PROJECT: Dr. Rolf conducted research at the Rockefeller Institute form 1918-1927 and published thirteen scientific papers.

RESULT: Dr. Rolf learned the process of scientific research and made it one of her highest priorities as she developed the protocol of Structural Integration.

PROJECT: Foundation for Brain Injured Children: Queens, N.Y. 1963, Project Breakthrough was established.

RESULT: Children with poor coordination, disorganized structures, and immature movement patterns for their age level exhibited better muscle tone, better aligned structures, improved language skills and social responsiveness after Rolfing.

PROJECT: Children’s Project; three year pilot study in Philadelphia, PA conducted by a group of Rolfers led by Robert Toporek, 1978; monograph “The Promise of Rolfing Children” reported on this study published in 1981. Each child’s photograph before Session 1 and after Session 10 and some two and three years later were shown. A summary of results gathered from interviewing the parents and Rolfer’s comments documented the changes.

RESULT: This pilot study with children demonstrated that:
• A dramatic improvement in the children’s physical, psychological and behavioral patterns had occurred.
• Consistently parents reported the children had increased confidence, better verbal expression, more self-control and less destructive behavior.
• Rolfing is an effective means to address conditions such as cerebral palsy or scoliosis.

PROJECT: “Functional Evaluation of Rolfing in Cerebral Palsy”: Perry, Jones, and Thomas, 1981. Ten persons with mild to severe category Cerebral Palsy received the ten session Rolfing series.

RESULTS: The younger mild to moderately affected persons experienced significant changes in lower extremity passive range of motion, muscle strength, balance and gait.

PROJECT: Physical Therapist Cindy Potter referred four children with Cerebral Palsy, ranging from two to twelve years old, to Rolfing. Results reported in the “Physical Therapy Forum”, June 18, 1986. (Western Edition)

RESULTS: Each of the children experienced changes during the following the Rolfing series.
• A two and a half year old began to walk after the fourth Rolfing session.
• A four year old who used a walker to move about was pulling up to things, walking along things and making attempts to walk.
• A three year old with severe CP became more flexible in her spine, abdomen and rib cage evened out with abdomen softening, condition of hands and feet being extremely cold lessened considerably.
• A twelve year old who had no gait control begins to walk keeping her balance and moving forward.

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.

RESULTS: This five year study produced many results, difficult to summarize adequately in a brief statement. These are a few of the outstanding results:
• Greater physical skill
• Emotional calmness; decrease in anxiety state
• Improved sensory awareness
• Improved social interaction
• Feelings of well being
• Memory recall
• Enhanced ability to access different states of consciousness
• Increasing right hemisphere brain dominance when needed for right brain activity
• Evidence of change in ways of processing data and the nature of thought processes than ensue
• Greater movement efficiency
• More energy; less fatigue
• Improved neuromuscular balance
• Greater energy flow and balance distribution of energy

PROJECT: J. Cottingham, M.S., S. Porges, Ph.D., and T. Lyon, M.D. studied the “Effects of Soft Tissue Mobilization (Rolfing Pelvic Left) on Parasympathetic tone in Tow Age Groups” at the Frances Nelson Health Center, 1987. Parasympathetic tone was assessed by 1) quantifying the amplitude of the respiratory sinus arrhythmia from the heart rate pattern and 2) measuring heart rate.

RESULTS: The pelvic lift increased the tone of the parasympathetic nervous system. This is usually associated with decreased levels of stress.

Text Credit - Briah Anson and Jude LaClaire, PhD

©2011 Briah Anson