Dr. Ida Rolf Institute

Structural Integration: The Journal of the Rolf Institute – Fall / September 2004 – Vol 32 – Nº 03

Volume: 32

These “sayings” of Dr. Rolf were found in a sheaf of type-written class notes that has been copied many times, passed on from student to student. I got it from a fellow student and have no idea from whom it originated; nor did he. The class notes came from a number of different classes, suggesting that the sheaf that finally came to me is “the work of many hands”. The oldest of the notes appear to have been made in a class (or in more than one class) taught by Emmett Hutchins, which is where the quotations from Dr. Rolf are to be found. So, if Emmett remembered a quotation right and the student taking notes also remembered it right, then it is right here, and accurately reflects something that Dr. Rolf actually said.

The reliability of these quotations, therefore, is clearly not secure. The best that can be said is that they are attributed to Dr. Rolf. Some of them appear in the source material more than once, but with different wording – meaning that the accuracy of all the quotations is suspect. But, of course, she may simply have been quoted on the same subject at different times.

Inaccurate quotation may account for some of the contradictions between “sayings”. But she also had a reputation for a subtle presentation of ideas in which apparent contradictions were part of a larger more harmonious whole; cf. Ida Rolf Talks…, p. 183: “Different points of view approach the same problem… What I’m trying to do is to make you learn one thing six ways ’round, keep you coming back and taking a new way, a new direction each time.”

Then, too, she retained a spirit of self-criticism her whole life; it would also be possible to imagine her re-thinking some of her statements and changing her mind; and that, too, may be represented in this collection.

Some quotations are clearly inaccurate (some of these have been left out). An amusing example is in her comment about the vegetarians of India, which reads, in the copy: “In Indiana the people who could not transform vegetable matter into protein died centuries ago…”! But other quotations might not be so obviously mistransmitted.

A few of the quotations found in the sheaf don’t make sense at all; some of these have been left out of this collection, as intriguing as the content in them sometimes is.

In the annotations, “IRT” stands for Ida Rolf Talks about Rolfing and Physical Reality, while “Rolfing” refers to Rolfing: The Integration of Human Structures.

The ordering and arrangement are my own. ?sp


1) The inside is not available if the outside is not opened up.

This is the general rule of her method: outside to inside, periphery to middle (but see also #104).

IRT, p. 153: “Start at the outside and work in. Most manipulative therapies start at the inside, at what they say is the ’cause.’… I say you can’t start there. You’ve got to start where you can unwind the trouble.”

Also IRT, p. 135: “The law and the prophets (I being both of them) say that in Rolfing you start at the periphery. You start at the outside of the body and you start more or less at the ends of the body.”

2) External fascia reflects all the body lying under it.

Cf. IRT, p. 192.

3) Some problems are superficial and affect the deep tissue; some are deep and affect the superficial layers. This requires discrimination.

On one occasion, at least (IRT, p. 188), Rolf talks about Core and Sleeve being equivalent to “intrinsic” and “extrinsic”. This quotation then implies that neither the core nor the sleeve has precedence; the relationship is reciprocal. Of course, she spoke of Core and Sleeve in other ways as well (for instance, see #185).

4) Rotations are created by asymmetrical fascial pulls. Bones may or may not be affected; fascia is always involved.

See also #181.

5) Rotations of the pelvis on the thorax are more common than of the thorax on the pelvis. Pelvic rotations involve leg problems. There is always less organization in rotated girdles. The unrotated girdle relates better to the earth.

Four separate thoughts, with a great deal of unspoken thought between them. That the thorax is less likely to be rotated than the pelvis suggests that a person’s sense of orientation is more likely to be stronger in the upper body than the lower. Also, there is a correlation between relating better to the earth and better organization.

6) Do not go down to the fascia lata until the greater trochanter is free, unless the fascia lata is preventing trochanter freedom.

As Dr. Rolf says elsewhere, “This requires discrimination.”

7) The legs are freed around the hip joint ii order to allow the pelvis to move around the [greater] trochanter.

8) I hate this business of making breath more conscious. If you do your job right it will go to the place where you want it. Un conscious functions should not be made conscious.

9) If you consciously controlled digestion i.e., the pyloric valve, you would be in considerable neurotic trouble.


