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Structural integration (including Rolfing)

Structural integration aligns, balances and lengthens the body by pressing into the connective tissues of the body and maneuvering them back into place.

What is the difference between Rolfing and chiropractors? I don't really get it

Anne Sotelo (Los Angeles, CA) on Sep 17, 2012
Rolfing is a technique for reordering the body to bring its major segments - head, shoulders, thorax, pelvis and legs - toward a vertical alignment. Generally speaking, the Rolfing technique lengthens the body, approaching an ideal in which the left and right sides of the body are more nearly balanced and in which the pelvis approaches horizontal, permitting the weight of the trunk to fall directly over the pelvis; the head rides above the spine, the spinal curves are shallow, and the legs connect vertically to support the bottom of the pelvis. A professional Rolfer uses physical pressure to stretch and guide the connective tissue, lengthening and organizing it, allowing for more efficient, flexible movement. The person being Rolfed participates in the process by moving, breathing and releasing the holding patterns within the connective tissue, allowing the innate balance of the body to become the teacher. Most chiropractors do not address connective tissue.
Timothy Wang (Redwood City, CA) on Sep 17, 2012
Yes chiropractors are doctors. We are not medical doctors so we do not prescribe medication. Rolfing is a very similar to deep tissue massage. If you need structural change for your body go to
Andrea Schnowske (Peoria, IL) on Sep 17, 2012
Rolfing is a massage technique that consists of soft tissue manipulation for therapeutic massage benefits whereas chiropractors use adjustments to realign bones and joints for proper biomechanical function. Some chiropractors, depending on the state they practice in, are able to perform rehabilitation and massage as part of their scope of practice.
Yaphet Hill (Houston, TX) on Sep 17, 2012
Rolfing deals with soft tissue manipulation of the fascia of the muscle. The fascia is a structure of connective tissue that surrounds muscles, groups of muscles, blood vessels, and nerves, binding some structures together, while permitting others to slide smoothly over each other. Chiropractic involves soft tissue manipulation, which includes not only the fascia, but the muscles, ligaments, and tendon. Then there is a structural component where the spine is manipulated to increase range of motion. Since chiropractors are doctors they can refer you out for radiological imaging, i.e x-rays, CT, and MRIs, if necessary.
Paul Hodgson (Carlsbad, CA) on Sep 17, 2012
Yes! Most Rolfers are very good at what they do, and Rolfing can have profound health and body benefits. However, Rolfers do not receive the level of training in diagnosing and treating conditions that chiropractors do. Chiropractic medicine works to ensure proper function of the nervous system and total body communication by adjusting the spine, whereas Rolfing is about restoring muscular balance. Rolfing works primarily with the soft tissues, whereas chiropractic works with the joints and bones to reestablish alignment and remove nervous system pressure.
Telli Counts (Columbia, SC) on Sep 17, 2012
Yes chiropractors are doctors. We go to graduate school to obtain a doctorate degree like a medical doctor. Our degree is called D.C. (Doctorate of Chiropractic).
Ricky Fishman (San Francisco, CA) on Sep 17, 2012
Rolfing is a deep tissue technique based upon the work of Ida Rolf. It is usually a series of ten sessions that works to structurally integrate the muscles and other soft tissues of the body. There is a specific training to become a rolfer but it is a certificate and not a professional degree. Chiropractic is a profession that is also aimed at structurally balancing the body. The primary modality is spinal manipulation, or adjustment. However, many chiropractors also do deep tissue work, rehabilitative exercise instruction, and life style coaching. A chiropractor is a primary provider with a doctorate degree (D.C.) who can both diagnose and treat. Most insurance plans cover chiropractic care but do not cover rolfing unless the rolfing is performed by a chiropractor or other licensed professional.
David Francis Fair (Knoxville, TN) on Sep 17, 2012
First, permit me to state I am not an expert in the technique of Rolfing and perhaps that is the first part of an answer. Rolfing is a technique, performed by a qualified practitioner, with "...the objective of maximising individual well being of body and mind." ( Practitioners of this method, to my knowledge, are unlicensed and not educated to the same level as chiropractors. There are chiropractors who study and are qualified in the Rolfing technique. Chiropractors, as you have mentioned, are doctors. We have basic education requirements in English, Psychology, Anatomy & Physiology, Physics, etc. Our basic science studies are extensive, as are our clinical sciences. Most people would be astounded if they were aware of the breath of our training. We are required to complete a residency under the direction of licensed chiropractors. In addition, we are required to pass four sets of rigorous national boards, each set consisting of two days of professional timed testing. Finally, we are required to pass licensing boards in most states of practice. In addition, 24 hours of continuing education is required each year in order to renew our license. Our practice is highly regulated and controlled by a Board of Examiners who can and will challenge us should the safety of the public appear to be threatened by the manner in which we practice.
Luis Rivera (Marietta, IL) on Oct 30, 2012
Rolfing and Chiropractic have different models of treatment. For one yes Chiropractors are distinguished by being called doctors, but beyond that the approach is different. Rolfing looks at the body in sections and they treat the soft tissue of the body aiming for alignment through soft tissue and skeletal work. Their goal is to have the body in alignment through treating each section of the body to work in sync. Chiropractic in essence was made to help the alignment of the spine by manipulating the vertebra directly. This allows the body to become more healthy through allowing the nervous system to not be restricted. Increasing overall health an vitality and also at times using nutritional protocols and other therapies to get their desired effects. I hope this helps your understanding. Blessings.
Philip O'Brien (Bethlehem, PA) on Oct 22, 2012
Rolfing is a massage therapy protocol where a therapist will go through almost every muscle in the body to relieve adhesions, scar tissue, and muscular tightness. They are commonly massage therapists with advanced training. It is an aggressive form of treatment but many times, it is very successful. Doctors of chiropractic medicine can relieve muscle tightness, scar tissue and go beyond massage therapy to address the biomechaical dysfunction that accompanies muscular issues. This is something that chiropractors specialize in. We are physicians where usually a Rolfer is a therapist. I would start with a chiropractic physician for a full examination and see what his professional recommendations are. There have been instances in the past where I have referred to a Rolfer with great success, however, Rolfing can be expensive and time consuming where chiropractic is usually covered under insurance.
Matthew Williams (Bend, OR) on Sep 29, 2012
SInce I am not a Chiropractor (DC), I will base my response on my experience working with, working on and being worked on by many DC,s over the years. DC's move bones to create freedom of nerve conduction, Rolfers work to balance the tone and length of our fascial net to allow the bones to stay in their rightful place. Both Rolfers (SI practitioners) and DC's are going to try to help people become more healthy. The main things I hear DC's wanting to accomplish are freeing the nerves from entrapments and getting stuck bones to move again. Rolfers are essentially interested in the same thing. The methods used are considerably different. Most DC'c will use some form of high-velocity, low amplitude manipulations to create a small bony movement. The intent is to get the bone back to it's home. Rolfers use strategic stretching and manipulation of the connective tissue to give the bones a little slack so they ail return home on their own. I often refer out to DC's and I get referrals from them. One reason that the two health care forms are complimentary and adjunctive is that if the tissue that pulls a bone out of place has been addressed by a Rolfer, then it is usually easier for a DC to adjust the joint and for the bones to stay in place for a longer period after the adjustment. I currently work on contract with a local DC and we have a large group of patients that have benefitted from our collaboration.