Rolfing Structural Integration
This treatment modality is thought to promote wellness and optimize overall health. Rolfing® should be used with, not in place of, standard cancer therapy.
What does Rolfing® involve?
Rolfing® is a specific type of massage which differs significantly from other forms of body work that focus on reducing tension in tight muscles. Instead, Rolfing® emphasizes deep pressure on the tissue, called fascia, that covers muscles, internal organs and ligaments. The goal of Rolfing®, which can be painful, is to align body sections so that they are in balance with each other and with gravity. Rolfing® practitioners press the fascia with their fingers, knuckles, elbows and knees to loosen it and release its tight hold on muscle and bone. Patients are also encouraged to perform a series of exercises to help their bodies move more efficiently.
How is Rolfing® thought to promote wellness and optimize overall health?
Dr. Rolf, the creator of Rolfing®, believes that over time the body's fascia becomes tightly attached to muscles and bones, making it difficult for the body to move smoothly and with a full range of motion. By releasing the fascia's hold, Rolfing® is thought to help patients move more smoothly, increase support for bones throughout the body, increase energy and improve posture, stamina and emotional health. Proponents of Rolfing® report that the therapy helps patients feel better and improves their quality of life.
What has been proven about the benefit of Rolfing®?
There is no scientific evidence that fascia hardens and stiffens with time, interfering with the body's ability to move with little effort and energy. There are a few clinical studies that report an improvement in range of motion, greater physical strength, less stress and enhanced nervous system response. Also, several patient testimonials state that a course in Rolfing® made them feel better. Rolfing® may release tension and stress which can lead to improved performance of the immune system and heightened resistance to disease.
What is the potential risk or harm of Rolfing®?
Treatments can be painful. Patients with rheumatoid arthritis and other inflammatory conditions should avoid Rolfing®. There is a theoretical possibility that Rolfing® could encourage the spread of malignant cells in cancer patients although it has never been documented.
How much does Rolfing® cost?
A course in Rolfing® involves ten weekly sessions. Costs will vary with the practitioner.
For additional information:
Rolf Institute for Structural Integration
205 Canyon Boulevard
Boulder, CO 80302
Telephone: (800) 530-8875
Web site: www.rolf.org
Note: Information about therapies is intended to help you make informed choices, not to endorse any particular therapy. The information is courtesy of "Integrating Complementary and Alternative Therapies for Cancer Patients," a handbook written as an independent study project by Heather Morein. For more information, see the full text of the handbook (PDF), including all references and appendices.