Only graduates of the Ida P. Rolf Institute can call their work Rolfing® or use the term Rolfer™.

Rolfing® designates the Rolf Institute’s brand of structural integration, the discipline developed by the late Ida P. Rolf, Ph.D. While the Rolf Institute is Dr. Rolf’s original school of structural integration, it is now one of many schools of structural integration; and Rolfing® structural integration designates the practice of structural integration by graduate members of the Rolf Institute, who are licensed to use its service marks.


Rolfing is the name for the body of work that Dr. Ida P. Rolf originally developed and named Postural Release. It is now known internationally as Structural Integration.

It was Ida Rolf’s unique insights into the nature of connective tissue and the relationship of the human body with the gravitational field of the earth that set Rolfing apart from other bodywork. Through hands-on manipulation she found that the human body could be oriented around a vertical line, which she called The Line.

If the physical body oriented more efficiently around the line, gravity reinforced and improved rather than degraded the health and vitality of the person as a whole. She also discovered that the elastic properties of connective tissue allowed easy manipulation and that the body is literally suspended in a web of connective tissue.

After six decades of research and development, Rolfers now use a combination of sophisticated touch that focuses on the connective tissue (including fascia, ligaments, tendons and the wrappings around muscle, organs and bones) and movement education that repatterns the nervous system to return the body to its natural place of ease and efficiency. The Rolfing process is interactive and the goals of each session are focused on the needs of the individual. Rolfers do not follow the symptoms of pain and discomfort around the body, but these sensations are frequently alleviated as a result of identifying and addressing the source of structural imbalances.


Rolfing is an educational process that can be enhanced by delving into current research on the human body and the human experience. These websites and articles can assist your inquiry but are not exhaustive on the topic. Follow us on Facebook or contact us for a free consultation to learn more. We are excited you made it here and are available to answer your questions!

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The official Rolf Institute® website

The Ida P. Rolf Research Foundation

Gil Hedley, PhD. has reference materials that explore the human form through anatomy education and in the laboratory

Fascia Research Congress

Robert Schleip, PhD., Certified Advanced Rolfer™ offers a list of Rolfing-related articles and links

Pain Science
A resource for understanding pain in simple terms
A repository of current research into pain science

Research and Articles Related to Rolfing

Cottingham J. Shifts in pelvic inclination angle and parasympathetic tone produced by Rolfing soft tissue manipulation. Physical Therapy 68:1364-1370, 1988.

Cottingham J, Porges SW, Lyon T. Effects of soft tissue mobilization (Rolfing pelvic lift) on parasympathetic tone in two age groups. Physical Therapy 68:352-356, 1988.

Cottingham JT. Effects of soft tissue mobilization on pelvic inclination angle, lumbar lordosis, and parasympathetic tone: Implications for treatment of disabilities associated with lumbar degenerative joint disease. Public testimony presentation to the National Center of Medical Rehabilitation Research of the National Institute of Health, Bethesda, MD; March 19, 1992. Rolf Lines 20(2):42-45, 1992.

Cottingham J, Maitland J. A three-paradigm treatment model using soft tissue mobilization and guided movement-awareness techniques for patients with chronic low back pain: A case study The Journal of Orthopedic & Sports. Physical Therapy 26(3):155-167, Sept 1997.

Deutsch JE, Judd P, Demassi I. Structural Integration applied to patients with a primary neurologic diagnosis: two case studies. Neurology Report 21(5):161-62. 1997.

Deutsch JE, Derr LL, Judd P, et al. Treatment of chronic pain through the use of Structural Integration (Rolfing). Orthopaedic Physical Therapy Clinics of North America 9(3):411-425, 2000.

Findley TW, Quigley K, Maney M, Chaudhry H, Agbaje I. Improvement in balance with Structural Integration (Rolfing): A controlled case series in persons with myofascial pain. American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, October 9, 2004, Phoenix Arizona. Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation 85(9):e34, Sep 2004.

Myers T. Structural Integration – developments in Ida Rolf’s ‘recipe’ – I. Journal of Bodywork and Movement Therapies 8:131-42. 2004.

Myers T. Structural Integration – developments in Ida Rolf’s ‘recipe’ – part II. Journal of Bodywork and Movement Therapies 8:189-98. 2004

Myers T. Structural Integration – developments in Ida Rolf’s ‘recipe’ – part III. An alternative form. Journal of Bodywork and Movement Therapies 8:249-64. 2004

Oschman JL. Structural Integration (Rolfing), osteopathic, chiropractric, Feldenkrais, Alexander, myofascial realease, and related methods. In Energy Medicine: The Scientific Basis. JL Oshman (ed). Edinburgh: Churchill Livingston. 2000.

Rolf IP. Structural Integration. Journal of the Institute of Comparative Study of History Philosophical Sciences 1(1):3-19, 1963.

Rolf IP. Structural Integration. A contribution to the understanding of stress. Confinia Psychiatrica 16(2):69-79, 1973.

Schleip R. Fascial plasticity – a new neurobiological explanation: Part 1. Journal of Bodywork and Movement Therapies 7(1):11-19, 2003.

Schleip R. Fascial plasticity – a new neurobiological explanation: Part 2. Journal of Bodywork and Movement Therapies 7(2):104-116, 2003.


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