Rolfing Practitioners

A form of bodywork that uses deep tissue manipulation to realign the body's connective tissues.


Rolfing, also known as Structural Integration, is a holistic system of bodywork that aims to reorganize the connective tissues, called fascia, to achieve better alignment, flexibility, and overall wellbeing. Rolfing practitioners use deep, sustained pressure and movement to manipulate the fascia, releasing tension and restoring balance in the body. The goal is to create a more efficient and harmonious relationship between the body's structures, leading to improved posture, reduced pain, and enhanced physical performance.

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Rolfing was developed by Dr. Ida Pauline Rolf, a biochemist and physiotherapist, in the 1940s. Dr. Rolf believed that the body's fascia could become rigid and disorganized due to physical and emotional stress, leading to poor posture, pain, and decreased functionality. She developed a series of ten sessions, known as the Ten Series, to systematically manipulate and realign the fascia. Throughout her life, Dr. Rolf refined her techniques and trained practitioners to carry on her work. Today, Rolfing is recognized as a unique and effective form of bodywork, with certified practitioners around the world.


  1. Improved Posture Rolfing helps to realign the body's structures, promoting better posture and reducing strain on the muscles and joints.
  2. Reduced Pain By releasing tension in the fascia and improving alignment, Rolfing can help alleviate chronic pain and discomfort.
  3. Increased Flexibility Manipulating the fascia allows for greater ease of movement and improved flexibility throughout the body.
  4. Enhanced Physical Performance With better alignment and reduced restrictions in the fascia, Rolfing can lead to improved athletic performance and reduced risk of injury.
  5. Stress Relief The deep tissue work and increased body awareness fostered by Rolfing can promote relaxation and stress relief.
  6. Improved Breathing By releasing tension in the fascia surrounding the ribcage and diaphragm, Rolfing can lead to fuller, more efficient breathing.
  7. Mind-Body Connection Rolfing encourages a heightened sense of body awareness, fostering a stronger connection between the mind and body.

How It Works

Rolfing, also known as Structural Integration, is a form of bodywork that focuses on the connective tissues, or fascia, of the body. Rolfers use their hands, fingers, knuckles, and elbows to apply deep, sustained pressure to the fascia, with the goal of releasing tension, realigning the body's structure, and promoting a sense of ease and balance. The process typically involves a series of ten sessions, each focusing on a different area of the body, progressing from superficial to deep layers of tissue. Clients are actively engaged in the process, learning to become more aware of their body's patterns and how to move with greater efficiency and less strain.


Rolfing can be a deeply transformative process, but it is not always a comfortable one. The deep pressure and intense sensations can be challenging for some people, particularly those with a low pain threshold or who have experienced physical trauma. It is important to communicate openly with your Rolfer about your needs, concerns, and boundaries. Rolfing is not recommended for individuals with certain medical conditions, such as acute inflammation, blood clots, or certain skin conditions. It is always advisable to consult with a healthcare provider before beginning any new bodywork regimen. Additionally, the benefits of Rolfing are often most profound when the client is committed to the full ten-session series, which requires a significant investment of time and financial resources.

How Much It Costs

The cost of Rolfing can vary depending on the practitioner's experience, location, and the length of each session. Typically, a single session can range from $100 to $200, with the average cost being around $150. The standard ten-session series can cost anywhere from $1,000 to $2,000 in total. Some Rolfers offer package deals or discounted rates for committing to the full series upfront.

Virtual & Online Options

While Rolfing is traditionally an in-person, hands-on practice, some Rolfers have begun offering virtual sessions in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and to accommodate clients who live far from a practitioner. Virtual sessions typically involve the Rolfer guiding the client through self-massage techniques and movement exercises, and may also include educational components about posture and body awareness. However, the effectiveness of virtual Rolfing is likely to be more limited compared to in-person sessions, as the practitioner cannot directly manipulate the client's tissues. For those seeking the full benefits of Rolfing, working with a local practitioner is still the recommended approach.


To become a certified Rolfer, practitioners must complete a rigorous training program approved by the Rolf Institute of Structural Integration (RISI) or a similar recognized organization. The RISI training involves a minimum of 731 hours of instruction, including anatomy, physiology, kinesiology, and extensive hands-on practice. Upon completion of the training, practitioners must pass both written and practical exams to earn the title of Certified Rolfer. Continuing education is required to maintain certification, ensuring that practitioners stay up-to-date with the latest techniques and research in the field.

Complementary Practices

Rolfing often complements other holistic practices such as yoga, Pilates, massage therapy, acupuncture, chiropractic care, and Feldenkrais. These practices share a focus on improving body awareness, alignment, and overall well-being. Combining Rolfing with mindfulness meditation can enhance the mind-body connection and deepen the benefits of the bodywork.

Practitioner Types

Rolfing practitioners are known as Rolfers or Certified Rolfers. They must complete extensive training through the Rolf Institute of Structural Integration or an affiliated international organization. Rolfers often have backgrounds in related fields such as physical therapy, massage therapy, or exercise science before pursuing Rolfing certification.

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  • Q: What is Rolfing and how does it differ from massage?

    • A: Rolfing is a form of deep tissue bodywork that aims to realign the body's structure by manipulating the fascia, or connective tissue. Unlike massage, which focuses on relaxation and muscle tension relief, Rolfing takes a more holistic approach to address chronic pain, improve posture, and enhance overall body function.
  • Q: Is Rolfing painful?

    • A: Rolfing can be intense and uncomfortable at times, as it involves deep pressure and manipulation of the fascia. However, Rolfers work within the client's comfort level and pain tolerance. The discomfort is often described as a 'good pain' and subsides after the session, leaving clients feeling lighter, more relaxed, and with improved mobility.
  • Q: How many Rolfing sessions are recommended?

    • A: The classic Rolfing series consists of ten sessions, each focusing on a different area of the body. However, the number of sessions can vary depending on individual needs and goals. Some clients experience significant benefits after just a few sessions, while others may require ongoing treatment to address chronic issues or maintain optimal alignment.
  • Q: What are the benefits of Rolfing?

    • A: Rolfing offers numerous potential benefits, including reduced chronic pain, improved posture and alignment, increased flexibility and range of motion, enhanced athletic performance, and relief from stress and tension. Many clients also report a greater sense of body awareness, emotional well-being, and overall vitality after Rolfing sessions.
  • Q: Who can benefit from Rolfing?

    • A: Rolfing can be beneficial for people of all ages and backgrounds, from athletes seeking to improve performance and prevent injuries, to office workers dealing with chronic neck and back pain from sitting at a desk. It can also help individuals recovering from injuries, surgeries, or chronic conditions such as fibromyalgia or scoliosis. However, it's important to consult with a qualified Rolfer to determine if the therapy is appropriate for your specific needs and health status.


Rolfing is a powerful form of bodywork that can provide long-lasting benefits for those seeking to alleviate chronic pain, improve posture, and enhance overall well-being. By addressing the fascia and realigning the body's structure, Rolfing helps clients achieve a greater sense of ease, flexibility, and vitality in their daily lives. While the process can be intense at times, the results are often transformative, leading to improved physical functioning, emotional balance, and a deeper connection between mind and body. As with any holistic practice, it's essential to find a qualified and experienced Rolfer who can tailor the treatment to your individual needs and goals. With commitment and openness to the process, Rolfing can be a valuable tool for anyone seeking to optimize their health and live with greater awareness and resilience.