Structural Integration - Deep Tissue Bodywork, Posture and Movement Education

"When the body gets working appropriately, the force of gravity can flow through. Then, spontaneosly, the body heals itself."
Ida Rolf, Ph.D.

Rolfing Back In Vogue, But With Shaky Evidence: NPR

January 18, 2011 : Blog, News

As I open the door to a somewhat antiseptic-looking medical office in downtown San Francisco, I’m quite certain I will not be getting a lavender-candles-and-wind-chimes kind of a massage — the kind that will leave me facedown in my own drool. I expect this to be painful. That’s what I’ve been told anyway.

Greg Brynelson, a certified Rolfer and registered nurse with a loyal following, tells me to lie on my back. Rolfing Structural Integration is a type of deep — really deep — massage that was last popular when Nixon was president. Well, Rolfing has become a favorite again — this time among the yoga-Pilates-acupuncture crowd.

“Through here, it feels like I’m coming up against a wall,” he says. “There’s not a lot of give.”

Brynelson has kind eyes and strong hands. Or thumbs. I think that’s what’s pressing into my neck.

Rolfing was named after its founder, an American biochemist named Ida Rolf. Her own health problems led her to believe that deep tension — even mild physical deformities in children, like pigeon toes — could be relieved by pressing into a type of tissue called fascia. Fascia fuses skin to muscle and muscle to bone, and it kind of keeps everything in place, like a snug pair of pantyhose.