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What is Rolfing® Structural Integration?

Rolfing® Structural Integration is a manual therapy where practitioners are specialists in visual assessment of detailed postural patterns, in the anatomy and physiology of those postural patterns, and in the relationship between postural patterns and comfort / discomfort experiences.  Certified Rolfers™ deliver dynamic touch interventions and movement interventions that align the client in the gravitational field to free the client from these chronic pain patterns.

Currently the public pays out of pocket for most of their Rolfing Structural Integration sessions that range in cost from $120-$250 per session. Sometimes supplementary health benefits will cover sessions by Certified Rolfers.  Rolfing Structural Integration is very successful at addressing chronic soft tissue pain that is often left to heal on its own by physicians.  Rolfers™ are trained to work in a complementary way to medical treatment; Rolfers are educated to a high level in anatomy and physiology so they can discuss and plan recovery trajectories with all medical practitioners. Rolfers are valued practitioners by clients all across Canada – integral in recovery from a wide variety of pain states.

Where did Rolfing® Structural Integration come from?

Rolfing® Structural Integration was developed by Dr. Ida P. Rolf (IPR) and she taught her manual therapy work  at her school, The Rolf Institute of Structural Integration (, in Boulder, Colorado which she started in 1971.  This school is now called the Dr Ida Rolf Institute (DIRI). Only graduates of DIRI deliver the brand of Structural Integration called Rolfing SI.  Structural integration started as an experiential manual therapy by IPR whereby she manipulated tissue to relieve people of their chronic pain patterns; structural integration has evolved into a professional category of manual therapy, validated by peer-reviewed research.

How many hours of training to become a Certified Rolfer™?

DIRI’s accredited intensive basic training is a 731-hour certification program that comprises three in-class phases along with self-study typically completed in 12-18 months. After successful completion of the program, the graduate must join a Rolfing Association in their locale to be recognised as a Certified Rolfer.  All certified Rolfers must maintain a membership in good standing (abide by a code of ethics and standards of practice, complete continuing education requirements etc.)

Some Rolfers become certified in Rolf Movement™ which enhances the practitioners’ perspective with a unified movement theory. This certification is an additional 30 days of training.

Between 3-7 years of professional practice, Certified Rolfers are required to complete advanced training, a 168-hour certification program. The professional growth of the Rolfer is embedded within the professional practice of being a Certified Rolfer.

All Canadian Certified Rolfers™, Certified Advanced Rolfers™, and Rolf Movement™ practitioners are graduates of DIRI certified programs and maintain annual good standing with the Rolfing® Association of Canada.  They are bound by a code of ethics and standards of practice in line with all respected manual therapists.

Pay close attention to individual profile backgrounds of individual Rolfers : people who become Certified Rolfers are an educated and talented group of professionals who bring a wide range of previous experience to their practice.