Russell’s interest in Rolfing® was sparked in 1983 when he first experienced Rolfing. Right after his first Rolfing session he experienced a dramatic release of tension and ease of movement. His joints felt lubricated, his movement felt fluid and flowing.
As a youth Russell Stolzoff was always drawn to the beauty of graceful movement he observed in athletes and dancers. As an athlete in high school and college he sometimes experienced flow, but it was unpredictable and elusive. With Rolfing, Russell discovered how easy posture and fluid movement naturally flow when the body becomes integrated.
The Rolfing experience fueled Russell’s curiosity about the potential for change in the body, the relationship between the mind and body, and how the Rolfing process actually affects the body. This led him to train as a practitioner at the Rolf Institute of Structural Integration in Boulder, Colorado.
Since completing his basic training in 1989, Russell has had a thriving full-time practice and has pursued diverse forms of continuing education.
Certified Advanced Rolfing: Russell’s Advanced Rolfing Certification training took place in Berkeley, California in 1998. This began a period of intensive inquiry into the body’s subtle movements and soft-tissue joint manipulation, which are important for balancing the body at its deepest layers.
Rolf Movement Education Certification: In 2000 Russell Stolzoff completed additional training in movement studies in Seattle, Washington to help enhance performance in daily activities and athletics, and restore function following injury, accidents and repetitive strain.
Body Psychotherapy: In 1999, Russell completed a five-year course of study in Bodynamic Analysis in Berkeley California, Portland Oregon, and Vancouver Brittish Columbia. Bodynamic Analysis, a Danish form of body psychotherapy, incorporates aspects of physical development into psychotherapy.
Trauma Resolution: In 1991-1992 Russell participated in the first two-year Somatic Experiencing training with Dr. Peter Levine. Somatic Experiencing focuses on body-based methods of healing trauma.
Cranial Manipulation: Russell Stolzoff participated in a course of study with French Osteopath, Alain Gehin.
Qigong: For the last 10 years Russell has been an on-going student of Qigong with Scott Paglia, a Bellingham doctor of Chinese medicine. Qigong is a form of breathing and movement exercises that is a branch of traditional Chinese medicine. Qigong improves and maintains health by encouraging movement, increasing range of motion, and improving joint flexibility and resilience.
Russell’s passion for his work eventually led him to want to help other practitioners learn the art of Rolfing. In 2001, he was accepted as one of 32 teachers in the Rolf Institute’s worldwide faculty. Today he regularly teaches Rolfing courses and workshops through the Rolf Institute in Boulder, CO. He has served as Chair of the Rolf Institute Board of Directors and is currently a member of the Rolf Institute’s Executive Education Committee.
Russell has also helped to popularize Rolfing by organizing regional training centers to inspire and train new Rolfers. His desire to educate the public about the value of Rolfing has led him to write articles about Rolfing for Massage Magazine, Rolf Lines: the Journal of the Rolf Institute, and The Clinician’s Complete Reference to Complementary and Alternative Medicine. His work has also been profiled in Climbing Magazine and Massage Today.
Of his achievements, he is most proud of helping to establish the Free Children’s Rolfing Clinic in Bellingham. The clinic has provided hundreds of free Rolfing to more than 200 children since 2000.
When he is not working, Russell likes to explore and nourish his potential by spending time with his family and friends. He also enjoys travel, music, documentary film, conversation, cooking and sharing meals with friends.