Principles of Rolfing


There are three levels of health intervention: relaxive, corrective and holistic. Rolfing is holistic. It relates to the person, and their environment. Rolfers™ recognize that the result of every intervention is determined by the current state of the whole person, and the context in which that person is living, rather than the treatment of parts of the individual. Integration is achieved by addressing the structure and function of the entire body. It does this by helping the person find greater levels of performance and well-being in body, mind, emotions and spirit.


How adaptable we are to gravity and how do we compensate for the effects of gravity over time. A person can only stay organized to the degree she or he is able to adapt to the present environment, as well as to her or his ever-changing personal limitations. Rolfing can change negative gravitational affects and show how people how to use gravity to their benefit, seeking functional mobility rather than static posture.


Movement has to be supported from below by structural integration. Ease of movement is in proportion to the integration of the support system, gravity. Functional ease is found only when each piece of the body receives sufficient support to cope with the constant pressure of gravity. 


Palintonicity, from the Greek palantonos, meaning stretched back and forth, means is that you can't touch one part of the person without touching the other parts. Front-back, top-bottom, left-right, sleeve-core etc. There is an order in which the palintonic aspects of the body are addressed with which Rolfers seek to balance a body in terms of up/down, front/back, in/out, and left/right relationships.


Closure happens within each session and at the end of the ten series. Ongoing growth and change are supported by each piece of work being completed, so that a person can move on with full attention to the session. Rolfers manifest closure when the client "can sustain the changes introduced without further intervention." Rolfers guide clients so that they can take what they have learned during the Rolfing sessions into their every day lives.

Principles of Rolfing® Structural Integration

Adapted from "The Principles of Rolfing" by Jeffrey Maitland, Ph.D., Michael Salveson, and Jan Sultan, written for the Rolf Institute® of Structural Integration.