Putting your body and life back in alignment with our innate natural gravity
"I am committed to who you are. I bring focus and detail coupled with
openness and warmth to my work. I can address your specific needs and
goals from a very subtle level to a very deep one, and address the
issues that lie between."
What is Rolfing
Rolfing is a form of
wholistic deep tissue therapeutic bodywork. Through a series of 10
session you will be invited to learn about and discover your center or
the core of your body mind and how to live and move from there. If you already know your center or core it is an opportunity to deepen your relationship and improve your able to move from it.
Rolfing address how
one aspect of our self (body,mind ,spirit) relates to another, how
these aspects stop communicating or relating to one another and then
how to regain their natural equilibrium. Rolfing is a education
training experience for the body,mind,spirit.
is a technique of body manipulation that changes your body so that it
becomes more vertical and symmetrical. When the major segments of your
body are lined up and stacked in a proper relation to one another, you
will look and feel your best. Working with your guided movements, the
Rolfer slowly stretches and repositions the body's supportive wrappings,
called fascia. This firm and gentle directed pressure restores normal
length and elasticity to the network of deep connective fibers, allowing
these changes to occur. In addition to physical manipulation, Rolfing
includes education in using your realigned body properly, and
exploration of the emotional issues that may arise as your body changes.
standard 10 session series may be completed at the rate of one session
per week or spread over as long as 6 months. Each session is different,
and builds on the ones that have gone before. Sessions are
simultaneously tailored to your specific situation, and follow a logical
pattern to produce the greatest results.
last approximately 1 hour. The results of Rolfing are not only lasting,
they are progressive. You are likely to feel and look continuously
better for several months after your last session.
will not need to repeat the basic 10 sessions, though for most people
an average of 3 sessions a year supports an aging process that is more
comfortable, graceful and slower than we have pictured previously. Rolfing Article in the New York Times
Why you may be interested in Rolfing
Rolfing really works, as the experience of hundreds of thousands of people and numerous research studies have demonstrated. It produces profound and lasting results for people of all ages and at all levels of well-being.
Posture and Alignment You will sit and stand straighter and taller with less effort. You will breathe more easily and fully, and look and feel lighter.
Aches and Pain You are likely to have less pain and tension in your body as it becomes more balanced and symmetrical, allowing bones and muscles to do their proper jobs.
Flexibility You will have easier movement and a wider range of motion in the joints. Older people will appreciate the sense of youthfulness that Rolfing produces as it restores earlier movement patterns.
Performance You may experience dramatic improvement in the effectiveness and efficiency of movement. You will use less energy for any given movement and perform that movement with more ease and power.
Stress and Emotional Health You may experience considerable psychological growth as the emotional history stored in your body is released. A freer more responsive and more comfortable body will support you in every part of your life.
Who Benefits from Rolfing? People of all walks of life come to Rolfing not only for relief from their pain and stress, but also for improved performance in their professions and daily activities.
All of us can benefit from Rolfing: Men, Women, Children, & Seniors. Dancers, Artists, Musicians, Athletes, Business people, Engineers Scientists, Carpenters, Plumbers. People who enjoy Yoga, Meditation, Tai Chi.
In a human body, support is not something solid. Support is
relationship. Support is a balance of elements that are not solid at all,
elements that are incapable of withstanding the weight that presses down on
them except as they are balanced. - Dr. Ida P. Rolf
As in all matter organized into biological units, there is a pattern, an order, in human bodies… Rolfers make a life study of relating bodies and their fields to the earth and its gravity field, and we so organize the body that the gravity field can reinforce the body’s energy field. - Dr. Ida P. Rolf
“Rolfers make a life study of relating bodies and their fields to the Earth and its gravity field, and we so organize the body that the gravity field can reinforce the body’s energy field. This is our primary concept.” – Dr. Ida P. Rolf
you can imagine how it feels to live in a fluid, light, balanced body,
free of pain, stiffness and chronic stress, at ease with itself and the
earth’s gravitational field; then you will understand the goals of
Rolfing. - Jeff Maitland
The wonders are
occurring only because of gravity and only because we know how to use gravity
to create wonders. It is gravity that is the tool; it is gravity that is the
therapist. All we (as a Rolfer) are doing is directing the flow of gravity by virtue
of organizing the body as though it were an electric wire so that gravity can
flow through it. - Ida p Rolf
In a human body, support is not something solid. Support
is relationship. Support is a balance of elements that aren’t solid at all, elements that are incapable of withstanding the
weight that presses down on them except as they are balanced.
