Autor: Eike Jon Ahrens

Wissenschaftlicher Unterbau von Rolfing®


Thank you so much for sharing these studies ERA!!!

Rolfing® SI Research

Scientific literature in support of the Rolfing® method

Empirical values show that Rolfing can effectively change body structure, posture and movement of clients, with lasting effects. Psychological effects of Rolfing are often described, too. Since the seventies, researchers have published scientific results about several effects of Rolfing. Some studies are listed below (non-exhaustive).

The growing field of Fascia Research provides additional scientific references, important for the Rolfing method. Related Research lists studies of potential interest for Rolfers and the Rolfing method.

The European Rolfing Association is looking for partners in Science and Research in order to conduct or support further studies about the effectiveness of Rolfing.

1. Physiological Studies

A recent investigation demonstrates that the basic 10 sessions of Rolfing Structural Integration, when applied by a physical therapist with advanced certification, is capable of significantly decreasing pain and increasing active range of motion in adult subjects, male and female, with complaints of cervical spine dysfunction, regardless of age [1].

Previous physiological studies demonstrated that already a single Rolfing session significantly decreases standing pelvic tilt angle and significantly increases vagal tone [2,3]. The results provide theoretical support for the reported clinical uses of soft tissue pelvic manipulation for certain types of low back dysfunction [4] and musculoskeletal disorders associated with autonomic stress.

Early electromyographic evaluations already pointed to improved organization and greater balance in the neuromuscular system following the intervention with Rolfing [5]. More recent studies confirmed an improvement in balance with Structural Integration (Rolfing) in persons with myofascial pain [6].

Several case studies evaluated the effect of Rolfing in persons with specific diagnoses [7-11].

James H et al. Rolfing structural integration treatment of cervical spine dysfunction. Journal of Bodywork and Movement Therapies. Article in press, accepted 1 July 2008.

  1. Artikelvorschau (ScienceDirect)
  2. Cottingham J. Shifts in pelvic inclination angle and parasympathetic tone produced by Rolfing soft tissue manipulation. Physical Therapy, 68:1364-1370, 1988
    Zusammenfassung (PubMed) // Download
  3. Cottingham J, Porges SW, Lyon T. Effects of soft tissue mobilization (Rolfing pelvic lift) on parasympathetic tone in two age groups. Physical Therapy, 68:352-356, 1988
    Zusammenfassung (PubMed) // Download
  4. Cottingham JT. 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. – 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
    Artikel (Ida P. Rolf Library) // Download
  5. Hunt V, Massey W. Electromyographic evaluation of Structural Integration techniques. Psychoenergetic Systems 2:199-210, 1977
  6. Findley TW et al. Improvement in balance with Structural Integration (Rolfing): A controlled case series in persons with myofascial pain. Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation 85(9):e34, 2004
  7. Deutsch JE, Derr L, Judd P, DeMasi I, Reuven B. Outcomes of Structural Integration applied to patients with different diagnosis: A retrospective review.Proceedings of the XIV International World Congress of Physical Therapy, Barcelona, 2003
  8. Deutsch JE, Derr LL, Judd P, et al. Treatment of chronic pain through the use of Structural Integration (Rolfing). Orthopaedic Physical Therapy Clinics of North America 9(3):411-425, 2000
  9. Talty CM, DeMasi I, Deutsch JE. Structural Integration applied to patients with chronic fatigue syndrome: a retrospective chart review. Journal of Orthopaedic & Sports Physical Therapy, 27(1):83, 1998
  10. Deutsch JE, Judd P, DeMassi I.. Structural Integration applied to patients with a primary neurologic diagnosis: two case studies. Neurology Report 21(5):161-162, 1997
  11. Perry J, Jones MH, Thomas L. Functional evaluation of Rolfing in cerebral palsy. Developmental Medicine and Child Neurology 23(6):717-729, 1981

2. Psychological Studies

A controlled clinical study indicated that Rolfing caused a lasting decrease in state anxiety when compared to the control group. Results were discussed in terms of the release of emotional tension stored up in the muscles due to Structural Integration [1]. In a psychophysiological study, changes after Rolfing structural integration were indicative of increased openness and better modulated sensitivity to environmental stimulation [2].

  1. Weinberg RS, Hunt VV. Effects of structural integration on state-trait anxiety. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 35(2), 1979
    Abstract (PubMed)
  2. Silverman J et al. Stress, stimulus intensity control, an the structural integration technique. Confinia Psychiatrica 16(3):201-19, 1973
    Article (Ida P. Rolf Library) // Download
  3. Hunt VV, Massey W, Weinberg R, Bruyere R, Hahn PM. A study of Structural Integration from neuromuscular, energy field & emotional approaches. Research Report submitted to Rolf Institute, UCLA Dept. of Kinesiology, 1977.
    Article (
  4. Pratt TC. Psychological effects of Structural Integration. Psychological Reports, 35(2):856, 1974



Beweglichkeit des Geistes

Research shows that most people complain once a minute during a typical conversation. Complaining is tempting because it feels good, but like many other things that are enjoyable — such as smoking or eating a pound of bacon for breakfast — complaining isn’t good for you.