10) In the First Hour you are balancing what [they have] available. In the Second Hour you are trying to make some more material available. In the Second Hour back work we stretch and release extensors to allow a horizontal pelvis. This may involve rotations, but the main job is to make the extensors more resilient.

Order is all-important in Rolf’s series, so it is interesting that she would have us start by balancing what is “available”, rather than first making “more material available” – that might have been presumed, on the contrary, to be a more obvious sequence.

11) In the First Hour you are balancing the back. In the Second Hour you are taking those long back muscles and putting them in position so they can extend.

Cf., among others, IRT, p. 133: “Obviously, we will do well to get strength and life and vital quality into extensors. As he becomes more erect, man moves toward his evolutionary potential.”

12) All work below the pelvis is to make a horizontal base for the pelvis. All work above the pelvis is to lift and lighten the load on the pelvis.

Does the first hour come first, then, to make it easier for the second hour to do its job of making a horizontal base for the pelvis, to first lift and lighten the load?

13) The pelvis comes to horizontal through adjustment from the legs and feet. You cannot have a truly horizontal pelvis with flat feet. The feet must relate in a horizontal way to the earth before the pelvis can be horizontal.

14) Look and decide whether the foot belongs to the person.

IRT, p. 205: “A body consists of a piece and a piece and a piece. In my opinion you can’t treat it as a whole; you’ve got to treat it as a summation of parts.” Does the foot match the leg?

15) Without balance from feet that feel flattened and grounded, there must be holding and attempts to adjust to horizontal all the way through the body to the top of the head.

16) Don’t change the foot on the foot. Get the muscles of the leg so organized that they can change the foot.

Cf. IRT, p. 130: “I’m not sure that I know what reflexes are. But I do know that if you are relieving the strain above them (in the ankle or shin, for example), you will relieve those points o1 strain in the sole of the foot.”

17) Flat feet are not flat feet, they are flat shins. If you really know the anatomy of the shin and the retinacula, you should have no problem with flat feet.

Cf. Rolfing, p. 51: “To carry the weight of the body, the foot’s arches must be stabilized by very strong muscles. These muscles are far too large to be contained only within the foot itself-”

18) The flattened fallen bones never get to the place where they cannot revert back to normal unless they are genetically malformed or damaged surgically. Unless a bone has been traumatically moved, we need only work on the fascia to restore function.

19) No foot has ever broken down until the outer arch breaks down. If the outer arch is healthy, the entire foot is healthy.

Cf. Rolfing, p. 47: “The lateral portion is not basically weight-bearing or weight-distributing. Its function is lifting and balancing.”

20) While the outer arch is intact the foot is intact. The outer arch must be long enough to match the inner arch.

21) The weight must be transmitted through the inner three toes of each foot. The outer two toes should be tipped up slightly to support the inner arch.

Cf. Rolfing, p. 47: “By construction, the medial [arch] accepts the weight of the leg (and the overlying body) at the talus.”

22) If they have flat feet, to create an arch, they have got to want to create an arch. The client has to do exercises and has to have the wish to create arches. You do not create arches through Rolfing.

This seems to directly contradict #18 and especially #17.

23) The normal foot tracks straight ahead and does not evert. Sometimes eversion of the foot is a matter of cultural conditioning.

24) The ordinary (80-90%) aberration is the gluing together of the two peroneal tendons under the outer malleolus.

25) The ankle should look as if it were horizontal, and it should act as if it were horizontal.

See #180.

26) Work where you see the heaping on the leg. Tissue should be balanced, with as much on the front as on the back – as much inside as outside.

27) Club feet are in the spine.

IRT, p. 144.

28) By the end of the Second Hour they should have an idea where the top of the head and the bottom of their feet are. If there is no feeling of “connected now” in the body we cannot respond with a sense of “physiological now.”


29) In the Third Hour we are opening the lateral line so that all the material can settle back to the midline.

30) Our uniqueness as humans is somehow related to the midline.

31) In all bodies you will be aware that one side, in front and in back, is holding more than the other.

32) Basically the work of the Third Hour is between the greater trochanter of the femur and the head of the humerus, with absolute limits at the knee and ear.

33) Try to keep the legs straight with respect to the trunk. Often, aberration involves hip flexion, so no help can be given unless the knee is straight.

34) Do a lot of bringing stuff forward, especially at the anterior superior spine of the ilium.

