Structural Integration with the Rolfing Method, a Specialized Form of Physical Therapy to Relieve Chronic Pain
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 produced extensive evidence demonstrating the benefits of Rolfing, such as:
Larry Dossey, M.D., best-selling author: "There is one major reason to take Rolfing® seriously: it works. Not only can it dramatically change people's bodies, it can transform their lives as well. Rolfing is powerful stuff."
Jim Montgomery, MD, an orthopedic surgeon in Dallas, Texas, often refers his clients to Rolfing. "I send a variety of my clients to a Certified Advanced Rolfer, Nicholas French. People with shoulder and elbow problems, with scar tissue resulting from injury or surgery, chronic hamstring problems, low back and cervical spine problems. People that have had chronic problems that have not been helped by anything else. All those people can be helped with Rolfing."
Karlis Ullis, MD, (team physician for 1992 summer Olympics), Sports Medicine and Anti-Aging Medical Group in Santa Monica, CA: "Athletes always need help with chronic injuries, muscular strains and overuse. The Olympic athletes wouldn't have as many injuries if they had appropriate soft tissue therapy. Rolfing is valuable for athletes in high level competition to address the build up of scar tissue and disarrangement of myofascial tissue that occurs from training, competition and injury." Dr. Ullis has provided medical expertise to athletes at five Olympic games, including Lillehammer, Albertville, and Barcelona, in the fields of figure skating, cross country skiing, bobsleigh, biathlon, track and field and other sports.
Certified Advanced Rolfer and MD, Dr. Bret Nye, speaks about alternative/complementary medicine, a cost effective, alternative to surgery and drugs - "Demand for the services of health practitioners like Rolfers is growing as evidenced by the Nov. 98 JAMA estimate of $21.2 billion being spent for alternative medicine in 97. Integrative health care, is a new trend, that combines Western and complementary medicines to offer the best technological advances in health care. Health insurance companies are increasingly becoming interested in therapies like Rolfing not only as potential cost effective alternatives or complements to traditional modalities, but as opportunities to provide coverage for services that will distinguish them in an increasingly competitive market place of providers."
Sean Casey, Detroit Tigers All Star Baseball Player says Rolfing helped him resolve an injury. He would not have been able to play the 2006 World Series without the help of his Rolfer, Micheal Waller.
Michelle Kwan and Elvis Stojko, 1998 Olympic Silver Medalists, have found they have a competitive advantage by working with a team of specialists that included Helen James, Physical Therapist, and Certified Advanced Rolfer. Elvis Stojko introduced Helen James, Certified Advanced Rolfer to Michelle Kwan in July during the Campbell Soup Tour of World Figure Skating Champions. Stojko, who has benefited from James' physical therapy and Rolfing expertise says, "Rolfing helped me to find my center of balance for competition; it puts my body in place." Working with Olympic and world champion figure skaters is nothing new for James. She says, "It's key for figure skaters like Michelle and Elvis, to find an exact balanced position in space. Balance and integration are the primary goals of the Rolfing process. Athletes find they have fewer injuries and recover more quickly through Rolfing work," says James. "They feel lighter and have more energy because they're not working as hard. They perform and complete their jumps with more ease."
Three U.S. Athletes trained at the Rolf Institute® in June 1998: John Bauer, a 1992 & 1998 Olympian Nordic Skier; Grant Ernhardt, a US Biathlon team member; and Gary Colliander, a Minnesota Biathlete. Their stories are highlighted in a press release entitled, "The Ski-Rolfing® Connection Is Stronger Than Just Skiers Getting Rolfing Bodywork." These athletes say that a career in bodywork fits an athlete's lifestyle & furthers their training. It can offer them the flexibility to both train and work in a profitable and independent career.
Bob Tewksbury, pitcher for the Minnesota Twins says, "I have received many benefits from Rolfing. In 1991, my massage therapist recommended it as a way to get a deeper level of work. Although the benefits of muscle work come and go depending on when and how regularly I get Rolfing work, I have noticed long lasting benefits with regard to my breathing, my posture and my body awareness. I have used Rolfing mainly in two areas, for my lower and upper back to help with flexibility and stiffness and to enhance my performance. I plan to use it again."
