ANIMAL HEALING: The Power of Rolfing

In Animal Healing, The Power of Rolfing® Structural Integration, Briah Anson presents over three dozen profiles of 56 different animals both domestic and wild going through the Rolfing process. Briah makes a convincing case that Rolfing® Structural Integration (SI) can produce profound lifestyle benefits to animals from birds to horses.

Any animal suffering from movement limitations resulting from injury, disease, surgical trauma and even old age experience relief and recovery. Rolfing® SI also contributes to the rehabilitation from secondary or tertiary responses to trauma—muscles spasms, soreness and compensatory patterns that linger long after the wounds heal. Examples of the profiled animals include cats, dogs, horses, birds, llamas, eagles, raptors, a cougar, and an endearing Moose named Mike and more.

Each chapter includes a description of the animal from the owner’s perspective as well as a description of Briah’s analysis. Photos accompany the stories so readers can really see the animal’s reaction to the Rolfing SI treatment—deep relaxation. Most chapters include before and after photos, which are powerful evidence for the work.

The book is organized around types of recovery. One chapter covers animals that have experienced rehabilitation from issues derived from birth defects, acute spinal injuries, and hip dysfunctions.  The chapter on rescue animals examines the dogs, cats and even guinea pigs that have moved from impatience and anxiety to ease and calm after a few Rolfing sessions. Another chapter tackles animals as athletes as the Rolfing experience unleashes their competitive potential. Many of these injuries and traumas could not be resolved using conventional veterinarian medicine.

From puppies to geriatric canines, bigger-than-life cats and a cougar, the affects that Rolfing SI has on these animals is life-changing and significant.

Rolfing® Structural Integration was developed over 60 years ago by biochemist and physiologist, Dr. Ida P. Rolf. Briah Anson, M.A. has been performing Rolfing SI for over 30 years. She is a pioneer who has taken this transformative bodywork for humans and applied it to animals, producing five educational videos on this work.




“If you enjoy animal stories as much as I do, you’re in for a great read. . . . You’ll witness the health and happiness of these animals being transformed through the hands and heart of Briah Anson and her passionate application of Rolfing® Structural Integration. . . . It’s an incredible menagerie: cats, dogs, and horses, as well as guinea pigs, llamas, eagles, an owl, a rooster, a cougar, and, per- haps most intriguing of all, an up close and personal encounter with a wild moose named Mike.”

Paul Schurke, Outdoor adventurer and educator; coauthor with Will Steger of North to the Pole and author of Bering Bridge: The Soviet-American Expedition from Siberia to Alaska; Director, Wintergreen Dogsled Lodge and Arctic Adventures, Ely, Minnesota


“As Briah Anson’s collection of nonhuman patients clearly demonstrate, Rolfing® Structural Inte- gration isn’t just for people, though a person’s appreciation of its benefits for themselves often leads to an interest in trying this form of body work on their animals. . . . Each animal’s emo- tional and locomotor response to Rolfing described in this book strongly suggests a true and sus- tained benefit.”

Julia H. WilSon, dvm, Diplomate, American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine; Associate Pro- fessor, Large Animal Medicine, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Minnesota


“Briah Anson shares her experience, insight, and her love for all creatures in these amazing stories of her quest for healing through Rolfing®. . . . After each session, the ravages of [the eagles’] perma- nent disabilities seemed to have less influence on their performance. . . . The Rolfing sessions im- proved their overall disposition and health. . . . I’m grateful to Briah for her extensive dedication and the volunteering of her time and talent given to the eagles at the National Eagle Center.”

MaryBeth GarriGan, Executive Director of Eagle Watch, Inc. (2000–05); Program and Development Director, National Eagle Center (2005–09), Wabasha, Minnesota


“Rolfing® Structural Integration, a unique myofascial approach to assist the body in healing nu- merous musculoskeletal and other issues, is being introduced to the animal world through Briah Anson’s fascinating book, Animal Healing. Through case reports, anecdotes, and stories from her pioneering practice applying Rolfing SI to animals, Briah offers convincing evidence that the benefits of this work may be applicable to animals as well. This book is an excellent introduction to Rolfing Structural Integration and its potential application to nonhuman animals.

Allen M. Schoen, mS, dvm, Ph.d. (hon.); author, Kindred Spirits: How the Remarkable Bond between Humans and Animals Can Change the Way We Live and editor, Veterinary Acupuncture: Ancient Art to Modern Medicine
©2011 Briah Anson