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Class Descriptions

Rolfing® Certification Program Overview

Our Rolfing Certification Program is comprised of three phases and self-study typically completed in 12-18 months.


Once You are a Rolfer:



Depending on their background, students must first complete one of the two following classes:
Foundations of Rolfing Structural Integration or
Accelerated Foundations of Rolfing Structural Integration

During these courses, the instructor will assess each student's readiness to begin training to become a Rolfer. Students who begin with the Foundations class must wait between three months and a year before beginning the next class. Students who begin with the Accelerated Foundations class do not have to wait before starting the next class.

During the Foundations class, instructors work with each student to establish a mutually agreed upon plan of practice for the period between the Foundations class and Embodiment of Rolfing Structural Integration and Rolf Movement® Integration.

All students must wait between three months and a year after taking Embodiment before they can start Clinical Application of Rolfing Theory. After completion of Clinical Application, the student graduates as a Certified Rolfer™.

The student then continues training with Rolf Movement Certification, Continuing Education and Advanced Rolfing Training to become an Certified Advanced Rolfer™.



Rolfing Certification Program Class Descriptions:

Note: The Rolf Institute of Structural Integration defines an instructional clock hour as 60 minutes. Depending on one's path of study, Rolf Institute graduates must complete a total of 600 or 731 instructional hours in the program in order to earn certification as a Rolfer.

Phase I: Foundations of Rolfing Structural Integration

218 Hours ~ Six-week intensive for the entry-level student

Admission Requirements
The following are required before beginning Foundations of Rolfing Structural Integration:

  1. Submit one of the following:
    1. Official academic transcript showing at least 60 credit hours at an institution of higher education.

      **OR**

    2. High School diploma or equivalent AND
      Official documentation verifying equivalent coursework and success in an adult education program.

      **OR**

    3. High School diploma or equivalent AND
      Documentation of equivalent life experiences and accomplishment.
  2. Submission of a written 2-3 page personal life experience essay. Please contact the Admissions Advisor for the essay questions and requirements.
  3. Completion and approval of an application and required enrollment forms.
  4. Submission of a resume and solo headshot photograph (for identification purposes).
  5. Verification of having received at least three sessions of the Rolfing Ten-Series from a Certified Rolfer.
  6. $50 Application fee. (Fee will be refunded if student is either not admitted or has not signed an enrollment agreement.)
  7. International Students: Please indicate the need for an I-20/M-1 Visa and submit completed packet no later than 60 days prior to class start date.

Please Note: An interview may be required to complete some applications.

Description

Designed for students who have not had formal training in massage or bodywork, or who have had some training but would benefit from taking this comprehensive course, this six-week intensive course will provide the essential skills and academic knowledge required for the successful study and practice of Rolfing Structural Integration. Students study Anatomy, Kinesiology and Physiology from the distinct perspective of Rolfing SI. Students learn guided palpation and touch through training in Skillful Touch, The Rolf Institute® of Structural Integration's proprietary form of clinical practice bodywork.

Students also train in the essential dynamics and professional skills needed to cultivate and maintain professional therapeutic relationships with clients. The class lectures and demonstrations prepare students for The Rolf Institute of Structural Integration's Life Sciences Exam, which all students must pass prior to Embodiment of Rolfing SI & Rolf Movement Integration. During Foundations of Rolfing Structural Integration, students gain experience and receive feedback on their touch skills and client/practitioner relationship skills. Initially, students learn touch and palpation by working on their classmates. Students are also introduced to Rolf Movement Integration. The final stage of this six-week course includes participation in a Skillful Touch Clinic where students work on actual clients from the community under the supervision of their instructors.

There is a required three-month study interval between completing Foundations of Rolfing Structural Integration and starting Embodiment of Rolfing SI & Rolf Movement Integration, during which each student must document 50 additional hours of Skillful Touch practice and continue independent study in the life sciences. During Foundations of Rolfing® Structural Integration, each student, in collaboration with the instructor, will establish an individual plan to maximize his/her learning experience during this time.

After successful completion of Foundations of Rolfing Structural Integration and all other requirements, students may enroll in Embodiment of Rolfing SI & Rolf Movement Integration.

Course Objectives

Students will develop:

Format & Methods
Faculty:Student ratio is limited to 1:10.

This six-week intensive course meets five days a week from 8:30 a.m.–6:00 p.m. Foundations of Rolfing Structural Integration offers an integrated and innovative approach to learning about the human body. Taught through well-illustrated lectures, experiential exercises and guided palpation, classes are designed to provide the optimal learning experience. The Rolf Institute® of Structural Integration instructors emphasize individual learning by providing each student with support for his/her specific learning needs. Students study the foundation subjects as well as develop skills and knowledge in perceptual acuity, efficient body use, and quality of touch.