- Dr. Ida P. Rolf
Our soul with all the streams of pure living water seems to dwell in the fascia of our body. When you deal with the fascia, you deal and do business with the branch offices of the brain, and under the general corporation law, the same as the brain itself, and why not treat it with the same degree of respect. - Dr. A. T. Still (Philosophy of Osteopathy, 1899)
After having received the Rofling 10 sessions It has been an amazing experience working with you and I'm entirely grateful for all of your help. Looking forward to the next round. - Derek Larson
After having received the Rolfing 10 sessions and many subsequent Rolfing treatments: "I love Rolfing. Rolfing is my life line to
physical longevity and good health. The amazing thing about Rolfing is how
quickly after a session I notice a difference. The difference being more
relaxed, no muscle tension and greater flexibility. At age 70 I
continue to work full time, exercise, and play racquetball 3 to 4 times a week
at a competitive level. I think Rolfing has excellent benefits for relieving muscle
tension, tight joints, improved flexibility and overall greater well being. I
wouldn’t be without it." - Walter
After having received the Rolfing 10 sessions: “I sleep better, walk easier and I stopped smoking. My body is 100% pain free from 8 and 15 year-old injuries and I no longer wake up with aches and pains in my body. I also became reacquainted with an old childhood trauma and the Rolfing allowed me to let it go." - Carolyn Mills
After having received the Rolfing 10 sessions: "When I found Don online when I was looking for a
Rolfer, I was not expecting to encounter such a wonderful and growing
experience. I have asked around since to see if others have had a similar
experience and no one has. Don has a unique combination of psychology mixed in
with Rolfing that he calls Body Psychology – which really gives you the support
required to move physically and mentally through issues that can typically
arise from engaging in this type of manipulation of memories held within the
After having received the Rolfing 10 sessions: "Don is a very skilled Rolfing Therapist with clearly a lot of experience and knowledge. I appreciate his warm and down-to-earth approach and he has helped me considerably in the short time I have been working with him, not only in sessions but with his suggested homework." - Kevin P
After having received 3 sessions of Rolfing "Hi Don. I just wanted to let you know that I swam yesterday afternoon and I had my fastest overall workout ever! My shoulders have more flexibility in them so I am able to streamline more. Also you worked on my legs and my kick was sooo much faster - couldn't believe it! Thank you again." - Gail McGinnis (After six sessions of Rolfing Grail competed in Canada's Masters National 2013 swim meet where she won 5 gold medals, her 4x100 free style relay team broke a world record and more! To read a article about her success click here)
After having received the Rofling 10 session and Post Ten Rolfing sessions: "I have experienced a lot of bodywork over the years and can honestly say Don ranks among the very best body-workers.
I first sought out Don after injuries prevented me from running. After an initial ten Rolfing sessions I felt enormous relief from recurring pain, and was back to running the trails. I continue to return to Don for tune-ups. He combines Rolfing with Cranialsacral therapy, movement integration, body psychology, and whatever else he thinks might help to treat me. My body and soul respond positively. Don is a good communicator and listens openly to my concerns and assessments; he works with me. Initially, I was a bit skeptical of the idea of body psychology. The approach now makes a lot of sense to me: past tensions and ongoing anxieties are reflected in our body and held in tight muscles. It seems obvious.
I am so confident in Don and the modalities he uses that I brought both of my boys (a preteen and a young teenager) for their first experience of bodywork with him. They loved it! During the visit with Don they used his rollers and props, learned about their muscles, learned how to stretch safely, and experienced the pleasure of their bodies relaxing to Don’s touch.
Don is a thoughtful, perceptive individual who uses all of his knowledge and skills to give the best possible outcomes to the person he treats. I would encourage anyone to explore ways to heal with Don or to just experience the treat of a really great body work session." - Helen Newman
Ida P. Rolf, Ph.D. - Rolfing; Reestablishing the Natural Alignment and Structural Integration of the Human Body for Vitality and Well-Being
John E. Sarno, M.D. - Healing Back Pain – The Mind-Body Connection - The Mindbody Prescription Healing the body, Healing the Pain
Barbara Ann Brennan - Hands of Light; A Guide to Healing Through the Human Energy Field
The organizations that represent M.D.'s, physical therapists, nurses and so on do not take any formal positions on Rolfing, just as they do not take formal positions on other types of complementary health care. Nonetheless, the rapid expansion in popular use of Rolfing and other alternatives has been noted by conventional health practitioners who more and more have made it their business to find out what is going on.When Rolfing is understood by M.D.'s it is generally quite well received, and more and more M.D.'s are making referrals to Rolfing and are themselves being Rolfed. One reason for this is that Rolfing is based on Western ideas of anatomy and physiology that are familiar to and accepted by Western trained physicians. Physical therapists readily embrace Rolfing because the fascial manipulation that is a key technique of Rolfing is the subject of continuing education seminars for physical therapists who learn it, not as part of a body restructuring process, but as an aid in joint mobilization.