Your brain loves efficiency and doesn’t like to work any harder than it has to. When you repeat a behavior, such as complaining, your neurons branch out to each other to ease the flow of information. This makes it much easier to repeat that behavior in the future — so easy, in fact, that you might not even realize you’re doing it.

You can’t blame your brain. Who’d want to build a temporary bridge every time you need to cross a river? It makes a lot more sense to construct a permanent bridge. So, your neurons grow closer together, and the connections between them become more permanent. Scientists like to describe this process as, “Neurons that fire together, wire together.”

Repeated complaining rewires your brain to make future complaining more likely. Over time, you find it’s easier to be negative than to be positive, regardless of what’s happening around you. Complaining becomes your default behavior, which changes how people perceive you.

And here’s the kicker: complaining damages other areas of your brain as well. Research from Stanford University has shown that complaining shrinks the hippocampus — an area of the brain that’s critical to problem solving and intelligent thought. Damage to the hippocampus is scary, especially when you consider that it’s one of the primary brain areas destroyed by Alzheimer’s.

Complaining is also bad for your health

While it’s not an exaggeration to say that complaining leads to brain damage, it doesn’t stop there. When you complain, your body releases the stress hormone cortisol. Cortisol shifts you into fight-or-flight mode, directing oxygen, blood and energy away from everything but the systems that are essential to immediate survival. One effect of cortisol, for example, is to raise your blood pressure and blood sugar so that you’ll be prepared to either escape or defend yourself.

All the extra cortisol released by frequent complaining impairs your immune system and makes you more susceptible to high cholesterol, diabetes, heart disease and obesity. It even makes the brain more vulnerable to strokes.

It’s not just you…

Since human beings are inherently social, our brains naturally and unconsciously mimic the moods of those around us, particularly people we spend a great deal of time with. This process is called neuronal mirroring, and it’s the basis for our ability to feel empathy. The flip side, however, is that it makes complaining a lot like smoking — you don’t have to do it yourself to suffer the ill effects. You need to be cautious about spending time with people who complain about everything. Complainers want people to join their pity party so that they can feel better about themselves. Think of it this way: If a person were smoking, would you sit there all afternoon inhaling the second-hand smoke? You’d distance yourself, and you should do the same with complainers.

The solution to complaining

There are two things you can do when you feel the need to complain. One is to cultivate an attitude of gratitude. That is, when you feel like complaining, shift your attention to something that you’re grateful for. Taking time to contemplate what you’re grateful for isn’t merely the right thing to do; it reduces the stress hormone cortisol by 23%. Research conducted at the University of California, Davis, found that people who worked daily to cultivate an attitude of gratitude experienced improved mood and energy and substantially less anxiety due to lower cortisol levels. Any time you experience negative or pessimistic thoughts, use this as a cue to shift gears and to think about something positive. In time, a positive attitude will become a way of life.

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The second thing you can do — and only when you have something that is truly worth complaining about — is to engage in solution-oriented complaining. Think of it as complaining with a purpose. Solution-oriented complaining should do the following:

  1. Have a clear purpose. Before complaining, know what outcome you’re looking for. If you can’t identify a purpose, there’s a good chance you just want to complain for its own sake, and that’s the kind of complaining you should nip in the bud.

  2. Start with something positive. It may seem counterintuitive to start a complaint with a compliment, but starting with a positive helps keep the other person from getting defensive. For example, before launching into a complaint about poor customer service, you could say something like, “I’ve been a customer for a very long time and have always been thrilled with your service…”

  3. Be specific. When you’re complaining it’s not a good time to dredge up every minor annoyance from the past 20 years. Just address the current situation and be as specific as possible. Instead of saying, “Your employee was rude to me,” describe specifically what the employee did that seemed rude.

  4. End on a positive. If you end your complaint with, “I’m never shopping here again,” the person who’s listening has no motivation to act on your complaint. In that case, you’re just venting, or complaining with no purpose other than to complain. Instead, restate your purpose, as well as your hope that the desired result can be achieved, for example, “I’d like to work this out so that we can keep our business relationship intact.”

Bringing It All Together

Just like smoking, drinking too much, and lying on the couch watching TV all day, complaining is bad for you. Put my advice to use, and you’ll reap the physical, mental and performance benefits that come with a positive frame of mind.

version of this article appeared on TalentSmart and

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Ein schöner Artikel von meiner Kollegin und Freundin Jennifer-Lynn Crawford über die Bedeutung des menschlichen Körpers in Beziehung zu seiner Umwelt. Beziehungen aller Art sind beweglich. Körper sind beweglich und in Bewegung, oder anders: Körper sind Bewegung, die Bewegungen ermöglichen. Wie sehr die Qualität von Bewegung im Allgemeinen – physisch und mental – von der Intention abhängt, beschreibt dieser Artikel auf sehr persönliche Art und Weise.


Vielen Dank, Jennifer-Lynn!