the system of soft tissue manipulation and movement education that we now call Rolfing®. Dr. Rolf is recognized as a pioneer in manual therapy, movement education and fascia related work which has influenced many well-known systems, therapies and techniques in world of manual therapy.

In order to pass along her work to others and to make the education process accessible, she developed an expedient series of ten sessions, which came to be known as the Ten Series. The Rolf Institute of Structural Integration was established in 1971.


Since her death in 1979, the Rolf Institute® of Structural Integration has continued to share her work by certifying Rolfers™ and Rolf Movement® Practitioners, supporting research, and building upon her inspiration. Today, you can find Rolfers™ and Rolf Movement Practitioners worldwide.


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