35) Most Third Hours don’t need much leg work. There are notable exceptions – if you need it to open the crest of the ilium.

36) Third Hour bench work, if any, should involve the Third Hour line.

37) To eliminate rib jamming that hides the twelfth rib, go to the highest jammed rib and work down.

38) Lateral indentation of the waistline means that something is wrong with the twelfth rib.

39) A key to integration in the body is inte grating the two girdles; the best way to d( this is via the quadratus lumborum.

What about psoas/rhomboid balance? (Rolfing p. 212.) Of course, this is not necessarily a con tradiction.

40) Flat bodies are composed of tipped el lipses.

See #183.


41) If you are dealing with a totally immov able pelvis, the sitting bones are probabl3 too tightly pulled together. In this case, yot can work a little to open them up.

42) You may need to intentionally wider the groin in order to provide the widtl needed for the Fourth Hour.

43) The key to the Fourth Hour is to get organization for the floor of the pelvis.

44) Where does the pelvis get its structure, From the floor. It is what holds the sawdus in. As usual it is the soft tissue that maintains aberrated structure.

45) The floor of the pelvis is the key to physical vitality.

46) What is the main reason the floor of the pelvis is so important to Rolfing? It is the key to the lumbar plexus, and it is where the ganglion of Impar lies.

Isn’t the psoas the key to the lumbar plexus?

47) On the floor of the pelvis and on its wellbeing and on its organization the function of three systems is dependent:

– The reproductive system;

– The excretory system;

– The way the entire viscera of the abdomen relate.

48) As the floor gains support and balance, the tone of the viscera improve.

49) Expect emotional garbage when digging on the floor of the pelvis.

50) The reasons for the lotus position:

– They do not have chairs;

– They want horizontal ischii;

– They wanted the blood up, cut off from below.

51) A crooked leg is a pre-Fourth Hour look The inside does not match the outside.

See #85.

52) The quality of the fascia is almost never good on the inside of the knee.

Cf. Rolfing, p. 171: “If these two muscles [sartorius and gracilis], through inactivity, become glued together, the familiar mound at the inner side of the knee develops, and knee movement is pulled off its straight-forward-and-back track.’

53) Why aren’t the adductors acting like adductors? They shouldn’t be used in moving the knee forwards and backwards.

54) Adductor magnus usually acts as a hamstring.

Presumably this tendency is magnified when the femurs are internally rotated.

55) The Fourth Hour is the Hour of work on the pelvis from below. Do not omit the gluteals from your consideration. Also begin to work on the iliopsoas tendon.

56) One reason we do better than other techniques is that we understand the complex confusion at the rami and seem to be the only ones intrepid enough to do something about it.

57) Fourth Hour progression:

– From the crest of the ilium to the ramus of the ischium;

– From the rami to the knees through the adductors.

– From the knees to the ankles.

Some students seem to have been taught to work the same territory in the reverse order.


58) The key to the Fifth Hour is to relate the rectus [abdominis] to the psoas. They are a pair, really not an agonist and antagonist. They act as if one cannot work without the other.

But cf. Rolfing, p. 110: “The reciprocal agonistantagonist relation between individual muscle groups is a prime factor in the health and tone of muscle tissue and of the organism in general. Certain of these paired units are of central importance: one of these is the psoas-rectus pair.”

59) When you shorten the rectus you wear out the metabolism of the lumbar fascia, lumbar plexus, and celiac plexus.

60) The Fifth Hour is when you have to learn Fifth Hour wrist technique.

Possibly this technique is unfamiliar to many practitioners in the present day.

61) The rectus is normally maintaining an acute downward angle for the ribs. A turned-up ribcage with anterior lumbars is the usual compensation, with the head impossibly forward.

62) If you go too deep under the costal arch you will fail to get what is causing Fifth Hour problems. Stay with the bony margins.

63) A move on the inscription is worth twelve on the belly.

64) If a man or a woman has gone through an extreme emotional catastrophe you will find it buried at the attachments of the recti on the pubes. Often this is also the spot from which normal cardiac rhythm may be established.

The last sentence is startling, and the lack of any amplification is regrettable. See #92.

65) The remains of any major illness or breakdown are always present at the pubes.