More About Rolfing 15 Questions & Answers
1. Where did Rolfing Get its Name?
Rolfing is named after the creator Dr. Ida P. Rolf.
After earning her Ph.D. in biochemistry and physiology from Columbia University in 1920, Dr. Rolf (1896-1979) worked in the chemotherapy and organic chemistry departments at Rockefeller Institute.
Her interest in family health problems led her to the idea of Structural Integration, now called Rolfing.
Dr. Rolf’s pursuit of optimal health and human evolution led her to investigate the effects of structure on function and the role gravity played. Some of her early experiences with working with the body came from an Osteopath Doctor. In addition to teaching Rolfing worldwide for more than four decades, she established The Rolf Institute in Boulder, Colorado in 1972. Rolfing is now taught internationally.
Rolfing is Structural Integration. Rolfing puts your body back together.
Rolfing is a highly intelligent system of deep tissue bodywork. It is a system of myofacial (connective tissue) manipulation that allows the body to align itself so it is vertical in the field of gravity. The process organizes and balances the whole person by softening and lengthening the brittle and contracted tissue that has been made less flexible and tight by age, accidents, surgery or psychological trauma. The goal of the work is structural change, which in turn changes one’s. Rolfing, Structural Integration, puts the body back into functional shape.
Gravity is the primary principle of Rolfing. To illustrate this let’s use the following analogy: If you were to take a brand-new spring and put a kink in it and then push down on it the force of your push will send the spring sideways. However, if you take this brand-new spring with no kink in it and apply the same force, you will receive a wonderful resonance back and the spring will remain upright and strong.
3. What is Fascia or Myofacial Tissue?
Fascia is the connective tissue of the body. As flour is the main ingredient that makes up and holds together bread, fascia is the primary material that makes up and holds the body together. It makes up the blood and the bone of our body and all the densities in-between.
Fascia is a four-dimensional web-like elastic tissue that gives our bodies shape. It surrounds and permeates muscles, bones, organs and blood vessels. When healthy, it is pliable and slippery. This allows the tissues to slide easily when we move. When fascia thickens or hardens it puts tension on joints and other muscles that leads to compensation, imbalance and less freedom in movement.
Rolfers logically and sequentially move fascia (connective tissue).
The Rolfer performs two major functions:
One is to physically, manually, and tactfully soften, and move hardened fascia, connective tissue. This technique is called myofacial release. The Rolfer, in a 10-session recipe, uses the hands and elbows to order, manipulate and soften the hardened and stuck facial areas. Each session has a different focus and addresses the whole body from the ground up. The purpose is to soften the old inhibited habitual patterns of the body and introduce the client to a new order that creates better posture and ease of movement.
The other major function a Rolfer performs is to educate the client about proper body use. This is movement education is called Rolfing Movement. This can include re-learning how to sit, stand, walk, run and do daily activities / exercise in new, more efficient and less destructive ways.
5. Who can benefit from Rolfing?
People of all walks of life benefit from Rolfing:
Athletes, Rock Climbers, Weightlifters, Bodybuilders, Runners, Bikers, Swimmers, Dancers, and Musicians seek Rolfing to recover from injuries and to improve performance.
Receptionists, Secretaries, Business people, Engineers, Scientists, Carpenters, Plumbers, Mechanics, Body workers, and Artists, who perform repetitive tasks or motions such as answering phones, computer work, desk work, physical labor, assembling parts, and creating fine-art find relief from chronic pain.
Women after giving birth.
People who enjoy such activates such as Yoga, Meditation, Tai Chi.
Men, Women, Children, & Seniors.
Horses and such pets as cats and dogs!
6. Why do people get Rolfed?
People get Rolfed for one of five major reasons:
To rid themselves of chronic pain.
To improve flexibility, performance, posture, and alignment.
To recover from an injury or accident, known as rehabilitation.
To release physical or emotional trauma that is stuck or being held in the body.
To deepen the awareness in their body, life and to strengthen the body/mind connection.
People choose Rolfing because they are ready to heal, transform, or create ease in their body / life.
