Rolfing body work is applied layer by layer in the body, systematically progressing towards an integrated whole. It is this approach, developed by Dr. Ida Rolf that allows such significant changes in a short period of time.
The first seven sessions work to build upon each other as they focus on the connective tissue, fascia and rhythms of respiration and other responses of the body. These sessions help remove strain from specific areas of the body such as the lower back, neck, or knees. The last three sessions organize, integrate, and align the body as a whole, leading to improved balance, enhanced freedom of movement, and greater vitality.
After completing the first tens sessions and having several months integration, many clients return to release the patterns to a deeper level and reinforce the alignment, mobility and gains from the previous life changing sessions.
The System of Rolfing
Rolfing is a proven system of body restructuring and movement education. It releases the body’s segments (legs, torso, arms) from life-long patterns of tension, pain, dysfuction and imbalance.
Rolfing focuses on a layer called fascia, which is the sheathing membrane that covers muscles, tendons, and organs. Fascia, like a girdle, gives shapes and length to soft tissue.
Dr. Ida Rolf discovered over 50 years ago that it was possible to reshape fascia with manipulation and it would stay in the newly formed shape. Painful issues, like scoliosis and sciatica, can be treated without surgery using this reshaping on a whole body basis.
Rolfing helps to address issues of the whole body—how it is ordered and balanced, how it moves, and how one issue can lead to problems elsewhere. Rolfers are specialists at assessing and treating body alignment issues by reshaping fascia and educating clients.
What does a Rolfer Do?
A Rolfer will free the short and tight fascia, allowing the muscles’ return to a balanced relationship and the body to release the compensations. While Rolfing is primarily concerned with structural changes, any change in the physical body affects the whole person, including the release of old wounds and minimization of chronic pain. Clients then experience restored mobility, energy, and a renewed sense of well-being. This work can be transformational!
Rolfing can vastly improve posture, alignment, flexibility, and performance. It can eliminate chronic pain and relieve unnecessary aches, pains, and stiffness. Rolfing aides rehabilitation from an injury—new or old, and often releases deep-seated emotional trauma rooted within the body. Individual treatment tailoring and education gives the client a new awareness of their body needs and strengthens the body/mind connection.
Does Rolfing Hurt?
During treatment there may be momentary discomfort described by most people as “a good hurt.” There is no sense of being injured or unsafe. There is absolutely no abrupt manipulation. Rather, deep, gentle pressure is used with a resultant sense of release/relief. Careful consideration is given to the individual’s pain tolerance and condition.
How is Rolfing Different?
Commonly, the goal of Massage Therapy is to relieve tension, focus on the symptom and create relaxation. The goal of Rolfing is to focus on the root cause, create permanent change, address the symptoms and relieve chronic pain. Rolfing releases holding patterns in the entire body and treats the body as an integrated system. Rolfing is a wholistic approach to health care.
More about Rolfing
Permanent Structural change
We’ve all seen houses in need of repair. If the foundation is compromised then re-hanging the doors that are jamming will not fix the problem. You can saw off the bottom of the jammed door and re-hang it, but until the foundation is level and balanced other problems will show up. It is the same with the human body: we can keep adjusting the neck, shoulder,spine, hips, knees and ankles, but if we do not address the foundtation, imbalances and the root cause, the old pattern will persist. Rolfing is a systematic plan for a body wide structural change that “rebuilds” the system from the ground up.
Have you noticed one hip is more “open” than the other, or that your back is sore when you sit for too long? Do your joints feel restricted? Rolfing works with the fascial layer to create length, mobility and strength , it can help with joint pain, inflexibility and postural imbalances. The work is slow, deliberate and gentle (no, not painful), allowing your nervous system to receive maximum benefit from a Rolfing intervention.
If you have set up a tent, then you know the importance of balance. We learn that the poles or “skeleton” of the tent is as important as the nylon/canvas/cotton fabric or “soft tissue” of the structure. If one side is too tight or loose on one side, the structure is compromised and off, the same thing happens in the body. Keeping your shoulders or head back is a struggle when our structure is not aligned and balanced. Like the tent we are designed to be balanced..
Walking down the hall at work or at school, running in the park, stretching out on a mat, reaching into the back of the vehicle, or just taking a deep, relaxing breath: all these activities become easier when your body is feeling aligned, pain free and balanced.
Freedom from pain
Rolfing addresses the root cause of pain, which is quite often restrictions/limitations brought on by injury, accident, scar tissue, repetitive movements or lifelong postural patterns. Best of all the changes achieved from The Rolfing 10 are often lifelong.