66) A properly working psoas falls back as you flex the trunk. This is the basic difference between a normal body and a random one. I have never seen a psoas function like this in an unprocessed body.

67) Average walking does not activate the psoas; normal walking with the knee straight forward uses the psoas.

68) Random bodies walk by lifting with the rectus femoris. “Rolfed” bodies balance the rectus femoris with the psoas.

Now, in addition to psoas/rhomboid and psoas/ rectus abdominis balance, there is added psoas/ rectus femoris balance as well.

69) Your models must learn appropriate walking movement. Manipulation alone cannot do this for them.

70) Walk backward until you find the waistline.

71) The psoas meanders. Anything that meanders gets into trouble.

Peroneus longus, for instance; or see #52, regarding sartorius.

72) A problem of the lumbars is a psoas problem.

73) Even a child’s potbelly is due to an anterior fall in the lumbars. If you don’t develop normal movement at the hip, you don’t get maturity of the lower half of the body.

Cf. IRT, p. 198: “Practically all spines, unless they’ve been injured, compensate in the same way: the lumbar goes forward.

74) The psoas is the Rolf muscle. We must stay constantly aware of its importance.

75) The most important myofascial elements maintaining structural integrity:

– The psoas;

– The respiratory diaphragm.

And, furthermore, cf. Rolfing, p. 110: “Its origin is in close proximity to the two tabs of the diaphragm called the crura; through these neighbors, the psoas can involve the respiratory pattern.”

76) The physiological core of man is the psoas/diaphragm.

Yet another use of the term “core”.

77) The lumbar plexus is embedded literally in the psoas, and the solar plexus is intimately involved with the psoas near the crura of the diaphragm.

Rolfing, p. 110.

78) Most ailments due to rectus/psoas imbalance are in a state of perverted physiology, which as we know leads to pathology. In fact there is no pathology, there is only perverted physiology.

IRT, p. 136: “If you’ve got true pathology, it takes a while to change it, but if you’ve simply got a perverted use of physiological function, you can change it very quickly by changing the structure.” A slight contradiction here.

Cf. also pp. 48 and 173.

79) Asthma conditions should begin to turn around in the Fifth Hour.

A bolder claim than anything she published. Does this mean that asthma is not “true pathology” (IRT, p. 136)?

80) Polio is almost exclusively a disease of the psoas, except for the relatively rare cervical variety. The psoas may not be flexible due to pathological deterioration, tumors, etc. These cases can be affected but it takes much longer. Understand the regeneration process.

Cf. Rolfing, p. 202.

IRT, p. 192: “If there is a badly distorted area you will give consideration to getting balance but you will not, of course, get the distortion out all at once. If you did, you would be violating the body to a point where you could do dam age. A body preserves itself from violation bi virtue of the fascia, which acts as a wall to keep out unwanted intrusion.”

81) The main problem in Structural Integration is to get enough length for the quadratus lumborum, twelfth rib, psoas, etc.


82) The Sixth Hour starts at the ASIS, taking material toward the midline. Work down toward the knee, creating a front surface.

See #34.

83) The functional working key of the Sixth Hour is the posterior aspect of the greater trochanter, where the rotators insert. This is where you must go first and if you fail to do enough the Hour will not progress according to plan.

A direct contradiction to #82.

84) The Sixth Hour leg work is to ease the external leg fascia in order to prepare for the rotators.

Is this a direct contradiction to #83?

85) If you are working with a bowlegged person, keep working on the tensor fasciae latae, and create more space around the gluteal fold, especially near the femur.

86) The gluteus maximus is always in trouble.

See #71.

87) Working around the coccyx stimulates the ganglion of Impar.

88) Much of the secret doctrine of yoga is about the ganglion of Impar.

89) Yogis believed that the seat of the soul is found in the back wall of the rectum-anus. They came to this conclusion partly because of the strong relation between anxiety, negativity, and anal tension.

90) Yogic medical teaching holds that stress is expressed by a corresponding tightness of the anus.

Perhaps this quotation is incomplete, since the observation is not unusual even outside of yogic medical teaching.

91) Simple tension headaches can be relieved by ressaging the anus.

“Ressage” means self-massage by contracting the local musculature.

92) To start the heart either at birth or under failure, go to the anus or to the mouth and tongue.

