ROLFING® Structural Integration
Ellen Presnell, R.N., LMBT (NC 13834), HNB-BC
Certified Integrative Nurse Coach
Certified Advance Rolfer™ & Rolf Movement® Practitioner
828-258-2833 |

Definition and History of Rolfing

What is Rolfing?

Rolfing® Structural Integration is a therapy that realigns the physical body within gravity. This is accomplished through soft tissue manipulation that releases restrictions in fascia, the complex web of connective tissue that surround, support and penetrate all of the muscles, bones, nerves and organs. Over your lifetime the natural balance of the body may be disturbed through injury, poor work or postural habits, repetitive movements, aging, even response to emotional trauma, all which can alter the shape and function of the whole body.

 Through Rolfing this connective wrapping where it has become tight and bound is lengthened and stretched so the whole body can be brought into alignment. This “realignment” enables the various segments in the body to establish a balanced relationship to feel and work better. It is this attention to proper body geometry that distinguishes Rolfing from other forms of bodywork.

 While Rolfing is concerned with the body’s structural changes, clients often report positive mental changes after following Rolfing sessions. It makes sense that any change in the physical body can affect the whole person.

 Rolfing is a tool that allows you to be in better relationship with your body. Often times this new body awareness achieved through Rolfing allows you to listen and better understand the signals and messages your body communicates. When you have a better relationship with your body, you make better choices for your health.

History of Rolfing

More than 50 years ago, Dr. Ida P. Rolf, Ph.D. developed Rolfing Structural Integration in her search to find a solution for her own and family health issues. She spent many years studying and experimenting with different systems of healing and manipulation including osteopathy, chiropractic medicine, yoga, the Alexander technique and various work on the states of consciousness.

The question Dr. Rolf sought an answer to was: "What conditions must be fulfilled in order for the human body-structure to be organized and integrated in gravity so that the whole person can function in the most optimal and economical way?"

Her observance that the body is more at ease and functions most effectively when its structure is balanced in gravity led her to develop the hands on manipulation to reduce gravity’s effect on the body. She called her method structural integration. To make her work more accessible and to educate others so structural integration could be carried out by others, she developed a series of ten sessions.

Ida Rolf died in 1979 and the Rolf Institute® of Structural Integration continues to share her work by certifying Rolfers™ and Rolf Movement Practitioner and supporting research and continuing education.