PLEASE NOTE: Rolfing SI is not taught in Foundations of Rolfing Structural Integration or Accelerated Foundation of Rolfing Structural Integration. Completion of Foundations of Rolfing Structural Integration or Accelerated Foundation of Rolfing Structural Integration does not entitle the student to use the terms "Rolfer" or "Rolfing."

Costs

Please see Tuition and Costs

Phase I: Accelerated Foundations of Rolfing Structural Integration

87 Hours ~ Two-week intensive for professional massage therapists

Admission Requirements
The following are required before beginning Accelerated Foundations of Rolfing Structural Integration:

  1. Submit one of the following:
    1. Official academic transcript showing at least 60 credit hours at an institution of higher education.

      **OR**

    2. High School diploma or equivalent AND
      Official documentation verifying equivalent coursework and success in an adult education program.

      Please note:
      AFORSI students may use their massage school transcript to satisfy the requirement for equivalent adult education coursework.
  2. Submission of a written 2-3 page personal life experience essay. Please contact the Admissions Advisor for the essay questions and requirements.
  3. Completion and approval of an application and required enrollment forms.
  4. Submission of a resume and solo headshot photograph (for identification purposes).
  5. Verification of having received at least three sessions of the Rolfing Ten-Series from a Certified Rolfer.
  6. $50 Application fee. (Fee will be refunded if student is either not admitted or has not signed an enrollment agreement.)
  7. Completion of a minimum 250-hour bodywork program. Students must submit an official transcript that shows at least 47 hours of Anatomy, 21 hours of Physiology, 45 hours of Massage or other approved touch training, and 15 hours of Therapeutic Relationship.
  8. 50 documented hours of post-graduate massage practice experience or comparable clinical experience.
  9. International Students: Please indicate the need for an I-20/M-1 Visa and submit completed packet no later than 60 days prior to class start date.

Please Note: An interview may be required to complete some applications.

Description

This accelerated class is designed for trained professional massage therapists. It will refine essential skills and develop new ones required for the Rolfing Training. Students study Anatomy, Kinesiology and Physiology from the distinct perspective of Rolfing SI.

Through lectures, demonstrations, experiential exercises and supervised practice, students learn new key concepts related to the mastery of the principles and procedures they will learn in Embodiment of Rolfing SI & Rolf Movement Integration. Students are introduced to Rolf Movement Integration and trained in Skillful Touch, The Rolf Institute of Structural Integration's proprietary clinical practice form. An informative review of Anatomy, Physiology and Kinesiology is included in preparation for The Rolf Institute of Structural Integration's Life Sciences Exam, required for entry into The Embodiment of Rolfing SI & Rolf Movement Integration.

There is no mandatory study interval between Accelerated Foundations of Rolfing Structural Integration and Embodiment of Rolfing SI & Rolf Movement Integration.

After successful completion of Accelerated Foundations of Rolfing Structural Integration and all other requirements, students may enroll in Embodiment of Rolfing SI & Rolf Movement Integration.

Course Objectives

Students will develop:

Format & Methods
Faculty:Student ratio is limited to 1:10.

This twelve-day (Sun afternoon-Fri/Mon-Fri/Mon; 8:30 a.m.–6:00 p.m.) intensive course is an accelerated, in-depth program designed to tap into the foundation skills students already have, while simultaneously preparing students to transition their current touch and palpation skills to Rolfing SI. Taught through well-illustrated lectures, experiential exercises and guided palpation, classes are designed to provide the optimal learning experience. The Rolf Institute® of Structural Integration instructors emphasize individual learning by providing each student with support for his/her specific learning needs. Students are challenged to explore and learn about Rolfing-specific features and requirements of touch and palpation, including how it will expand and diversify their existing skill set and professional practice.

PLEASE NOTE: Rolfing SI is not taught in Foundations of Rolfing Structural Integration or Accelerated Foundation of Rolfing Structural Integration. Completion of Foundations of Rolfing Structural Integration or Accelerated Foundation of Rolfing Structural Integration does not entitle the student to use the terms "Rolfer" or "Rolfing."