These are people who are sick and tired of being sick and tired of pain and discomfort in their body/life. They are also people who are just very curious.
7. Specific Reasons / Symtoms why people choose Rolfing
Pinched nerves cover a wide spectrum of symptoms such as Whiplash, Temporal Mandible Joint Syndrome (TMJ), Carpal Tunnel, Tendonitis, Thoracic-outlet syndrome, Low back pain, Migraines and chronic Headaches.
Aches and pains in the joints such as in the head, neck, shoulders, elbows, spine, hips, knees, ankles and feet.
People also come in for better posture in their rounded shoulders, Scoliosis and for emotional concerns such as Depression.
Others may come in for such things as Osteoarthritis or a Sinus blockage.
8. What is it like to get Rolfed? Is Rolfing it Painful?
Rolfers work with you to stay within your comfort zone.
The experiences of being Rolfed (releasing unwanted stuck facial tissue - myofacial release) are sensations that range from a pleasurable warmth to momentary discomfort, like a burning, biting or tingling sensation.
It is often described as a "good pain" and is felt as a release. The sensation only lasts while the tightened tissue is being released. Afterwards, you feel warmth, length, and lighter, as well as balance and stability.
Let’s use the analogy of going to a potluck. At this potluck you will experience a wide a variety of tastes including ones that are indescribable. In Rolfing it is the same. There will be sensations that range from hot and sharp to warm, relieving and indescribable.
Rolfing is a highly interactive process. The Rolfer is trained to work with you to stay within your comfort level. As the client you will be asked to bringing focus and breath into the area being worked on. In addition, you will be asked to make synchronized movements while the Rolfer is applying pressure. This helps bring about the necessary releases of the held fascia (connective tissue) in a synchronistic manner.
9. How is Rolfing different from Massage, Chiropractic and Physical Therapy?
Rolfing works with fascia (connective tissue) and principles of gravity.
In a general sense, the goal of Massage is to relieve tension and to create relaxation while the goal of Rolfing is to create permanent structural change. Massage primarily addresses muscles while Rolfing works to release the tension held in the fascia web (connective tissue web) of the body. Rolfing also considers and addresses how the effect of gravity pulls the body down and out of alignment.
Chiropractors adjust the bones and joints of the body, especially in the spine, to create lasting change. Rolfers move the stuck fascia (connective tissue) of the body to create lasting change.
This includes tendons, ligaments, septums, aponeurosis, facial sheaths, and muscles. Rolfing aims to move stuck tissue in order to correct the sources of tension.
In general, Physical Therapists free the part of the body that is immobile (not moving or functioning well), making it mobile again, while Rolfing releases the holding patterns in the entire body and treats the body as a whole integrated system. Rolfing is a holistic approach: top to bottom, back and front, inside and out, body, mind, spirit.
10. How much does Rolfing cost? Will my insurace cover Rolfing?
How much does Rolfing Cost? A Rolfing session will last from 1 to 1½ hours long and range from $80 to $200 per session. Factors affecting rates include geography and experience.
Will Insurance pay for Rolfing? If you have a spending account for alternative health modalities, then most likely, yes. Some Insurance companies consider Rolfing a form of massages some do not. If you have been in a motor vehicle, in most cases you will be reimbursed. I in some cases your general practitioner M.D. is willing to write a prescription for Massage/Rolfing.
11. What do I wear in a Rolfing Session?
You can wear underclothes or a bathing suit.
Women: underwear and a bra. A two-piece bathing suit or jogging apparel.
Men: Boxers or briefs.
12. Will I continue to feel good after the Rolfing 10 sessions?
Yes, the changes from Rolfing not only last, they last a lifetime, and they are progressive.
Giving Rolfing a timeout is like letting a fine wine become finer and more refined. During this interim period your body has a chance to integrate the new changes into your everyday life.
13. Do I have to keep coming back for more Rolfing Sessions?
This is up to you.
It is usually determined by the degree of work that has to be accomplished (severity of your case), and how well you body responds to the treatments, and how motivated / interested you are to change on a scale from a-little to a-lot. Classically a client waits 4 to 6 months to a year before receiving more Rolfing sessions. After this time many people want refresher sessions (usually 3 to five) or "tuneup" every 6 months to a year. Tune-ups help you adjust to the changes and to get deeper into areas that were not accessible during the ten session series.
The work only gets better and better, as your body becomes more and more refined.
14. Is it a good idea to multi-task?
Is it a good idea to receive treatment from more than one type of healing modality?
Yes, this is called multi-tasking. You can optimize your healing through multitasking.