See also #68. In his autobiography, Byron Gentry discusses having used intra-anal manipulations while still in Chiropractic school (he is said to have earned the nickname “Rear Admiral”), so perhaps this idea came to Dr. Rolf through him.


Cf. IRT p. 59.

93) If we establish a spanning polarity between the top of the head and the base of the sacrum in relationship to the directional span of the gravity field, we have a new kind of structurally integrated man.

94) If the head is not put on in the Seventh Hour, it will be impossible to keep what you created in the first six sessions. The twelve to 15-pound head carried forward is anchored by ribs 4, 5, and 6 with every waking hour.

Does this suggest the importance of the so-called “Dorsal Hinge?”

95) Respiration should move the spine all the way to the sacrum. This kind of movement cannot be found in our culture outside of Structural Integration. Probably many ancient initiates knew these truths and used them in the training of oracles and psychics. This involved many years of discipline.

Cf. IRT, p. 189: “…you cannot get movement into a sacrum until you’ve gotten balance up through the thorax.” Also pp. 172 ff.

96) Lifting the head is more of a function of the rhomboids and the levator scapulae than of the neck.

Levator scapulae shares its innervation with the rhomboids.

97) The ligamentum nuchae is one of the most important considerations of the Seventh Hour.

98) Here are two viewpoints that are new:

– The face is really the other end of the neck constituted of muscles that ultimately connect to the cervical vertebrae.

– The tough fascia of the scalp is also an extension of muscles that, through the face connect to the neck.

Cf. IRT, p. 186: “There is no muscle in the face or the head that doesn’t reach an anchorage it the cervical vertebrae.”

99) Recipe for the roof: remove the ridges, put in symmetry, and straighten them out

This means, presumably, the roof of the mouth: Straighten what out?

100) The tongue seems to be sort of a connecting link between the psyche and soma

101) Common Seventh Hour cures include hay fever, asthma, emphysema, sinusitis, and post-nasal drip.

See both #79 and #183 for asthma.

102) [F. Matthias] Alexander did not understand the relationship of the cranium to the neck. He did understand the relationship of the neck to the thorax.

This is a more nuanced view than some of the reported quotations from Dr. Rolf about Alexander, some of which are dismissive.

103) The first seven Hours are taking apart – making room for core development.

Here is the elusive core again, but it is not at all clear what the term means here. And see also #188 below.

IRT, p. 188: “If the head is too far forward, rotation is done by the extrinsics because the intrinsics then lack span and can’t function, but to the extent that this happens, the normal patterning of the body is destroyed. The balanced core-and-sleeve pattern of the body gets lost.”

Rolfing, p. 175: “The spine is the connecting rod of the body, a segmented armature resting in the pelvis. Its two polar terminals, embodied in pelvis and head, make the spine a vital core that integrates the human with his gravity environment.”

Rolfing, p. 194: “In order to fit the smaller core of the cervical structure into the larger overlying sleeve of shoulder girdle and ribcage, a structural “gap” between cervical and dorsal sections of the spine must be bridged.”

(103a) “Ida said there was a shift about half way through the Seventh.” [Emmett Hutchins?].

Obviously this is not a direct quote, but it is a rather interesting indirect one. What is the nature of this shift? What was it, exactly, that she was observing?


104) The Eighth and Ninth Hours reverse the normal periphery-to-middle progress and begin, rather, in the middle.

Cf. IRT, pp. 135 and 153.

105) Probably three out of four Eighth Hours will be pelvic Hours.

See #12.

106) If you make the wrong choice (of which girdle to work on), you will see the body deteriorate within three minutes.

An astonishing claim.

107)1 personally look to see which girdle is the most solid.

And then?

108) Start the Eighth Hour at the waistline regardless of whether it is an upper or a lower girdle Hour.

109) There is a point of weakness somewhere in the lumbars. Locate and analyze how this can be affected.

110) The condition of the shoulder girdle always reflects the condition of the arms. So get into the arms and hands before you unwind the girdle.

An example of periphery-to-center ordering.

111) As you let out tension in the forearm, the shoulders begin to change, as does the hand, the thorax, and the pectoral attachments.

112) Never work on a neck in a flexed position in any Hour after the Seventh Hour.

See also #33.

113) In the Eighth and Ninth Hours, try to avoid the face-down position, which would encourage you to repeat the Sixth Hour moves.