Costs

Please see Tuition and Costs

Phase II: Embodiment of Rolfing Structural Integration and Rolf Movement® Integration

244 Hours ~ Eight-week intensive for students preparing to become Certified Rolfers

Prerequisites
  1. Successful completion of Foundations of Rolfing Structural Integration or Accelerated Foundations of Rolfing Structural Integration.
  2. Foundations of Rolfing Structural Integration students only must complete 50 hours of documented Skillful Touch practice and fulfill individual assignments during their three-month study interval.
  3. Submission and acceptance of two essay assignments due four weeks prior to the start of Phase II.
  4. Passing grade on The Rolf Institute of Structural Integration's Life Sciences Exam.
  5. Verification of having received the Ten-Series from a Certified Rolfer at least six months before starting Embodiment of Rolfing SI & Rolf Movement Integration. This waiting period after the Ten-Series is to ensure the student's optimum integration of the Rolfing experience.
  6. Verification of having received five Rolf Movement Integration sessions from a Certified Movement Practitioner prior to starting Embodiment of Rolfing SI & Rolf Movement Integration.
  7. Completion of any Learning Agreement assignments (if applicable)
  8. Completion of required enrollment forms.
Description

Students learn the skills required to recognize simple structural and functional patterns. They learn to perceive structure and function in relation to gravity and to develop a working knowledge of the basics of Rolfing Structural Integration and Rolf Movement’s principles and interventions.

The first segment of Phase II: Embodiment of Rolfing SI & Rolf Movement Integration is Principles Week. During this week, students focus on the overarching Principles of Rolfing SI work and on the functional aspects of somatic patterns.The focus of the week works with personal exploration and basic level techniques, building awareness, perception, and therapeutic skills. This class teaches a beginning understanding of how to design a session that responds to client needs. These skills are reinforced and cultivated over the next seven weeks of the training.

There is a required three-month study interval between completing Embodiment of Rolfing SI & Rolf Movement Integration and Clinical Application of Rolfing Theory during which time students work on integrating and assimilating the skills and information from Embodiment of Rolfing SI and Rolf Movement Integration.

Mentoring with a Certified Rolfer during this interim period is highly recommended

After successful completion of Embodiment of Rolfing SI and Rolf Movement Integration and all other requirements, students may enroll in Clinical Application of Rolfing Theory.

Course Objectives

Students will be introduced to:

Format & Methods
Faculty:Student ratio is limited to 1:8.

This eight-week intensive class meets Monday-Friday during the first week and then Monday-Thursday, generally from 8:30 a.m.– 6 p.m. During this phase of their training, students both give and receive a Rolfing Ten-Series and three Rolf Movement sessions. Lectures, demonstrations and clinical applications will provide students with a broadened perspective on the Rolfing experience. Students will integrate structural and functional approaches to Rolfing SI, learning how to determine when each kind of session is appropriate. The subjects of fascial anatomy, efficient body use, client/practitioner communication, and structural analysis are critical to this phase of
the program.

As the format of Embodiment of Rolfing SI & Rolf Movement Integration is an intensive, experiential environment involving immersion in the process of Rolfing Structural Integration & Rolf Movement Integration, students are put in touch with mental, physical and emotional states which may be challenging. However, the class is designed to provide a safe container for students to learn all aspects of Rolfing Structural Integration & Rolf Movement Integration. This includes learning to manage their own emotions, while attending to the needs of their classmate client.

Most class days include lecture, with one to two days each week devoted to supervised sessions. A good deal of class time is devoted to pattern recognition. Students will observe one another and instructor models in order to facilitate perceptual skills. Learning to identify structural and functional patterns and effectively addressing them in the context of Rolfing Structural Integration & Rolf Movement Integration is a strong focus. Another significant part of learning the sessions is the experience of receiving the work from a classmate. Students are uniquely qualified to give feedback to their classmate/practitioner, facilitating learning for both.

Students are encouraged to bring a spirit of exploration and open-mindedness to the Embodiment of Rolfing SI & Rolf Movement Integration class. They will discover much about the Rolfing process, and about themsleves, during this course. They will also forge lifetime associations with classmates and future colleagues as they prepare for the completion of their basic training, the clinical phase, in Clinical Application of Rolfing Theory.

It is strongly recommended that students receive mentoring between Embodiment of Rolfing SI & Rolf Movement Integration and Clinical Application of Rolfing Theory regarding touch, seeing, understanding and applying the Ten-Series.

Costs

Please see Tuition and Costs

Phase III: Clinical Application of Rolfing Theory

269 Hours ~ Eight-week Intensive for Students who have Completed Embodiment of Rolfing SI & Rolf Movement and are preparing to Become Certified Rolfers™

Prerequisites
  1. Successful completion of Embodiment of Rolfing SI & Rolf Movement Integration.
  2. Submission and acceptance of a written paper due four weeks prior to the start of Phase III.
  3. Approval of the Embodiment of Rolfing SI & Rolf Movement Integration instructors.
  4. Completion of any Learning Agreement assignments (if applicable)
  5. Completion of required enrollment forms.
Description

In this class students work on actual clients from the community under instructor supervision. Upon successful completion of Clinical Application of Rolfing Theory, students have completed The Rolf Institute® of Structural Integration's basic Rolfing Certification Program.

