Research Contact

The DIRI Research Committee supports and guides Rolfing® Structural Integration research. The Committee actively solicits contributions for research into structural integration through the DIRI donation page. The Committee focuses on the research literacy of its graduates by including research in its curriculum. We also solicit and evaluate research proposals for possible financial support through the DIRI. 

The DIRI Research Committee has been formed for the purpose of conducting basic and applied research. The Committee reviews research proposals and solicits donations to support meritorious research projects. We greatly appreciate your tax-deductible donations and your research proposals!

Contact Us for:
  • Inquiries about submitting research proposals
  • Financial Contribution to Research (or visit our donation page)
  • Notices of the latest research news, information, and activities.
  • Research Information on Rolfing® Structural Integration
  • Resources for MS and Ph.D. Candidates Interested in Research
  • Journalist Inquiries about Research

Contact Vaclav Kremen, Chair for more information.

Current Research Focus

The DIRI Research Committee funded research being done by Eric Jacobson in collaboration with Harvard Medical School on Structural Integration for Chronic Low Back Pain, see The Latest Research web page.

Committee Members

Jeffrey Burch, Certified Advanced Rolfer®

Jeffrey Burch received a BA in biology from the University of Oregon in 1975, after which he trained at The Dr. Ida Rolf Institute® in Boulder, Colorado, receiving his Certification as a Rolfer in 1977.Jeffrey Burch received his Rolfing Advanced Certification in 1990, after which he again began studying at the University of Oregon where he received a second BA in Psychology in 1993 and a Master of Science in Counseling in 1995. His Master’s thesis “Alexithymia and Dissociation” explores topics related to psychosomatic conditions.Jeffrey has been a member of the Rolf Institute board of Directors.  He served for many years on the Rolf Institute Ethics committee.  He founded the International Association of Structural Integrators (IASI) Yearbook journal. He is a member of the Rolf Institute research committee.

Eric Jacobson, Ph.D., Certified Advanced Rolfer®
Eric Jacobson, Ph.D., M.P.H., is a research scientist who investigates alternative medicine at Harvard Medical School. He recently completed an NIH-funded pilot clinical trial of Structural Integration as an adjunct to outpatient rehabilitation for chronic low back pain. Prior to this, he worked on studies of the placebo effect and diagnostic reasoning acupuncture. His dissertation research investigated the experiences and traditional treatments of psychiatric illnesses among Tibetan refugees in northern India. Jacobson was trained by Ida Rolf in 1974 and has had a private practice of Structural Integration since then.

Paula Stal, Ph.D., Certified Rolfer®, Rolf Movement® Practitioner
Paula Stal - Psychologist, Ph.D. in Neurology from Faculty of Medicine of the University of São Paulo, Certified Rolfer, and graduate of the Dr. Ida Rolf Institute. With 9 years of research experience, Paula is a specialist in psychosomatic and anthroposophy. Paula has been operating for 14 years in private practice in São Paulo, Brazil.

Robert Toporek, Advanced Rolfer®

Robert met and became enamored with Dr. Rolf in1971 and had his first ten sessions with her at the Esalen Institute while on a Leadership Development Fellowship from the Ford Foundation exploring methods and techniques of personal growth and its relationship to public education.. Robert was in Dr. Rolf's final elementary class in Santa Monica in 1974. He was required to take the EST training, returned to New Jersey, and lived with and apprenticed with Dick Demmerle that summer. He took Dicks last class and was certified. At that time, he self-appointed himself Dr. Rolf's East Coast. Business manager. 

Over the next four years, he provided her with administrative support, traveled around the country with her and 1978, created and managed her final project to demonstrate, document and promote the benefits of Rolfing for babies and children, which he continues to expand. He has performed Rolfing® SI on over 5,000 men, women, babies, and children and has an extensive documentation library.. Robert has had the honor of practicing Rolfing SI on many of Dr Rolf's grandchildren.

Pedro Prado, Ph.D., Advanced Rolfer®, Rolf Movement® Practitioner, Advanced Rolfing® and Rolfing Movement® Instructor
Pedro is an Advanced Rolfing and Rolf Movement® Instructor and is a former professor of Somatic Psychology. He has done both his master's and his doctorate dissertations in Rolfing, trying to bridge Psychology to Structural Integration. Besides articles written for the DIRI’s journals, he has devoted time to lever research within the educational programs of DIRI, promoting and orienting Case Studies, both in the Basic Curriculum as well as in post-graduation programs in his native Brazil. He believes science is a communitarian event and that we need to communicate the empirical results of our work through Case Studies.

Assoc. Prof. Vaclav Kremen, M.Sc.Eng, Ph.D., Certified Rolfer®, DIRI Research Committee Chair
Vaclav Kremen is a Certified Rolfer currently appointed as an assistant professor and principal engineer in the Neurology Department of the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN. He possesses peer-reviewed research experience and is also faculty at the Czech Technical University in Prague as an associate professor of Biomedical Engineering. He studied Rolfing in Europe and ran his private Rolfing practice in Prague, Czech Republic. Currently, he resides in the United States.
Dr. Kremen's Bibliography

Lu Mueller-Kaul, Advanced Rolfer® DIRI Research Committee Secretary

Lu is an educator and Certified Advanced Rolfer® with extensive experience in massage therapy, bodywork, and alternative medicine. She began her journey as a licensed naturopathic physician in Germany in the 90s. Along the way, she’s practiced acupuncture, chiropractic adjustments, traditional Chinese medicine before coming to the US to study Rolfing®. In 2008 Lu opened Balance Orlando, serving as owner, workshop instructor, therapist, and mentor.