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Rolfing

Rolfing was developed by Dr. Ida Rolf and is a method of physical manipulation of the body's myofascial system over a series of sessions with the goal of realigning the body and improving posture. Each session in the Series deals with a key area of the body.

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James Donatelli

James Donatelli - Rolfing Practitioner

I grew playing golf, tennis, running cross country, biking and downhill skiing but at the age of 21, I broke my neck in a construction accident which left me with chronic pain and a severely limited range of motion in my neck. I later suffered a herniated disk from a boating... [read more]

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Rolfing was developed by Dr. Ida Rolf and is a method of physical manipulation of the body's myofascial system over a series of sessions with the goal of realigning the body and improving posture. Each session in the Series deals with a key area of the body.

For example Session 2 deals with the feet, Session 5 the front line of the body, Session 7 the neck. The effect is cumulative and the positive change in the body tends to increase as you move further into the Series. This way of treating the body is effective because local areas are treated both specifically and within the context of that area's relationship to the whole body: for example a pain in the back may have its origin in an imbalance in the foot, so it is important to resolve the foot imbalance as well as treating the back directly.

Rolfing works particularly on fascia, the body's web-like network of connective tissues. Fascia can become thickened with injury and dehydrated over time, which can impede the smooth gliding of muscles necessary for comfortable movement. Rolfing un-thickens the fascia and rehydrates it, thus potentially improving flexibility and reducing the chronic compensatory imbalances that are caused by injury and repetitive use. Reduction of pain is common in Rolfing, especially in key areas such as hips, back, neck and shoulders. As the body becomes more balanced and its constituent parts relate better to each other, posture usually improves, sometimes with striking visible changes.

People come to Rolfing for a variety of reasons: for specific chronic pain conditions such as neck, shoulder, back or knee pain, scoliosis, headaches or RSI; to improve posture; to improve performance if they are involved in movement related activities such as Yoga, dance or sport; as a way to develop personally because of the emotional and psychological benefits that can accompany the significant improvement in body alignment that can happen as a result of Rolfing.

A typical Rolfing session lasts from one hour to one and a half hours. The work consists of physical contact at various key point of the body, with the Rolfing practitioner using fingers, knuckles, hands and elbow. A Rolfing Series is normally ten or eleven sessions.

All Rolfers qualify and and pay their annual dues to the Rolf Institute based in Boulder, Colorado, with international offices in Germany, Brazil, Japan and Australia. There are other therapies which derive from the work of Ida Rolf, such as Structural Integration, but only practitioners who train and are certified at the Rolf Institute are eligible by law to call themselves Rolfers. Qualified Rolfers are called Certified Rolfers and have undergone a basic training of approximately 26 weeks of intensive training at the Rolf Institute. Those who undergo more extensive specialised training may become Certified Advanced Rolfers (they must have practised Rolfing full time for at least three years to be eligible for this).

When choosing a Rolfer by all means call and talk to the practitioner first to ask any questions about your particular situation. It is important to work with someone with whom you feel comfortable. Please make sure that the practitioner is a member in good standing of the Rolf institute.