The Origins and History of Rolfing™ Therapy

Rolfing is an increasingly popular deep tissue bodywork method designed to restore posture, improve bodily balance and alignment, and alleviate pain.

It is used by dancers, Olympians, professional athletes, office workers, accident victims, and many others. There are thousands of people throughout the United States who have achieved great benefit from this technique. What many people do not know, however, is how Rolfing therapy, sometimes incorrectly referred to as Rolfing massage therapy, got its start. Here, we will examine the history and origins of Rolfing and how it came to be an effective muscular and skeletal treatment.

In the 1930’s, treatment for the chronically disabled was minimal at best. Many patients were unable to receive any help at all. With the goal of helping these patients, a woman named Ida P. Rolf, Ph.d started developing a system designed to help better organize the human body in relation to gravity. Originally known as postural release before being changed to structural integration, this technique is what we know today as Rolfing. Rolf believed that opposing muscles were rendered unable to function cooperatively due to bound-up connective tissue. Her therapy, which some people call Rolfing massage (although it is not a massage therapy), was designed to help unbind or separate these tissues, allowing them to move more fluidly and effectively and become much looser.

The benefits that Rolf experienced with her interventions were certainly notable, and she dedicated her life to perfecting the system and teaching it to others. In 1971, she founded the Rolf Institute of Structural Integration, teaching aspiring Rolfing practitioners how to perform these techniques on various parts of the skeletal system in order to achieve the desired outcome. The Rolf Institute offers both the basic and advanced certifications, both of which are held by Bob Alonzi.

Young woman with position defect and ideal bearing

Today, Rolfing is used to help treat a wide range of conditions.

It is used by athletes to help improve movement and flexibility, as well as assist them in recovering from injuries. It is widely used to correct postural problems, not only for desk workers and those with slumped posture, but for those with health conditions such as scoliosis or shortened legs. It is also used to provide relief from chronic pain, and even to allow patients to free up their bodies in order to achieve emotional release and connections following a traumatic event or accident.

The history of Rolfing is certainly fascinating, and the original principles of the method and of the Rolf Institute are an integral part of Bob Alonzi’s practice. You will find that Bob provides a wide range of Rolfing therapies, each with different benefits and goals for patients. If you are looking to learn more about Rolfing® therapy and what it can do for you, contact Bob Alonzi’s office online today or give the office a call at (310)-451-3250. The right therapy can make a big difference in your life, and it is definitely worth your time to learn how this remarkable technique can help relieve your pain and restore your posture and movement!

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