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Natural Awakenings North Central New Jersey

Rolfing as an Alternative to Chiropractic Therapy

Feb 02, 2016 09:37AM ● By Ed Hemberger

If you’re suffering chronic pain that a dozen trips to the chiropractor haven’t made any better, you may want to check out one of the hottest trends around: Rolfing. Rolfing, developed by Dr. Ida P. Rolf, is also known as structural integration. Rolf was a biochemist who was influenced by osteopathy, physical therapy, and yoga. Research has established some of Rolfing’s benefits. In 1998, the UCLA Department of Kinesiology found that Rolfing resulted in smoother, larger, less constrained movements, as well as better posture.

Rolfing frees the unhealthy binding of tissues, allowing muscles and bones to return to a balanced position. Rolfing enthusiasts say that when they’ve been treated, their bodies return to a proper alignment — eliminating or reducing chronic pain, improving coordination, and increasing overall energy and health. As a Certified Structural Integration practitioner, I use Rolfing to help patients stretch and open fascia, or muscle sheaths, in order to correct patterns of misalignment in the head, shoulders, pelvis, and legs. Rolfing helps with the functions of breathing and digestion, and it’s also been shown to improve physical and mental health.   While Rolfing is generally designed to occur in a ten-week series, some people have reported feeling better just after one or two treatments.  We try to be as thorough as possible and use one session to focus on just one part of the body, so we recommend that people go through the whole series. Rolfing may involve temporary pain when pressure is applied, but it’s simply the reaction of damaged tissue being released from adhesion to other tissues. If it hurts a little, it’s working. 

Ed Hemberger has been mentored by Dr. Thomas Findley, M.D., Ph.D., and has been a Rolfing practitioner for the past12 years. He was selected to provide treatment for two U.S. Olympic teams and has worked at the Veterans Hospital in East Orange to help vets alleviate conditions such as poor posture, arthritis, and muscle problems in the shoulders and upper back. For more information, visit

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