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Cleveland Rolfing offers small group classes in person and online. Dr Rolf described the work as ‘experiential education to mature an individual’.


Dr Rolf blended physics with the work of Andrew Taylor Still, the man who developed Osteopathy (DO). Both Rolf and Still educated people to understand how the body works in relationship.


Today, medicine talks about parts of the body, and uses drugs to hide symptoms.


The result is that we have lost connection to our body’s wisdom and innate capacity to heal. We no longer know how to care for our bodies so that they are adaptable and able to function without dis-ease.


Rolfing teaches us where to put our feet, why our shoulders creep up and how to solve the problem (hint: it’s not in your shoulders!). We teach people how to walk. It’s a surprise to realize that people learn to walk by mimicry, and they grow into movement patterns that do not serve the body over time. By learning how to move the body in good relationship with gravity, the body can heal.


My classes are designed to provide experience-based opportunities to reconnect people to their center of gravity. Practice opportunities are also offered, as any new skill development requires.


Because learning about health options is a challenge, I’ve compiled a glossary to help



Acupuncture (L.Ac)- this word was first used in the 1600s to describe an ancient treatment from China and Tibet that used very fine needles inserted through the skin at specific points to engage the outermost layers of connective tissue to stimulate healing. Rolfing is the only other modality that addresses connective tissue but instead of needles we use only our hands.


Chiropractor (DC) Merriam Webster : a system of therapy which holds that disease results from a lack of normal nerve function and which employs manipulation and specific adjustment of body structures as the spinal column. Chiropractors are trained to work with the spine, but not necessarily trained to attend to the relationships from the spine to the rest of the body, so adjustments must be repeated frequently. The first chiropractor, DD Palmer, went to Still’s college in Kirksville MO as a visitor, and a few years later introduced chiropractic therapy, a lesser version of Still’s work. Palmer never enrolled in Osteopathy training and strongly denied Still’s influence, though chiropractors in Missouri at the time. The guest book at AT Still’s home confirmed Palmer’s presence at the school and home of AT Still.


Osteopathy (DO) Andrew Taylor Still developed this work in 1874. The fundamental idea of osteopathy is that structure and function are related, and that the the laws of nature govern health. He used his hands to work with to correct misalignments, trusting the body would show it’s ‘lesions’ which he freed, resulting in rewed health. Dr Still recognized the innate wisdom of the body, and did not use surgery or drugs to provide aid. Today, American Osteopaths are trained to perform surgery and prescribe medication, while European Osteopaths remain in the lineage of Still’s original work. Dr Rolf later based her work on AT Still’s, adding physics by attending to the body’s relationship to gravity. Rolfers are able to cross train in the European osteopathic tradition through continuing education opportunities.


Naturopathy (ND) - Merriam Webster - a system of treatment of disease that avoids drugs and surgery and emphasizes the uses of natural agents (such as air water and herbs) and physical means (such as tissue manipulation and electrotherapy). Naturopathy is not licensed in the state of Ohio.


Massage (MT or LMT) - Merriam Webster - manipulation of tissues (as by rubbing, kneading or tapping) with the hand or another instrument for relaxation or therapeutic purposes. Massage therapists are trained to work with muscles but not with other body structures. MTs/LMTs often use oils and tools and a lot of force to provide treatment.




Fascia is the extracellular matrix, the white stuff that wraps all the parts of the body, and is described by standard medical doctors as ‘filler’ and ‘soft tissue’. Myofascia refers only to the connective tissues that touch muscle. In reality, fascia touches every piece of anatomy inside you!


Myofascial Release (MFR) - these practitioners are trained to work with muscles and the connective tissue wrapping of muscles. This approach can provide temporary relief, like chiropractic and massage.


Cranial-Sacral Therapy - people who advertise Cranial Sacral therapy are typically massage therapists. The cranium has 22 bones; the first bone that forms in the cranium is the Sphenoid. It forms with the Sacrum, the bone at the bottom of the spine, above the tail bone. Together, these bones act as a pump to keep cerebral spinal fluid flowing around your brain and spinal column. These practitioners work to normalize the flow of fluid in the body, attempting to stimulate health.


Somatic Practice

Soma = body. Somatic Practices are different from the systems of healing listed above. Somatic Practice traditionally refers to practices that work with the whole body, and do not focus on symptoms or any part.


Rolfing - developed by Ida P Rolf, a system of bodywork that organizes the body in gravity by easing the strain in connective tissue/fascia/extracellular matrix. The Ten Series was intended as a teaching tool, not a practice tool, yet is widely known today. Dr Rolf was a biochemist, and described her work as ‘experiential education to mature an individual’. Rolfers work in the tissue directly and provide education for posture and movement, to improve the quality of life.


Alexander Technique - developed by Frederick Mathias Alexander in the late 1800s in Tasmania. He was an actor who lost his voice on stage, and determined that posture affected his vocal capacity, as well as his sense of well-being. Alexander Practitioners work with actors and musicians, public speakers.


Feldenkreis - Moshe Feldenkrais was a Russian physicist who after a knee injury, figured out a way of improving health through posture. His background in Judo made this work possible. These practitioners work with posture to improve the quality of life.


Pilates - Joseph Pilates was a Russian bodybuilder and gymnast, a circus performer and self-defense trainer at police schools. He believed the mind could control muscles. After coming to the US around 1925, he worked with such dancers as George Balanchine and Martha Graham, and their companies. Pilates engages the lifting or leaping muscle structures, which is why dancers benefit so much from Pilates.


Visceral / Cranial Manipulation - this approach works with the deep tissue surrounding the organs, spine and within the cranium/head. Practitioners trained in this type of care use very soft touch to make significant changes in a person’s health experience.