Research Project Updates

"The biological man must be looked at as a collection of systems, not of atomistic aggregates; this in itself takes him out of a closed universe. The characteristic of systems is that relationship is the determinant of the final figure."-Ida P. Rolf, Ph.D.
Pages: 1
Year: 1988
Others publications and sources

Others publications and sources

"The biological man must be looked at as a collection of systems, not of atomistic aggregates; this in itself takes him out of a closed universe. The characteristic of systems is that relationship is the determinant of the final figure."-Ida P. Rolf, Ph.D.

UpdatesPhase I Cottingham / Porges Article Published in Physical Therapy Journal

Enclosed with this Rolf Lines is a reprint of our first article that appeared in the March 1988 issue of Physical Therapy, the journal of the American Physical Therapy Association. This article is based on the results of the first investigation (Phase I – 1986). The study demonstrated that a strong, short- term autonomic shift follows the administration of a single Rolfing pelvic lift manipulation. (Additional reprints may be ordered from the Rolf Institute for USD$.50 each.)

A second article, describing our second investigation (Phase Ha – 1987), has also recently been accepted for publication in Physical Therapy. This clinical oriented study demonstrated that a post-ten Rolfing session produces the following dramatic changes:

1) shifts in structural alignment (increased horizontality of the pelvis);

2) improved physiological function (i.e. optimal autonomic activity as measured by vagal tone) that is associated with horizontalizing the pelvis.

Furthermore, a 24-hour follow-up assessment documents the longevity of these shifts in structure and physiology, providing additional support to Rolfing’s therapeutic uses.

We also have exciting news concerning our 1988 funding. We have an opportunity to receive a three-year grant from the John E. Fetzer Foundation and a one-year grant from Frances Nelson Health Center ($9,000 per year from each) on the condition that the Rolf Institute provides $9,000 in matching funds for each year. Our goal is to raise the Rolf Institute’s portion of 1988’s matching funds by July 1, 1988. If you wish to support the 1988 investigations, please make the check payable to “Rolf Institute” and designate to “Cottingham Research – 1988”.

Two studies are planned for Phase IIb – 1988:

1) a longitudinal investigation examining the ten-session Rolfing series

2) a study exploring the “intentional” touch of the Rolfer.

Again, let me express a heart-felt thanks for the financial support many of you have shown towards our research. Without it, the first two years of the project would not have been possible.

Research at Arizona State U. Expands

Running Stydy Nears Completion

Arizona State University’s Exercise and Sport Research Institute and Owen Marcus & Associates, Inc. and are in the final stages of the study on “Effects of the Rolfing Technique on Running Economy and Running Performance”. ASU completed the post-Rolfing tests for running economy and biomechanics on the three groups of top runners. All the runners in the study have noticed improvement in their performance and elimination of injuries; while Ken Martin and Brian Larson, elite marathon runners who also participated in the study, have qualified for the Olympic trials. The data gathered from this study will be analyzed by the first of August, and results will be presented at the Rolf Institute’s 1988 Annual International Conference, August 25-28,1988.


Owen Marcus and Karla Kubrick, a Ph.D. candidate in sports psychology at Arizona State University, expect to initiate a research project this summer which will expand on the work of John Cottingham’s and Stephen Porges’ study of vagal tone.

A third research project begins in the Fall with Arizona State University’s swim team, one of the nation’s top-ranked collegiate swim teams. Several team members hope to participate in the summer Olympic Games.

Research Committee Report

Rolf Institute Research Director Thomas Findley, M.D:, PhD. has assumed the position of Director of Research at the Kessler Institute in New Jersey and is beginning his duties attendant to this. We met in Washington D.C. on March 19- 20, and I was able to bring him up to date on the affairs of the Rolf Institute.

The John Cottingham program, Phase II, part 2 is under way involving measuring the changes in pelvic inclination with Rolfing and the vagatonic effects of such change. Because of our lack of funds for this John is trying to raise the funding for this project from grants from organizations.

Jim Oschman is writing a protocol for review on that very fundamental premise of Rolfing, namely, that we change structure. We shall be considering a feasibility study for the measuring devices whether they be Moire photography or a complex new machine known as laser computerized rasteriography to demonstrate the changes in structure during the ten sessions. When a suitable system is selected, we hope to raise the money from grants and contributions to. initiate a full scale study of changes in structure during Rolfing which will form the background data for many constellations of research studies in the future regarding the effects of Rolfing from human performance to psychological changes.

Jim Oschman will begin the literature review on connective tissue this year with the fifteen or more interested reviewers under Siana Goodwin, the most appropriate of which will be abstracted for the membership in Rolf Lines and the total of which will form a reference library on current world literature relative to the Rolfing process.

We also need to devise a case presentation format with appropriate release of information form to establish a file at the Institute for computerization and study in the future and for publication to the membership of interesting case studies. The chairman believes that, while a format is needed, it is most important not to restrict the inventive presentations as exemplified by past case reports in Rolf Lines or the creative ideas expressed in past studies.

I am pleased to report that an Open Meeting of the Research Committee will be held during this year’s Annual Conference (August 25-28 in Boulder at the Clarion Hotel) under the direction Tom Findley, M.D. Prominent announcements will be made during the Conference as to day, time, and meeting space at the Clarion.

Dr. Francis Wenger, an Advanced Certified Rolfer in West River, Maryland, is a member of the Board of Directors and Chairman of the Rolf Institute’s Research Committee.Research Project Updates

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