What is Rolfing? And How to Get a Rolfing Certification

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Rolfing or ‘Structural integration’ term was used for the first time by Dr. Ida P. Rolf who used it to describe her form of bodywork.

At the same time, clients preferred to call it ‘rolfing’.

Both of these terms are used to describe the type of massage/bodywork vernacular.

In fact, rolfing and structural integration are pretty much the same the second one has a broader meaning.

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In the early 70s, Dr. Rolf started the Rolf Institute of Structural Integration in the USA.

The fact is that the University still owns the trademark of rolfing.

To get your license in this sphere, you need to address the Rolf Institute.

Also, you can get certified through the Certification Board for Structural Integration.

Before applying for the certification, you should complete board-recognized structural integration programs or various non-traditional programs based on Dr. Rolf’s work.

You need to know that there is a whole bunch of programs that meet CBSI requirements but don’t have the ‘rolfing’ trademark.

Rolfing can be compared with a deep tissue massage but some specialists say it is a type of bodywork massage.

If you want to learn about the differences between rolfing and traditional forms of massage, you can visit the Canadian Rolfing Association.

Theoretical Underpinnings

Rolfing and structural integration are based on the point that myofascial plays the most important role in the posture and work of your body and mind.

Myofascia – it is a fiber or a web of connective tissue that helps the body to keep its form and guarantee its flexibility.

Nevertheless, you need to know that it is very vulnerable and can be easily injured.

According to the Rolf Foundation, this type of massage can be very useful and valuable.

For example, children with cerebral palsy may have myofascial dysfunction and rolfing can lead to some significant improvements.

According to the NCBI, it can guarantee some significant changes.

Dr. Andrew Weil claims that rolfing can help patients who suffer from pain because of carpal tunnel syndrome, temporomandibular joint disorder, hyperlordosis, and asthma.

It is just important to make sure that a doctor provided strict rules about treatment.

This type of massage is useful not only for people with serious conditions but also for athletes who want to stay in their peak condition.

Practitioners have various skills related to body manipulation as well as condition observation.

Usually, about ten sessions of rolfing are required but sometimes improvements can be achieved faster.

There are numerous practitioners that are proud of the fact they can help their clients achieve long-lasting improvements.

However, in some cases, your client’s condition may require some more long-lasting treatment.

Education and Credentialing

In Canada, these specialists are certified as rolfers but in the USA they get their certification as massage therapists.

In most cases, you need to pass the Massage and Bodywork Licensing Examination (MBLEx) to get certified.

Nevertheless, in some states, other exams are accepted.

For example, in Oregon, you can take the CSI written exam.

If you are interested in this career, you can do it as a concentration of your training program or pursue it later.

To meet the requirements, you need to learn properly the state massage therapy licensing regulations as each state has its own requirements.

You need to know that even the certification through the Commission on Massage Therapy Accreditation (COMTA) may not provide you with licenses in all states.

One other significant point is that if you have some prior training in massage or bodywork, your rolfing training can be completed much faster.

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