What is Rolf movement?

According to ISMETA (International Somatic Movement Education and Therapy Association):

Practices of somatic movement education and therapy encompass postural and movement evaluation, communication and guidance through touch and words, experiential anatomy and imagery, and movement patterning. These practices are applied to everyday and specialized activities for persons in all stages of health and development.

The purpose of somatic movement education and therapy is to enhance human processes of psychophysical awareness and functioning through movement learning. Practices provide the learning conditions to:

Focus on the body both as an objective physical process and as a subjective process of lived consciousness;
Refine perceptual, kinaesthetic, proprioceptive, and interceptive sensitivity that supports self regulation;
Recognize habitual patterns of perceptual, postural and movement interaction with one's environment;
Improve movement coordination that supports structural, functional and expressive integration;
Experience an embodied sense of vitality and extended capacities for living.


The purpose of Rolfing Movement is to work with the client to help identify movement patterns that promote strain and asymmetry in the system. Once the patterns are identified, the Rolf Movement practitioner does not seek to change those patterns, which have served the client well, but rather to offer more economical solutions which promote greater balance and efficiency in the gravitational field.
Like the structural ten-series, Rolfing Movement is taught as a sequence of sessions devoted to specific structural and movement themes.

In a classic movement series, the first session is devoted to exploring breathing patterns and using the breath to promote ease and release holdings in the ribs, lungs and respiratory diaphragm. Subsequent sessions address movement patterns in the foot, ankle and knee joints, the hip joint, the arms and head and neck. These sessions are normally repeated to access deeper holding patterns and achieve higher levels of order just as Rolfers return to the extremities and upper and lower girdles (the shoulder and pelvis) in the latter sessions to more fully integrate structure and function.

Rolfing movement can be explored by clients who have completed a structural series and can serve equally well as an autonomous tool for achieving higher levels of self-awareness and coherence.

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