Rolfing: No Longer a Fringe Therapy

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Oct 022012

Not super well researched but it does have some salient facts. It is always good when the work is mentioned in the world.  Reminds me of some of the first Pilates articles…a tad embarrassing but still good to see.

By Rett Fisher | U.S.News & World Report LP – Wed, Sep 5, 2012

After eight years with the Philadelphia Orchestra, C.J. Chang, the principal viola, says he “couldn’t really play more than 10 minutes without severe pain.” Doctors diagnosed an overgrown muscle in his right hand, but neither massage nor ultrasound provided relief. A colleague recommended that Chang try an alternative therapy known as Rolfing. After the fifth or sixth treatment, Chang says, he felt his “whole hand just freeing” and was able to resume his career.

Rolfing Structural Integration was developed in the 1930s by Ida P. Rolf, a biochemist from New York, after she was diagnosed with spinal arthritis. Rolf focused on the role of the fascia, a form of connective tissue that envelops different muscle groups, allowing them to move freely in relation to each other and often across several joints. When an injury occurs, she theorized, the fascia tightens around that injury, somewhat like a cast or band-aid. Even after the injury heals, the fascia stays in that rigid position, often causing chronic pain and discomfort. Structural Integration is a form of deep tissue massage that stretches and opens the fascia, correcting misalignment and restoring balance throughout the whole body. Actor Christopher Reeve was treated around his lungs to allow him to breathe without his ventilator. Figure skater Michelle Kwan has used the therapy to gain a competitive edge, help with her balance, and recover from injuries more quickly.

[See Advances Against Chronic Pain.]

New support. While many schools around the world teach Structural Integration, only the Rolf Institute in Boulder, Colo., is accredited by the Commission on Massage Therapy Accreditation. As of April, the United States alone had approximately 1,000 certified Rolfers. And this number is likely to continue expanding.

Long ignored as a fringe therapy, Structural Integration, which consists of 10 weekly sessions of 60 to 90 minutes, has recently been getting serious attention from researchers. The National Institutes of Health provided a grant for the First International Fascia Research Congress in 2007, which brought together therapists, scientists, and doctors.

More recently, Eric Jacobson, a research associate at Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital in Boston and a lecturer at Harvard Medical School’s department of global health and social medicine, received an NIH grant to study Structural Integration’s effect on chronic low back pain, which affects 16 million American adults. Other research has shown the therapy reduces the pain of fibromyalgia.

[See 6 Simple Ways to Improve Symptoms of Fibromyalgia]

Bradley Smith, a 53-year-old chemical engineer from Albuquerque, N.M., is already convinced of its power against back pain. He was starting to accept his pain as an inevitable part of the aging process until some of his scientist friends recommended he try the therapy. He became such a big fan that he’s thinking about becoming a Rolfer himself when he retires in four years.

 Posted by at 10:28 pm

Spring Special

 Workshops  Comments Off on Spring Special
Jun 122012


Spring Special:
Three 90 minute KMI sessions for $240
(Offer ends June 20th, package good for 50 days)

The KMI 3-series is a great introduction to structural bodywork.
Addressing the shoulder girdle, pelvis, and spine respectively, it can be the start of The full KMI program (a 12-session series) ,
or stand on it’s own.

 Posted by at 6:20 pm
Aug 262011

Anatomy Trains For Movement Therapists

Mini Workshops (teasers)
-Fascia 101
-The Superficial Front line-The Lateral Lines
Thursday September 8th 5-7:30 pm $20*

-The Superficial Back Line
-The Spiral Line
Friday September 16th 5-7:30 pm $20*

Anatomy Trains for Movement Therapists (The whole class)

Set your anatomy knowledge free! Thomas Myers’ Anatomy Trains® weekend intensives are holistic, fun and very useful. Completely transform your view of myofascial anatomy and expand your ability to assess your clients’ posture and movement.

Course Objectives:
– Understand basic properties and connected nature of fascia, and tensegrity applied to fascia and human movement.
– A succinct and relevant introduction to geometry/character of the connective tissue, and the topology of fascial planes
– Be able to identify and trace the 6 major and 6 supplemental fascial meridians along which movement, tension, and postural distortion travel
– Be able to BodyRead™ postural patterns based on analysis of Anatomy Trains lines
– Apply knowledge to construct alternative movement strategies to help unwind and resolve the patterns observed.

Friday October 14th 3-7pm
Saturday October 15th 10am-6pm
Sunday October 16th 10am-5pm $135*

To register call 503 780 2621 or email

*These classes are offered in association with Anatomy Trains,
but are not a certified Anatomy Trains course and do not satisfy the prerequisite for Kinesis certification trainings

Learn more about Tom Myers’ Anatomy Trains at Anatomy

Pilates Teacher Training & Continuing Education
Mat 1 September 9, 10 and 11 $385
Anatomy in 3 dimensions ™ September 23,24,and 25 $435
Reformer 1 October 7,8, and 9 $475
Mat 2 October 21,22,and 23 $375
Orbit November 5th 10-4:30 pm

See the full schedule + all the details at

 Posted by at 8:02 pm
May 252011

Registration is now open. You can register online or call 877-745-2837

Full details at

Rolling for Length, Rolling for Strength (Foam Roller Fiesta)
Saturday 7/16/2011 – Saturday 7/16/2011

Mat 1 Module
Friday 9/9/2011 – Sunday 9/11/2011

Anatomy In Clay 9/23-9/25

Reformer 1 and Movement Principles
Friday 10/7/2011 – Sunday 10/9/2011

Mat 2 Module
Friday 10/21/2011 – Sunday 10/23/2011

Trapeze Table, Chair and Barrels: Module 1
Friday 11/11/2011 – Sunday 11/13/2011

Reformer 2 Module
Friday 12/2/2011 – Sunday 12/4/2011

 Posted by at 5:43 pm

Dynamic Ligaments

 Anatomy Geek  Comments Off on Dynamic Ligaments
May 182011

New research is showing that muscle is not what we think it is.
“This means that the ligaments, far from being active only at the moment of the greatest elbow extension in your preacher curl, are dynamically active in stabilizing the joint all through the movement, during both concentric and eccentric contraction. This muscle-ligament combination Jaap termed a ‘dynament’ (by a contraction of ‘dynamic ligament’) and the implications of his findings are profound.”

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May 022011

Spring Special – Three 90 minute KMI appointments for $240

The tulips are up and the days of open windows are on the way
Maybe it is time to refresh your home Pilates program,
or get some of the fuzz out of your tissues.
Anyway I can be of help, just let me know.
Remember that a 30 minute consultation is always free.

In Health,
Shelly Stephenson PMA®-CPT, KMI Certified