Rolfing® Press Coverage, Articles, and Research

Press Coverage of Rolfing

Rolfing on Oprah

Research on Rolfing

Project: UCLA Department of Kinesiology; five year study conducted by Dr. Valerie Hunt and Dr. Wayne Massey; "A Study of Structural Integration from Neuromuscular, Energy Field and Emotional Approaches" completed in 1977. There were measurements before and after Rolfing of anxiety states, brain hemisphere activity, energy field photography, DC recordings of energy flow in electrical voltage readings, EMG recordings from sixteen separate muscles, electromyograms of neuromuscular patterning of energy, and electronic auric field study.

Result: This five-year study demonstrated benefits of Rolfing including:

  • Greater physical skill
  • Greater movement efficiency
  • More energy; less fatigue
  • Improved neuromuscular balance
  • Emotional calmness; decrease in anxiety state
  • Improved social interaction
  • Feelings of well-being
  • Memory recall
  • Enhanced ability to access different states of consciousness
  • Increasing right hemisphere brain dominance when needed for right brain activity
  • Evidence of changes in ways of processing data and the nature of thought processes

Project: J. Cottingham, M.S., S. Porges, Ph.D., and T. Lyon, M.D. studied the "Effects of Soft Tissue Mobilization (Rolfing Pelvic Lift) on Parasympathetic Tone in Two Age Groups" at the Frances Nelson Health Center, 1987. Parasympathetic tone was assessed by 1) quantifying the amplitude of the respiratory sinus arrhythmia from the heart rate pattern and 2) measuring heart rate.

Result: The pelvic lift increased the tone of the parasympathetic nervous system. This is usually associated with decreased levels of stress.

Project: Children's Project; three year pilot study in Philadelphia, PA conducted by a group of Rolfers, 1978; monograph "The Promise of Rolfing Children" reported on this study published in 1981. Each child's photograph before Session 1 and after Session 10 and some two and three years later were shown. A summary of results gathered from interviewing the parents and Rolfer's comments documented the changes.

Result: This pilot study with children demonstrated that:
  • A dramatic improvement in the children's physical, psychological and behavioral patterns had occurred.
  • Consistently, parents reported the children had increased confidence, better verbal expression, more self-control and less destructive behavior.
  • Rolfing is a helpful adjunct to other treatments in conditions such as cerebral palsy or scoliosis.

Research on Feet and Shoes

  • Barefoot Walking Study: Shows that barefoot walking results in less weight load into the knee, and therefore a decreased risk of osteoarthritis.  Danskos and motion-controlling athletic shoes performed badly, while minimalistic shoes performed almost as well as bare feet.
  • Barefoot Running Study: Compared running in bare feet vs. athletic shoes.  Synopsis and video.