Course Objectives

Students will gain:

Format & Methods
Faculty:Student ratio is limited to 1:8.

This class meets Monday-Friday for eight weeks. Class may start as early as 8:30 a.m. and end as late at 7:30 p.m. depending on the student clinic schedule. During Clinical Application of Rolfing® Theory students apply the knowledge and techniques learned in Foundations of Rolfing Structural Integration or Accelerated Foundations of Rolfing Structural Integration and Embodiment of Rolfing SI & Rolf Movement® to clinical and practical situations. Each student will perform the Rolfing Ten-Series on two clients from the community, in the classroom, under instructor supervision. In addition, students will give Post-10 and Rolf Movement Integration sessions to Community Client Clinic clients, further preparing them for the diverse needs of a "real world" clientele.

Ongoing attention will be given to students developing efficient body-use and self-care while working, as well as improving client-practitioner relationship skills, quality of touch, and body-reading. Professional ethics, business and practice building skills are also taught in this class, along with public education practices, which help prepare students to develop independent Rolfing practices.

Clinical Application of Rolfing Theory is the clinical phase of training. Students will deepen their understanding of the Ten-Series and Rolf Movement sessions by practicing under instructor supervision on various clients. The educational focus shifts from the student's personal process and experience (taught in Phase II) to the client’s process as they experience Rolfing Structural Integration and Rolf Movement sessions. Students will learn to assess and strategize using the principles of Rolfing SI, while developing various skills required for attending to clients, including attention to seeing, discussion, touch and technique. Therapeutic relationship will be a large part of the learning process as well. By the end of the final week, students should be able to perform the Ten-Series and basic Rolf Movement sessions competantly with confidence.

This class consists of lectures, demos and practicums designed to deepen the understanding and ability to perform each session according to the individual
client’s needs.

Students should be well rested and emotionally prepared for long days of focused study as the training is a full-time endeavor. Some weeks meet five days to allow time for extra workshops/modules.

After successful completion of Clinical Application of Rolfing Theory and all other requirements, students will graduate as a Certified Rolfer.

Clinical Work with teh Community Client Clinic
Students in Clinical Application of Rolfing Theory perform Rolfing Structural Integration and Rolf Movement Integration on two Community Client Clinic clients. Working under instructor supervision, students are challenged to put into practice all that they have learned in the training. Students develop relationships with their clients, assess their clients' actual and perceived needs, and create and execute personal treatment plans. Students report that the individualized attention they receive from instructors in the Clinic, plus the "real-world" nature of this client contact, is often the high-point of their Rolfing training at The Rolf Institute of Structural Integration and is essential in preparing them to be successful, professional Certified Rolfers™.
Costs

Please see Tuition and Costs

PLEASE NOTE: Students who graduate from The Rolf Institute of Structural Integration’s Rolfing Program receive a certificate. By affiliating with Membership Services you maintain your status as a Certified Rolfer.



Course Descriptions for Post-graduate Courses/Certifications:

Rolf Movement® Certification Integrative Studies Program

30 CE credits/210 hours; plus advising sessions

Once certified as Rolfers, students may choose to continue to develop their skills in the Rolf Movement Integration Certification Program. (There may be opportunities for students who have completed Embodiment of Rolfing Structural Integration and Rolf Movement Integration to train for their Rolf Movement certification. Consult with Rolf Institute staff for more informaiton.)

Framed in the principles of Rolfing Structural Integraton, the Rolf Movement Integration program teaches practitioners to utilize a combination of touch and verbal instruction to guide the client's body towards greater ease and freedom. In the Rolf Movement Certification Program, Rolfers deepen their holistic understanding of the body's function in gravity and learn to honor the client's ability to integrate with and adapt to his/her environment.

Rolf Movement Integration Certification is a fundamental, valuable complement to the basic Rolfing Certification. The program emphasizes the significance of supporting the client's full participation in and awareness of his/her own Rolfing process, the ultimate goal of which is the grace and power that emerges when a person becomes present with their own body and environment.

Prerequisites
  1. Rolfing Certification (There may be opportunities for students who have completed Embodiment of Structural Integration and Rolf Movement Integration to train for their Rolf Movement Certification. Consult with Rolf Institute staff for more information.)
  2. Member in good standing

* Additional prerequisites may apply.

