The need for Rolfing bodywork is inevitably stress-related, often resulting from a physical accident or repetitive motion and duress. As stress builds, the structure of the body becomes more and more constricted when the soft tissues – the tendons, muscles, and fascia – try to compensate for cumulative physical injury. Stress may be also result from psychological injuries, causing constriction and disease as the body harbors and protects itself from emotional trauma and pain. In either case, the goal of the Rolfing process is to reorganize the body's structure so it is more at ease and free of pain.
Through a series of 10 one-hour sessions, the soft tissue of the body is remolded into a straighter and more expanded shape. The Rolfing process, of sculpturing and manipulating the soft tissue, is through slow, firm, hands-on bodywork that systematically addresses specific goals and areas of the body. As pressure is applied to the tissue, the body releases tension as it relaxes. Rolfing sessions are cumulative, with each session building on the results of the previous session. As the structure of the body is reordered, so are the movement patterns. Daily functioning takes on more ease, as new, more-efficient habits enhance the structural changes, preventing the likelihood of a re-injury or the return of old patterns. Often the results are transformational: as the body is able to move through daily life with better alignment and integration, more energy becomes available to do life more fully.