114) Learn to recognize legs that go with an anterior sacrum.

115) Always try to get the two ends of the rectus femoris over each other vertically.

116) There is no one control for hyperextended knees.

A comment relevant to the “Anterior tilt/anterior shift” body type.

117) The lateral head of the gastrocnemius often lies too wide, thus locking the fibula in place.

118) The Eighth and Ninth Hours must deal with large fascial sheets, putting them together so that they have appropriate tone.

119) You must learn to build a body that is made up of large fascial sheets, not of muscles.


120) This is the Hour when you shift from static to dynamic balance. You do fine tuning for a dynamic man in a dynamic universe.

121) A joint is a point of very delicate adjustment. In the Tenth Hour every joint must be brought to maximum balance. You should be able to do this in ten Hours. The Tenth is a rebalancing of the work of the other nine Hours, especially the Eighth and Ninth Hours.

122) Look for where the most urgent weakness is. Where can I add to or take from to create better balance?

123) All pre-Tenth clients show a lot of trouble at the ankles. Trouble at the ankles before the Tenth Hour is as characteristic as a short back before the Second Hour.

See #10, and also especially #11, which seems to contradict this: “In the First Hour you are balancing the back. In the Second Hour you are taking those long back muscles and putting them in position…”

124) Opening and organizing the groin structure is one of the key parts of the whole Tenth Hour.

125) You have never and probably never will see a perfectly balanced body. We just are not built that way. But we can certainly approach this ideal.


126) Continuous Rolfing on advanced bodies may make them grow shorter and certainly does little good unless the Rolfer manages:

– To reach a deeper level;

– To work at a higher level of integration; or-

– To find the place that has never been touched before.

Why is this? It makes sense that effectiveness would diminish; but why would Rolfing actually shorten a body?

127) There are a lot of places you just cannot touch or cannot get to. So, as a body gets more advanced, balancing may become more difficult.


See #60.

128) When you put your broad hands on a gunky joint and nothing happens, go very deeply and specifically on the bony surface, exploring which fascial planes affect its position and support.

129) The proper use of direction can cut processing time in half.


130) An anterior fourth lumbar creates a soft body.

131) In a random body some part of the spine is always anterior, necessarily so.

132) The spine is not a column, but an upended beam, and as such belongs on the posterior surface.

133) Nine out of ten people do not have spinal movement.

Cf. IRT, pp. 172 ff.

134) We make most spinal correction by cervical and lumbar adjustment. Those areas are usually in the most trouble – and are easiest to get to.

Cf. Rolfing, pp. 190-194.


135) Do not “rolf” people who are fasting.

136) The point in fasting is to permit the excretory function to not be overwhelmed

137) Every inch of alimentary canal has tw( functions, excretion and ingestion. Botl cannot be done simultaneously.

Is this claim justified?

138) If you eat beets in the evening, the stoo should be red in the morning.

139) The yogis believed that the feet are th( second organ of excretion after the rectum

140) Do not eat a lot when working hard. Eat when not working hard.

141) People differ in their ability to produce certain enzymes and vitamins. Bodies come in different editions. The body is a protein machine.

142) In India the people who could not transform vegetable matter into protein died centuries ago. The upper caste always ate meat.

143) Some people can digest sugar and some cannot.


144) The miracle is this: putting flesh together puts people together, creating maturity.

145) Discrimination is the hallmark of maturation.

146) A neurotic is one who is stuck at an earlier stage of development.

IRT, p. 99: “A child may grow bigger, but as long as he’s still stuck in the same child form is it surprising that he should be stuck in his same emotional child thing?”

147) Project yourself into the physical rigidities; try to see any emotional compensations. Ask yourself:

– How would you feel living in that body?;

– What would you do if you lived in that body?

148) The integration of personality depends on the three-dimensional physical relatedness of the flesh.

149) We can work predictably with the personality through the flesh.

150) About half of all mental patients could be cured by physical means.

Another astonishing claim.

151) We have all been taught to be good, be patient, be brave, without being told how, or without being given the stuff with which to do it.


152) Structural Integration is not a treatment, but a preparation for the use of gravity.

153) We are not healers, but teachers ? we are understudies of gravity.

154) Gravity is the only therapist in Structural Integration.

