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Rolfing Technique Indications And Contraindications

Soft tissue manipulation through the process of Rolfing is a holistic approach to relieve pain and improve the physical and mental well being by creating balance between the body and its center of gravity.

As the person being treated in Rolfing sessions feels better physically, he/she also feels better mentally.

Rolfing technique indications and contraindications Most everyone benefits from Rolfing—but there are guidelines for those who cannot go through the Rolfing process.

It also depends on the individual, your doctor may say Rolfing would be good for you, but then again you may have a condition that may be aggravated by the Rolfing process.

Rolfing technique indications and contraindications

Cerebral Palsy

Rolfing can help or be helpful in people with mild cases of cerebral palsy, but it can also be contraindicated if the CP is severe.


Rolfing is indicated for people who have a lack of well being. It is important to note that the Rolfing process is not a treatment for any medical condition.

It can help people feel better, and improve their structure over time, but it is not a cure for any disease or disability. That being said, Rolfing is indicated for people that are experiencing acute or chronic pain, or those who have tight muscles.

It is indicated for people who have malformations in their musculoskeletal system caused by the effects of gravity—the skeleton may get pulled slightly out of shape by the effects of the stiffening and thickening of the connective tissue matrix that holds the body’s shape. Rolfing is indicated for women who are planning to conceive.

Rolfing stretches the connective tissue in the area of the pelvis, back and abdomen, which will help the woman have less muscle aches and more stability and mobility when conception occurs. In some cases women are allowed by their OB doctors to continue with Rolfing throughout the pregnancy as long as the practitioner does not apply too much pressure in the area of the pelvis and abdominal area.

Rolfing is also indicated during the post natal period. The woman’s body has gone through a lot of changes, and connective fascia manipulation will help support her during her recover phase.


As with any type of health care there may be upsides and downsides, and there may be conditions that fall into a gray area.
Pregnancy is one of those areas that could fall in between. During pregnancy, Rolfing — with deep tissue manipulation — is contraindicated due to hormones that cause changes in the muscles and ligaments. Deep manipulation can cause increased pain in the back, shoulders and neck.

Disabling Conditions
Soft tissue manipulation through Rolfing is contraindicated for people who have disabling conditions, which include connective tissue disorders, blood clots that could be dislodged, or any inflammatory process such as Lupus or scleroderma. There are many other autoimmune diseases that may be aggravated by deep tissue manipulation.

Rolfing is contraindicated in people with various forms of cancer, because manipulation of the connective tissue could cause the cancer cells to metastasize through the lymph system throughout the body.

Bipolar Disorders
Rolfing may be contraindicated in some people with bipolar disorder during the manic phase, because it could cause a severity in mood swings. Deep tissue manipulation may also trigger a psychotic episode in some people.

If you have a question about Rolfing technique indications and contraindications, contact a Rolf professional.