Rolfing in osteopathy

Rolfing or Structural Integration

The Rolfing or Structural Integration, is a manual method and kinematics in bodywork, by the US-American Dr. med. Ida Rolf( 1896-1979) was founded. A Rolfing treatment usually consists of 10 sessions in which the body static and functional processes in the organism, such as breathing, are to be individually optimized by massage-like techniques. Frequent areas of application are musculoskeletal disorders such as back pain, neck tension, shoulder pain or restricted mobility and improving body awareness through exercises.

Table of Contents:
What is Rolfing
The Concept
The History
Rolfing Therapy Today

More about:
  • Practice Berner: Osteopathy and Naturopathy
  • Munich: Practice for Osteopathy &Naturopathy
  • Weiler: Naturopathic Practice for Osteopathy

The concept

In the Rolfing the structural work on the body of the patient is understood in the sense of an optimization of the statics and the functional processes. The

concept is not only reduced to the physical level, but also includes the emotional level. Because emotional states express themselves in posture and tension and thus can be influenced by treatment, it seems reasonable.

A special focus of the work and the theoretical basics is on the connective tissue especially of the fasciae. It is they who can give our organism its form, its hold and its information and react to changes. Rolfing therapists work mainly on the fascia in order to re-establish freedom of movement and economic tension through appropriate alignment, function and anatomical structure of the body.

In the Rolfing, the structural work on the body of the patient is understood in terms of an optimization of the statics and the functional processes In the Rolfing, the structural work on the patient's body is understood as an optimization of the static and functional processes. Photo: Photophonie / fotolia

The story

Ida Rolf received her doctorate in biochemistry at the age of 25.Afterwards Dr. Rolf in Switzerland Mathematics, Physics and Homeopathic Medicine. During her twelve-year tenure as a biochemist at the Rockefeller Institute for Medical Research, she is said to have studied the properties of human connective tissue.

Ida Rolf's knowledge and insights have dealt with many methods and concepts of bodywork such as osteopathy, yoga, chiropractic and homeopathy, and then, as in the case of the founder of osteopathy Arthur Taylor Still, it has probably started with familial illnessesto work. In the context of this activity, Ida Rolf must have realized that working on the fascia makes body posture and function much more changeable than previously thought.

When she worked in the sixties by the psychotherapist Fritz Salomon Perls( 1893-1970), the main founder of Gestalt therapy, in the environment of the Human Potencial Movement, she must have broadened her concept. The work of Perls was considered very experimental and unconventional and influenced by the ideas of Wilhelm Reich. Ida Rolf's approaches were probably further developed at the Esalen Institute in Big Sur, California. The Esalen Institute is a non-profit center that deals with alternative and interdisciplinary methods from Western and Eastern cultures. Here Dr. Ida Rolf, the first student to train and growing popularity, the Rolf Institute of Structural Integration( RISI) was founded in 1971 in Boulder / Colorado.

Rolfing Therapy Today

Meanwhile, there is a regulated training, which concludes with the mark "Certified Rolfer" and goes over five years. In Munich, the European Rolfing Association( ERA), founded in 1991, is responsible for occupational matters and education.

Especially in the field of fascia research are people who come from the Rolfing, leading. For example, Ulm University now has its own Faszienlabor, which hosted for the first time in 2010 a one-week interdisciplinary Fascia Research Course, in which researchers and manual therapists from all over the world participated. Rolfer are also instrumental in the organization and execution of the third Fascia Research Congress.

Especially the German Rolfer Peter Schwind, Adjo Zorn and Robert Schleip have distinguished themselves by innovative and interdisciplinary activities in the public perception in the field of manual forms of therapy and bodywork. In contrast to many other manual concepts, the activities of people who come from Rolfing are characterized by an undogmatic attitude. The pioneering spirit and thirst for knowledge of Ida Rolf seems to continue to live with undiminished vehemence in the following generations in Rolfing.(Thorsten Fischer, Naturopath Osteopathy)

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