155) Rolfers are a part of the educational branch of our culture, not part of the remedial branch. Each person must learn about himself from himself. This is what we must teach.

156) Gravity and living are closely related.

157) Relaxation needs to be vertical rather than horizontal.

It is not clear what this means, exactly.

158) When gravity is not tearing something down, it is holding it up.

159) The balanced body does not experience weight due to gravity.

160) When weight falls through bony tissue you have a martial arts body. Bones do not carry weight, fascia supports and lifts. Weight goes up and not down. Bones are spacers or spanners for the muscles. As in a collar or corset, bones hold muscles apart.

161) Structural Integration is the realigning of segments so that they act as a single unit.

Cf. IRT, p. 205.

162) The closer a segment lies to the centerline the greater the force must be applied to move it. So the structure becomes more stable as structural integration progresses.

163) Man is the only animal where just the nose [that is, of the parts of the face] is visible from the bird’s-eye point of view. This must be a very significant fact. Our uniqueness is somehow related to our vertical alignment.

164) Man is an evolving creature, not going back to some former perfect state.

One of the astonishing things about Rolfing is that it restores something that the individual has never possessed; a fundamental assumption about Rolfing is that there is an intrinsic design to a human being that includes that balanced verticality that was Dr. Rolf’s ideal; and yet this ideal is evoked for the first time in the individual body by Rolfing.

165) From our standpoint, evolution equals a smaller radius of gyration. Evolution equals uprightness. Our total sensibility must increase as we approach uprightness.


166) The body is the authority.

167) Create a demand for a structure and it will happen.

IRT, p. 94: “There is a difference in energy levels of performance between the words “evoke” and “demand”.

168) If you do not like the answers you see around you, start with different premises.

Cf. IRT, pp. 42-43.

169) We are a school of thought. We start with new assumptions to reach new conclusions.

170) If your real interest is in symptoms and pain then you have no business being a Rolfer. It is not so wonderful to relieve symptoms, but it is wonderful to relieve and change a whole man.

171) Every once in a while you will have to think, but for the most part save your thinking and follow the recipe.

172) Along with your thinking let the body talk to you. Become one with the body you are working on. You are not working on a body but in a man. This is the essence of success in Rolfing.

173) Anything your fingers can feel your eyes can see.

174) Sight is touch at a distance.

175) The changes we get are through communication on all levels: tactile, sound, physical, etc.

176) The essence of exercise is the sliding movements of fascial planes.

Length and Shape; Core and Sleeve

177) Without length you cannot strengthen bodies.

178) What is the overall pattern we are developing when we “rolf?” Greater length.

179) The longer the body gets, the more freedom it has to do what it has to do … you have to horizontalize the pelvis.

180) Look where the horizontals are missing.

181) Joints shorten by rotating.

182) Bony structure discourages the body from becoming more spherical.

183) It is strange that a human body must be ovoid or ellipsoidal. One might guess otherwise. This is at least partially explicable through mathematics. Round bodies have less energy and more entropy, and are more apt to have asthma or emphysema.

See #79 and #101.

184) All energies arrive as fields and are able to cancel or reinforce the body fields.

Cf. IRT, p. 41: “Nobody can prove what I am about to say, but I think it is so: every energy in which we live is nourishment to us.”

185) Most electrical systems can be described as having a core and a sleeve. Elliptical systems have resonant core and sleeve structures. “Rolfed” bodies cannot be truly arranged into core and sleeve until the Tenth Hour.

Here the intriguing expression “arranged into core and sleeve” suggests a number of unspoken observations and assertions; does it mean that there is neither core nor sleeve – whatever she might mean by that – until that level of organization is reached that the series aims for? That seems to be her implication. Obviously, in other contexts she meant something different by the same expression.

This comment is somewhat reminiscent of something Jan Sultan said (most recently published in Structural Integration, December 2002, p. 14): “…in that formulation, her description of the core was as an energetic event, and the sleeve referred to the flesh in general… “.

186) The greater resonance you find in “Rolfed” bodies is probably due to the removal of fluid barriers.

187) Man is a being and an action.

188) The core structure is the being structure. Even a quadriplegic lives.

And here is even a different use of the metaphor “core. ”

189) The external world is always a projection from the world of thoughts and ideas. Think of our influence as Rolfers.

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