Online Resources

The International Fascia Research Congress - A project of the Ida P. Rolf Research Foundation. The Congress was the brain-child of Certified Advanced Rolfer® Tom Findley, MD, PhD. The Third International conference will be held in Vancouver, BC in 2012 and — as usual — will present the latest and best fascia findings. DVD recordings and proceedings books from prior Congresses are available. Also check out the Science Magazine article.

Rolfing structural integration treatment of cervical spine dysfunction demonstrates that the basic ten-session series of Rolfing® Structural Integration (RSI), when applied by a physical therapist with advanced RSI certification, is capable of significantly decreasing pain and increasing active range of motion in adults with cervical spine dysfunction. - Searchable website created by Certified Advanced Rolfer®, Robert Schleip, PhD. Be sure to look through Schleip's Fascia Research Project in his lab at Ulm University, Ulm, Germany.

The Ida P. Rolf Research Foundation: The only nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting structural integration research and collaboration between research and clinical communities.

Journal Articles and Books

More recent research findings include the positive effects of Rolfing® on the autonomic nervous system (published in The Journal of the American Physical Therapy Association, Mar. 1988) and benefits of Rolfing® for chronic back pain (The Journal of Orthopedic & Sports Physical Therapy, Sept.1997).

A Three-Paradigm Treatment Model Using Soft Tissue Mobilization and Guided Movement-Awareness Techniques for Patients with Chronic Back Pain: A case study. J. Cottingham & J. Maitland, The Journal of Orthopedic & Sports Physical Therapy, Vol.26, No.3, Sept.1997.

Shifts in Pelvic Inclination Angle and Parasympathetic Tone Produced by Rolfing Soft Tissue Manipulation. J. Cottingham, Frances Nelson Health Center, Illinois. The Journal of American Physical Therapy Association, Vol. 68, 1364-1370, 1988.

Effects of Soft Tissue Mobilization on Pelvic Inclination Angle, Lumbar Lordosis, and Parasympathetic Tone: Implications for treatment of disabilities associated with lumbar degenerative joint disease. Cottingham JT. Public testimony presentation to the National Center of Medical Rehabilitation Research of the National Institute of Health, Bethesda, MD; March 19, 1992. Rolf Lines, 20 (2): 42-45, 1992.

Integrating Manual and Movement Therapy with Philosophical Counseling for Treatment of a Patient with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis: A case study that explores the principles of holistic intervention. J. Cottingham, M.S., P.T. & J. Maitland, Ph.D., Alternative Therapies In Health and Medicine, Winter/Spring 2000.

Biomechanical Structuring for Figure Skating: Preliminary pilot study report for the U.S. Figure Skating Association. Helen James, Katharine Robertson, & Neal Powers, Olympic Training Center Camp, CO, 1988.

Effects of Soft Tissue Mobilization on Parasympathetic Tone in Two Age Groups. J. Cottingham, Frances Nelson Health Center, Illinois, 1987. The Journal of American Physical Therapy Association, Vol. 68, 352-356, 1988.

Stress, Stimulus Intensity Control, and the Structural Integration Technique. Silverman, Rappaport & Hopkins. Confinia Psychiatric, Karger Publisher, Switzerland, 1973.

Effects of Structural Integration on State-Trait Anxiety. R. Wagner & V. Hunt, UCLA, 1976. Journal of Clinical Psychology, Vol. 35, No.2, April 1979.

Functional Evaluation of Rolfing in Cerebral Palsy. Perry, Jones & Thomas.Developmental Med. Child. Neural., 1981, 23.

Electromyographic Evaluation of Structural Integration Techniques. V. Hunt & W. Massey, UCLA. Psychoenergetic Systems, Gordon & Breach Science Pub., U.K., 1977.

Children With Cerebral Palsy. Cindy Potter, 1986.

Structural Integration, I.P. Rolf, Rockefeller Institute, N.Y., 1918 – 1927.

Early Research Studies

In her 1963 study, “Project Breakthrough,” Ida Rolf found that children who had received Rolfing work exhibited better muscle tone, better alignment, and improved social responsiveness.

Dr. Valerie D. Hunt and Dr. WayneW. Massey of the UCLA Department of Kinesiology completed a five-year controlled study in 1977, entitled, “A study of structural integration from neuromuscular, energy field and emotional approaches.” They found that subjects who had received Rolfing® exhibited:

  • Greater movement efficiency and improved neuromuscular balance
  • Smoother, larger, and less constrained extraneous movements
  • A more erect carriage with less obvious strain to maintain held positions
  • More dynamic and energetic body movements, with less fatigue
  • Increased emotional calmness, a greater sense of well being, and decreased anxiety.

Reading List

The Endless Web: Fascial Anatomy and Physical Reality

by Louis R. Schultz, Rosemary Feitis. North Atlantic Books; (November 1996); ISBN: 1556432283. Want to learn even more about fascia? This is an oldie but a goodie.

Yoga for Scoliosis (Booklet or Video) by Elise Browning Miller. Presents poses for scoliosis, information on scoliosis, describes benefits of yoga for scoliosis. Visit Finally, somebody put it all in one place. If you have scoliosis — Rolfing®, the Core Program (above), and yoga need to be in your toolbox.

The Anatomy Trains: Myofascial Meridians for Manual and Movement Therapies by Thomas W. Myers, Leon Chaitow, Deane Juhan. Churchill Livingstone; (October 9, 2001); ISBN: 0443063516. In depth look at how fascial lines pull us into patterns. Great pictures, interesting discussion, and superb organization.
Rolfing®: Reestablishing the Natural Alignment and Structural Integration of the Human Body for Vitality and Well-Being by Ida P. Rolf, Ron Thompson. Inner Traditions Intl Ltd; Revised edition (November 1990); ISBN: 0892813350. If you want to learn about Rolfing® from the master, this is a good source.

Pain Free : A Revolutionary Method for Stopping Chronic Pain by Pete Egoscue. Bantam; (February 29, 2000); ISBN: 0553379887. Another solid resource for exercises that change alignment. This author has other books specifically for women and computer users.

The Multifidus Back Pain Solution: Simple Exercises That Target the Muscles That Count by Jim Johnson, Scott D. Boden. New Harbinger Pubns; 1st edition (June 15, 2002); ISBN: 1572242787. Compilation of the latest in back pain research. Everybody needs to know about the information and exercises presented here.

The Core Program : Fifteen Minutes a Day That Can Change Your Life by Peggy Brill, Gerald Secor Couzens. Bantam; (January 1, 2003); ISBN: 0553380842. Excellent resource and delivers a program you can do to maintain myofascial strength and balance for the rest of your life. Written for women but applies for men as well. If you travel a lot, the program in this book can be done anywhere.