The Rolf Method is a soft tissue manipulation technique invented by Dr. Ida Rolf, a Phd in Biochemistry with training in Chiropractic, Osteopathy, Yoga and much more. Her goals in developing it, were ease and efficiency of movement in relation to gravity.
Ida's work focused on the fascia of the body, which is a web of connective tissue that is nearly everywhere in the body, surrounding muscles and connecting muscles to bone. Fascia helps give the body a balanced structure.
Back in its early days quite aggressive treatment, that seemed to work. The results were amazing, however many patients felt like it was necessary to keep getting Rolfed, in almost a dependency fashion.
Later teachers have softened the method to do the minimum effective treatment and to create less inflammation and potential for tissue damage. Also, over time, teachers branched off to develop their own additions to and interpretations of the work. With this decentralization came the trademark of the Rolf Method to protect intellectual property and income. All other schools may use the term structural integration which is not trademarked.
I have studied with two schools of structural integration, as well as independently with Rolfers - primarily with the Northwest Center for Structural Integration and also a little with KMI. All of these have their up sides and down sides. What I like about the main program I did is that we heavily involved the client in moving the tissues through moving their own bodies, while we held areas of adhesion. This style is quite different from the work I have experienced elsewhere which may involved very little if any movement.
Client movement has several benefits unique to this branch of structural integration:
It is, in my opinion, a wonderful phenomena that there are so many kinds of bodywork. Structural Integration is one of favorites after studying many, many different kinds. I offer much gratitude to this pioneering woman who paved the way for so much profound healing.