The Tree of Rolfing®

A celebration of the 25th Anniversary of the European Rolfing® Association, Summer 2016.

Twenty-five years ago, during June 1991, the European Rolfing® Association e.V. was registered in Munich, Germany. Today, with approximately 600 members representing 20 European countries, we are excited to share with you a brief glimpse of the large and diverse group of speakers, panelists and instructors that joined our members during our 25th Anniversary Celebration in Munich, June 29th through July 5th, 2016.

To the over 160 members and guests present at the event… thank you for sharing this moment together. To the panelists, speakers, workshop Instructors and Office staff, our heartfelt thank you for your participation and contributions. As a community, our deeply felt appreciation to everyone for creating this memorable event.

The ERA Board of Directors

Below a brief slideshow of images from the event, followed by a summary with details on the actual proceedings…

Friday evening reception…

The event at Rigoletto’s was very well attended and enjoyed by all present… a great opportunity for people to meet, become reacquainted, or simply relax in an informal setting.


Saturday Morning…

The Conference program began with an exploration of our past heritage through a series of four panels moderated by a professional. Briefly, the progression of panels was the following:

  1. Panel 1: Early days of Rolfing® SI in Europe.
    Scope: from the earliest Rolfers (Boulder – 1970’s) to founding of ERA (1991).
    Panelists: Schleip, Schwind, Ginhoulac, Salveson, Obermeier
    Discussion: Recollections of the beginning of Rolfing SI in Europe driven by a few questions prepared by moderator, then fueled by audience participation, leading up to the founding of ERA in 1991.

  2. Panel 2: How has Rolfing® SI changed through the years?
    : Bridging time from pre-ERA to present with a balanced discussion along several dimensions:
    – Private Practice – how did you get clients, what were they like, how are the different today,…
    – Formation – who were the students, why did they come, etc…
    – Teaching/Curriculum – how has curriculum changed, instruction methods…
    – Organizational – how has ERA evolved…
    Panelists: Hesse(Austria), Finato(Italy), Ginhoulac (France), Volpones(IT)
    Discussion: Moderator-guided discussion addressing questions to all panelist. Closing with panelist’s personal thoughts of the most important changes.

  1. Panel 3: European Contributions to Rolfing® SI.
    : Picking up on prior session observations… this panel zeroes in on five areas specifically:
    – Peter Schwind’s — manual interventions and techniques.
    – Robert Schleip’s – scientific foundations of Rolfing through Fascia research.
    – Hubert Goddars – movement & perception – tonic function.
    – Hans Flury’s – Normal function.
    Panelists: Schwind, Schleip, Wagner (representing Hans Flury), Newton (representing Hubert)
    Discussion: Moderator opening and each panelist to provide 5-7 minutes summary of their work (or the work they are representing), followed by general question and answer at the end.

  1. Panel 4: Where is Rolfing® SI headed in the future?
    : Briding time from recent past (last 2 years) forward with discussion along mutliple dimensions:
    – What “space” do we operate within… healthcare, education, well-being, fitness,…
    – Factors that will influence our future
    – External – Opportunities / Threats
    – Internal – Strengths / Weaknesses
    — Evolving directions…
    — External Perspective…
    Panelists: Sonderegger(CH), Sommers(DE/Faculty), Armstrong(NL/BOD), Irnich(External Viewpoint), Ennis(RISI/BOD)
    Discussion: Moderator opening with overview and invitation to audience to participate with questions and opinions… Topics that surfaced included: recognition of Structural Integration method as a Complementary Therapy in Switzerland, building bridges with other forms of Structural Integration and specifically the Guild in Europe, external view by Dr. Irnich of the present view of Rolfing® Structural Integration at this time, and thoughts on future directions…


Saturday afternoon…

The discussions moved to special topics with four speaker/demonstration sessions that were displayed on a full-screen so everyone could follow along:

Internal Motion & Fascial Structures
Christoph Sommer

Techniques for Effective Neck Work
Tessy Brungardt

Normal Function: Introduction and Overview
Isolde Specka

ScarWork: Integrating Scar Tissue in to the Fascial Web
Sharon Wheeler


Sunday morning…

Began with interesting and fact-filled presentations by the ERA’s Director of Research, Dr. Robert Schleip, followed by Michael Salveson, Advanced Faculty Instructor, one of Dr. Ida Rolf’s students/instructors, and the first instructor to teach Structural Integration in Europe.

New Research Developments and their relevance to Rolfing® SI
Robert Schleip

Introduction to working in the Ligamentous Bed
Michael Salveson

ERA General Assembly

The assembly began with a quick review of the 2015 Annual Report and new developments including the launch of this new website, renovation and expansion of our training facilities in Munich, and further details about upcoming formation (training) and the new continuing education policy. Our new Executive Director, Laura Schecker, was introduced to the members present and a large thank you was offered by everyone present to the ERA Office personnel for their flawless execution of the 25th Anniversary Event. Of particular interest, members should review the Advanced Training webpage for details of the evolving prerequisites for taking the Advanced Rolfing® Training… these requirements change by year between 2017 and 2020. Please make sure you are up to date by looking up the details here.


Sunday afternoon…

The afternoon wrapped-up with three speaker/demonstration sessions…

Towards Gravity
France Hatt-Arnold

RISI Update and Future Developments
Rich Ennis, RISI BOD Chair; and
Christina Howe, RISI Executive Director

Practical Applications of recent Scientific Insights about Fascia
Stefan Dennenmoser

The afternoon ended with most participants still present and one of the largest closing circles we have ever had… many thanks to everyone present and best wishes to all until we meet again!

25th Anniversary Event Brochure

If you wish to have a copy of the event flyer and more detailed descriptions of the sessions and speaker biographies, please download it here.

25th Anniversary Event Locations

The following locations were host to the many events organized…

1. Hochschule für Philosophie München

Location of the ERA-Conference on July 2nd and 3rd, 2016.
Kaulbachstraβe 31a, 80539 München

2. Gasthof Hinterbrühl

Location of the ERA Dinner Party on July 2nd, 2016.
Hinterbrühl 2, 81479 München

3. Motel One München-Olympia Gate

Hotel with blocked rooms for accommodations of our participants.
Petra-Kelly-Straβe 4, 80797 München

4. The ERA Office

Saarstraβe 5, 80797 München
U2 Hohenzollernplatz / Tram 27 Herzogstraβe

5. Speisecafé Rigoletto

Location of the Welcome Reception on July 1st
Rosa-Aschenbrenner-Bogen 9, 80797 München
U2 Hohenzollernplatz / Tram 27 Herzogstraβe

Directions / details
directions / Motel One, workshops, welcome reception

Journey planner for public transportation

For additional workshop information, please refer to this page’s sidebar.

For more information in general, please follow the links that most interest you: Finding a Rolfer™, Becoming a Rolfer™, or the European Rolfing® Association

All photographs in slide show © 2016 European Rolfing® Association e.V.
Official event photographer: Miquel A.J. de Jong, Certified Advanced Rolfer™