The Phoenix Suns were the first major NBA Basketball team to have a Certified Advanced Rolfer on hand, Jeffrey Maitland. "Phoenix Suns guard, Danny Ainge, who has received Rolfing for years, recommended the therapy to (Charles) Barkley. Other Suns, Mark West and A.C. Green, also have been Rolfed...with satisfactory results," reported the Arizona Republic, May 1994.
Sarah Will, 1998 US Paralympic Gold Medal Skier, a member of the US Disabled Ski Team is a paraplegic athlete that credits her five gold metals to Rolfing. Will's says that "Rolfing gives you a competitive edge as an athlete."
Sharon Sander, ranked #2 on the US Pentathlon team, who's preparing to compete in the first women's Olympics pentathlon, says, "I recommend Rolfing for any athlete who has ever had trouble with injuries or doesn't feel like they are reaching their potential."
Joe Greene, two-time U.S.A. Olympic bronze medal long jumper says, "Rolfing works. It really makes a huge difference. I've been in track and field a long time and wish I had known about it sooner. My stomach tenses and my hips tighten when I jump. The Rolfing bodywork helped me to breathe and I felt taller."
Craig Swan, former N.Y. Mets pitcher, says, "Bodywork can extend athletic careers," says Swan, whose career ended from an sports injury. "I truly believe if I had been Rolfed in the early part of my career, I would still be pitching."Swan’s recovery from a pitching injury inspired him to become a Certified Rolfer and help others.
Leon Fleisher, virtuoso concert pianist: "When a crippling hand injury ended his performing career, Peabody pianist, Leon Fleisher went down a different musical road. Thirty years later, he's turned up an unexpected corner (when he met Certified Advanced Rolfer, Tessy Brunghardt)...The (Rolfing) results were remarkable." John Hopkins magazine, 1995.
Levar Burton - "The Rolfer works on fascia which is the thin sheath of white tissue that covers the musculature. By manipulating the fascia you manipulate the musculature, and in turn the skeletal structure, so you bring alignment to the body... It can be very healing, cleansing and balancing for the body." Oprah - July 7, 1996
Movie star Sean Young, who has starred in the movies "Bladerunner", "No Way Out", "Ace Ventura: Pet Detective", "Wall Street", "Fatal Instinct", "Once Upon a Crime", and a few dozen others received Rolfing from Certified Rolfer Bob Brill.
Willie Nelson, songwriter: "My wife recommended (Rolfing) highly", says Willie Nelson, "...The first of ten sessions fixed (my back pain)," reported the New York Times, on Feb. 23, 1995.
Sam Keen, best-selling writer, is a former Psychology Today editor and co-producer of award winning PBS documentary "Faces Of The Enemy". "Bodywork has allowed me at age 65 to live as vigorously as I want to, in an embodied way. Nine months ago I started studying flying trapeze work, and I couldn’t have done it without Rolfing." Whole Life Times, Aug.’94. When Sam Keen spoke of Dr. Ida Rolf as a true pioneer in his early Psychology Today 1970’s a rticle, Rolfing bodywork gained international attention. Now thirty years later, Keen benefits by making Rolfing a part of his own health care regimen, to stay aligned, fit and flexible for his flying trapeze work. Sam Keen’s books include: Inward Bound; Fire In the Belly: On Being A Man; and the Passionate Life.
A 50 yr old scientist, and medical consultant for healthcare manufacturers, Jim Wright had planned to live with his shoulder, neck and back problems until his wife suggested Rolfing. The problems were allieviated and he sees his Rolfer once a year for a tune up.
Mary Elizabeth Nordstrom, President, Moore Vocal Arts, says, "I am over 60 years old and have advanced scoliosis which the Rolfing treatments have definitely begun to help. One of my friends who had not seen me for awhile remarked on my better posture without my telling her why.