Objectives

Expanding movement education reflects the increased role that an understanding of gravity orientation, perception, coordination, expressivity, and nervous system regulation plays in determining lasting shifts in posture and function. Further, teaching Rolfers to understand, embody, and articulate these perspectives serves the greater RISI mission to educate the world about Rolfing Structural Integration.

Format & Methods

The Rolf Movement Certification Program in the U.S. is offered as a series of workshops focusing on various aspects of a unified movement theory, and taught in different regions of the country. These workshops may be taken independently for Rolf Movement Continuing Education credit from the Rolf Institute. To receive Rolf Movement Certification in this delivery system, a student is required to take a minimum of 30 Rolf Movement continuing education credits/class days, three days of which can be an independent study project or mentorship, over a period of up to six years, plus attend advising sessions.

Students can enter the Rolf Movement Certification Integrative Studies Program at any point in the rotation of offered courses. Each course deepens one’s immersion in the work, and leads to a clearer understanding of a model that contrasts markedly with conventional thinking about body function. The learning is recursive in nature, rather than linear: the process mimics learning to live in a foreign culture more than it does acquisition of skills. A faculty advisor interviews each student as they move through their chosen progression of courses to assist in seeing how the various topics are building integrated embodiment of the work. The open, flexible format allows students to find their own continuity within the program. This may include receiving credit for approved courses taken in regions outside the U.S.

The Rolf Movement Certification Integrative Studies Program is a response to the need for longer class time to accommodate the scope and depth of an expanded curriculum. Understanding movement requires thoroughness in one’s own embodiment and a personal relationship to the varieties of coordinative patterns that clients present. To meaningfully address working with embodiment, Rolf Movement Integration courses emphasize experiential learning and represent an immersion-based approach.

The workshop format allows for time between segments to further embody and apply the work in one’s practice. It also shortens the time students must be away from home.

For more information, please visit the Rolf Movement Certification Integrative Studies Program page.

Costs

Please see Tuition and Costs

Continuing Education

The Rolf Institute is committed to cultivating academic growth and therapeutic skills in all of its graduates. To maintain their Rolfing certification, Certified Rolfers must complete a minimum of eighteen days of approved continuing education over a period of three to seven years in preparation for Advanced Rolfing Training. If certified as a Rolf Movement Practitioner, Rolfers have up to nine years to complete their Continuing Education credits and enroll in the Advanced Training.

Continuing Education studies can cover a broad range of relevant subjects. Certified Rolfers may take workshops in specific manipulative techniques or may explore other related subjects such as CranioSacral Therapy or Visceral Manipulation. Some credit requirements can be met through approved mentoring programs.

Rolfers receive quarterly announcements of workshops and training opportunities, or can find upcoming Continuing Education opportunities on the website.

These continuing education requirements are among the many ways in which The Rolf Institute maintains its high standards and demonstrates them to the community.

Advanced Training Certification

168 Hours

Prerequisites
  1. Certification as a Rolfer.
  2. A minimum of three years in Rolfing practice.
  3. The following Continuing Education:
    • 9 hours Rolfing manipulation credit taught by a Rolf Institute approved Rolfing Manipulation instructor
    • 3 hours Rolf Movement credits taught by a Rolf Institute approved Rolfing Movement instructor
    • 6 hours elective credits approved by the Rolf Institute – 3 of which must be in the category of Cranial Sacral work

* Additional prerequisites may apply.

In order to maintain affiliation with The Rolf Institute, this course must be completed within seven years of initial Rolfing certification, or within nine years if one first completes the Rolf Movement Integration training. Continuing Education credits must fulfill certain categories.

Objectives

This program emphasizes how to make more precise and subtle distinctions as well as how to recognize and manipulate specific kinds of motion restrictions, including myofascial, articular, and functional. Working outside of the Ten-Series is emphasized.

Format & Methods

Advanced Rolfing Training is a 168 hour course, divided into 24 days that may be arranged in one of several formats. 

The Advanced Rolfing Certification Program is a forum for refinement and development of the work through a deeper examination of the diverse aspects of Rolfing SI, with Rolfers bringing their experiences from their private practice into the classroom setting. The Advanced Rolfing Certification Program provides a format for examining the energetic processes that are a fundamental part of the client-practitioner equation. Each Rolfer learns how to use these processes consciously and intentionally. The focus is on being able to meet the specific structural, functional and energetic needs of the individual client. Attention is also directed to these same aspects of the practitioner's own process. This program is designed to bring a deeper level of understanding to the Rolfer and his/her clinical practice.

Costs

Please see Tuition and Costs