Multitasking is a healing strategy where you address your problem from more than one angle and use more than one healing modality. It is also about education. Through working with others you will discover what treatments /modalities work best for you and what it means to heal.
Simply, multi-tasking is a powerful method to heal / recover / rejuvenate. It is like keeping all aspects your car in good shape for smooth and long lasting performance. And the same is true for you when all of your systems are running smoothly, efficiently.
Rolfing, like putting together a jigsaw puzzle, is an important piece in your health care plan. As with any form of treatment Rolfing is not considered a be-all end-all treatment. Your Rolfer will be happy to discuss other forms of complementary treatment with you.
Consider the vast varieties of modalities that are available (examples given in each group are a very small sample).
Western Medicine such as Osteopathy, Physical Therapy, Naturopathy, Biofeedback, or an M.D.
Constitutional Medicine such as Ayurvedic Medicine, Homeopathy, Acupuncture, or Chinese Med.
Nutrition such as Ayurvedic or Western Nutrition, or an Herbalist.
Bodywork such as Rolfing, Chiropractic, or Massage.
Energetic Bodywork such as Polarity or Cranial Sacral.
Movement Therapies such as Rolfing Movement, Yoga, Pilates, Marshal-Arts or a Personal Trainer.
Psychotherapy such as Traditional, Jungian, or Body-mind (Body Center) Therapy.
Personal Development Programs such as motivational seminars or Landmark Education.
Spirituality such as Prayer, visiting a Pastor, Rabbi, or learning how to Meditate.
Energy and System Readers such as a Psychic, Medical Intuitive, or Astrologer.
Music / Sound Healing Sound therapies.
New Diets, Supplements, and Devices such as Magnets.
15. What Famous People have been Rolfed? (this list was compiled in 1999)
Celebrities and dignitaries Shirley McClain, actress and writer Linda Gray, actress Cindy Williams, actress Diane Ladd, actress Ru McClenahan, actress Greta Garbo, actress Cary Grant, actor Levar Burton, actor Rosalyn Bruyere. Director Willie Nelson, songwriter and performer Leon Feisher, virtuoso concert pianist Leonard Cohen, poet and songwriter Patricia Johnson, opera singer Sam Keen, writer Sandra Ray, writer John Lilly, writer Dr. Larry Dossey, M.D., best-selling author The King of Spain Georgia O’Keefe, artist Miro, artist
Professional Athletes Craig Swan, MLB baseball pitcher (certified Rolfer) Bret Saberhagen, MLB pitcher Bob Tewksbury, MLB pitcher Tom Seaver, MLB pitcher Tim Salmon, MLB Tom Seaver, MLB Bob Tewksbury, MLB Rob Moore, NFL Cris Carter, NFL Charles Barkley, NBA Mark West, NBA Danny Ainge, NBA A.C. Green, NBA Phil Jackson, NBA coach Mario Lemieus, NHL John Egan, skier Kristen Ulmer, skier Ivan Lendl, tennis champion
Olympic Athletes Michelle Kwan, figure skater Isabelle Brasseur, figure skater Lloyd Eisler, figure skater Elvis Stojko, figure skater Brian Orser, figure skater Kristen Ulmer, extreme skier John Egan, extreme skier Penny Pitou, skier Sarah Will, skier Mickey Egan, skier John Bauer, cross-country skier Edwin Moses, discus thrower Lacy (Lenore) Barnes-Mileham, discus thrower Joe Greene, long jumper Sarah Gengler, rower Sherri Cassuto, rower Jennifer Oldham, dressage
Renowned Medical and Scientific Professionals Ida P.l Rolf, Ph. D. Stephen W. Porges, Ph.D. Jeffery Maitland, Ph. D., Rolfer Jonas Salk, scientist (founder of Salk Institue) Dr. Karl Pribram, Brain Scientist Neal Powers, B.S., Rolfer Todd Lyon, M.D. Margaret H. Jones, M.D. Dr. Larry Dossey, M.D. Dr. Karl Ullis, Olympic M.D. David L. Robbie, M.D. Jacuelin Perry, M.D. Valerie V. Hunt, Professor, R.P.T. Helen g. James, M.S., R.P.T., Rolfer John Cottingham, M.S., P.T. Lynn Thomas, M.S., R.P.T. Cindy Potter, R.P.T. Katharine B. Robertson, B.S., R.P.T., Rolfer Kent Richmond, M.H.S. Robert Weinberg, Professor Pierre M. Hahn, Professor Wayne W. Massey, Professor Fritz Perls, Psychotherapist