Celebrities Offer Perspectives On Rolfing
Willie Nelson, Songwriter & Performer, was quoted in the New York Times, Feb. 25, 1995, saying, "My wife recommended (Rolfing) highly… The first of ten sessions fixed (my back pain)."
Dr. Larry Dossey, M.D., best-selling author says, "There is one reason to take Rolfing seriously: it works. Not only can it dramatically change people's bodies, it can transform their lives as well."
Levar Burton, of Star Trek: The Next Generation, Reading Rainbow and Roots spoke on the Oprah Winfrey Show in July about the changes he experienced from the Rolfing bodywork. Says Burton, "I always felt great after each of the sessions."
Leon Fleisher, Virtuoso Concert Pianist, attributes his Carnegie Hall comeback to Rolfing. Fleisher, who had lost the use of his right hand 30 years ago from a carpal tunnel injury, is finally recovering with Rolfing treatments and is touring world-wide (as reported in People Magazine, New York Times, and on Good Morning America).
Other celebrities that have benefited from Rolfing include:
Bret Saberhagen, former Pitcher for the Kansas City Royals and Two-Time Winner of the Cy Young Award (1985, 1989) says, "I think if somebody got Rolfing done, just an average person, they're going to feel a lot better about themselves, and they're probably going to have a lot more energy. I experienced that myself."
Other Athletes that have benefited from Rolfing include:
Articles on Rolfing have appeared in the following magazines:
Consumer Reports magazine, May 2000, published an article, "The Mainstreaming of Alternative Medicine" that lauded deep tissue massage. "In what may be the largest, most detailed survey of alternative medicine use, 46,000 Consumer Reports readers reported their experiences with a wide range of alternative and mainstream therapies (Business wire, 4/12/00). Deep tissue massage was rated significantly more effective than standard physical therapy or prescription drugs for back pain and fibromyalgia (Consumer Reports magazine, May 2000)."
Rolfing on Television
Discovery Health TV Channel, aired a 50 part-documentary series entitled: "Medical Diary", Episode #124, Lonny's Story: Exploring Alternatives to Pain, which featured an in-depth Rolfing segment that follows a client through a Rolfing series with Certified Rolfer, Ben Shield. Olympic MD., Dr. Karlis Ullis was also interviewed. Check www.discoveryhealth.com for a schedule of dates when "Medical Diary" will air again.
Feb 20, 2000
"Fox Sports Net", Senior correspondent, Diana Nyad, interviewed Certified Rolfer and former NY Mets pitcher, Craig Swan about Rolfing structural integration for a Fox Sports net cable channel network. Her show, "GOING DEEP, "featured a segment entitled, "Badge of Honor." It aired at 9PM.
Oct. 3, 1999
Certified Rolfer, Jim Pascucci was interviewed about equine Rolfing®, live on the FOX TV Pet News show at the Chelsea Pier Equestrian Center in New York City.
National Canadian cable TV, documentary about touch therapies, "The Uncommon Touch," produced by Sleeping Giant Prod., aired on Vision TV in Canada beginning September 30th and continued every Thursday for 12 weeks thereafter. The Rolfing segment, filmed at the Rolf Institute, was featured on Show #6, "Gods and Gurus" and Show #10, "Children's Bodies, Children's Souls." A copy of the video tape interview is available at the Rolf Institute library.
Sept. 29 or 30,1999
The "Jeopardy" TV show, mentioned Rolfing under the category of "Massage." They posed the question: Also known as structural integration? The answer: What is Rolfing?
The Sally Jesse Raphael TV talk show filmed an Alternative Healing segment with Certified Rolfer Bill Legrave's actress client, Diane Ladd, Rolfer Craig Swan, and author, Heide Banks.
The Wisdom Channel and PBS TV filmed a Rolfing segment for the show, Alternative Medicine, to be aired in Fall '99. Certified Rolfer, Cosper Scafidi, and New York opera singer, Patricia Johnson were interviewed for the segment.
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