Rolfing is a type of massage therapy. It was created by a biochemist, Ida Rolf, PhD, in the 1950s. Practitioners of Rolfing can receive training. But there are no generally accepted standards or licensure.

Rolfing is used for pain, chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), cerebral palsy, anxiety, and other conditions, but there is no good scientific evidence to support these uses.
Rolfing is POSSIBLY SAFE when used appropriately. Side effects have not been reported.

Special Precautions & Warnings:

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: There isn't enough reliable information to know if Not enough is known about the use of rolfingRolfing is safe to use when pregnant or during pregnancy and breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.


NatMed Pro rates effectiveness based on scientific evidence according to the following scale: Effective, Likely Effective, Possibly Effective, Possibly Ineffective, Likely Ineffective, Ineffective, and Insufficient Evidence to Rate.
Likely effective Effectiveness definitions
Possibly effective Effectiveness definitions
Likely ineffective Effectiveness definitions
Possibly ineffective Effectiveness definitions
Insufficient evidence Effectiveness definitions
  • Anxiety. Early research suggests that Rolfing might help to decrease anxiety in college students. However, it isn't known if Rolfing would help people with an anxiety disorder.
  • Cerebral palsy. Early research suggests Rolfing can improve movement and function in people who are mildly or moderately affected by cerebral palsy. However, it does not seem to help people who are severely affected by cerebral palsy.
  • Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS). Very early research suggests that Rolfing might help people with CFS function better. It might help with their posture, breathing, and sleeping.
  • Relaxation.
  • Stress.
  • Headache.
  • Neck pain.
  • Back pain.
  • Osteoarthritis.
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome.
  • Other conditions.
More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of Rolfing for these uses.

Dosing & administration

The appropriate or safe use of Rolfing depends on several factors such as the condition being treated or the person administering the treatment. Be sure to seek and follow relevant directions from your physician or other healthcare professional before using this treatment.

Interactions with pharmaceuticals

It is not known if this treatment interacts with any medicines. Before using this treatment, talk with your health professional if you take any medications.

Interactions with herbs & supplements

There are no known interactions with herbs and supplements.

Interactions with foods

There are no known interactions with foods.


Rolfing is a form of deep tissue massage. The massage is applied using a slow-moving pressure with knees, elbows, thumbs, fingers, and knuckles.

Rolfing practitioners, also called "Rolfers," believe that aging results in physical problems due to soft tissue or "fascia" binding up or stiffening around muscles. They believe that the tissue massage relieves the hardening and muscle dysfunction. However, there is no reliable scientific support for these beliefs. has licensed monographs from TRC Healthcare.
This monograph was last reviewed on 23/10/2022 20:05:13 and last updated on 15/07/2020 18:42:29. Monographs are reviewed and/or updated multiple times per month and at least once per year.
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