Frequently Asked Questions

What can I expect during a Rolf Structural Integration session?

Typically your Structural Integration session will last approximately 90 minutes.  Prior to beginning, I will observe how you stand and move. The treatment itself can be described as a series of manipulations performed by my hands, fingers, knuckles, lower arm and elbows on your body.  Clients may experience deep pressure, slight burning or a variety of other sensations during the process; however, these tend to pass shortly after the pressure is released.  Most report a sense of dramatic ease and lightness as the session progresses.

How often should I have a Structural Integration session?

The time between sessions is based on how fast your body adapts to the work.  In most cases clients schedule sessions once a week. However, some schedule as much as a month between sessions.  It is important to be aware of your response to the work and schedule accordingly.

What can I expect to feel between Structural Integration sessions?

The first couple days after a session are usually the time of greatest change.  Somewhat like the first day after heavy exercise, you may feel some tenderness or soreness.  After that you may experience ongoing shifts in balance and awareness.  Most clients experience feelings of lightness and improved comfort and ease of movement.

How is Structural Integration different than massage?

The practice and scope of massage is to relax muscles, improve range of motion and improve circulation.  Massage focuses on working areas that are chronically tight.  While the client tends to experience relaxation, the benefits tend to be short term.

The Rolf Method of Structural Integration changes how the body is organized and how it functions. The goals are to rebalance and realign structure and to give adaptability, so the body can reorganize and reintegrate itself, and to establish the body’s lines of balance in order to find a higher level of function The benefits are long lasting.

Why ten sessions?

Structural Integration is usually done in a series of ten sessions in order to address the entire fascial field. However, clients sometimes come in for fewer sessions and see excellent results.  A series of three sessions generally provides us with enough information to determine whether Structural Integration is right for you.  The ten session series format is designed to work on the whole body systematically.  Each session builds upon the results of the previous session, so the process is cumulative.

What if I don’t complete the series?

You will get value from even one session.    Your body will continue to respond to that amount of input.  Even when there are significant time gaps between the beginning and end of a series, there is typically minimal regression in the body.

Does Structural Integration hurt?

The belief that Structural Integration needs to be painful, in order for it to be effective, was prevalent in the 1960’s and 1970’s. We now know that this need not be so.   The degree of discomfort experienced in response to the applied pressure is related to the amount of chronic tension stored in the tissue and how much you reflexively tighten in response to the sensation.  It is my responsibility to work within your level of tolerance to accomplish the goals of the work.

What do you offer  in addition to the basic series?

The basic series is designed to make significant changes in the form and balance of the body.  However, it is not intended to be a one-time cure-all for body dysfunction. Bodies change, injuries and accidents occur and additional work can be beneficial.  Tune-up sessions may be scheduled as needed as well as First aid sessions, which are designed to be useful during the recuperative phase of an injury to minimize the injury’s long-term effects on the whole body.

What do I wear during a Structural Integration session?

Because the practitioner needs to see your structure before, during and after a session, most clients, both men and women go through the sessions in their undergarments.  A two-piece bathing suit is also an option for women. Your comfort is of prime importance.


The Fabric of Wholeness: Biological Intelligence and Relational Gravity

by Carol A. Agneessens. (Quantum Institute (March 1, 2001).

A Rolfing trainer and practitioner for twenty-four years, especially interested in the body’s natural wisdom, presents a unique and original inquiry into the nature of gravity and gravity’s influence on human movement potential. The easy-to-read book links physics, human physiology, somatics, and Eastern understandings of underlying unity, bridging theory and practice with examples like the victories of a 1996 Olympic gold medalist who coupled his natural biological intelligence with an embodied understanding of Einstein’s theory of relativity.

Gravity influences our muscle tone, posture, and core expression. It underlies our deepest experience of security, gives us a sense of place, ground, bonding with the earth. Through experiential dialogues, Agneessens draws readers into the body to view the pulsating and vital interplay. She concludes that gravity is fundamental to the development of biological intelligence–the glue that holds together and organizes our fabric of wholeness.

Rolfing: Stories of Personal Empowerment

Anson, Briah. (Berkeley, CA: North Atlantic Press, 1998). Inspiring and insightful accounts of the Rolfing experience as reported by numerous former Rolfing clients.

Balancing Your Body: A Self-Help Approach

to Rolfing Movement

Bond, Mary. (Rochester, VT: Healing Arts Press, 1996).

Healing Through Touch: A History and a Review of the Physiological Evidence

Cottingham, John T. (Boulder, CO, The Rolf Institute, 1989). Exploration of methods of healing going back 5,000 years.

The Power of Balance: A Rolfing View of Health

Fahey, Brian W., PhD. (Portland, OR: Metamorphous Press, 1989). A very accessible summary of the basic Rolfing theory and movement.

Remembering Ida Rolf

Feitus, Rosemary, ed.(Berkeley, CA, North Atlantic Books, 1997). Collection of stories from people who knew Dr. Rolf.

Spacious Body: Explorations in Somatic Ontology

Maitland, Jeffrey, PhD.(Berkeley, CA: North Atlantic Books, 1995). Philosophical consideration of embodiment, Buddhism and the Rolfing experience.

Ida Rolf Talks about Rolfing and Physical Reality

Rosemary Feitis, ed. . Reprinted ed. (Boulder, CO, The Rolf Institute, 1978). A collection of quotes on bodywork and a variety of topics of interest to Dr. Rolf.

Rolfing: Reestablishing the Natural Alignment and Structural Integration of the Human Body for Vitality and Well-Being

Rolf, Ida Ph.D. Reprinted Ed. (Rochester, VT: Healing Arts Press, 1989). The bible of Rolfing completed late in Dr. Rolf’s long career.