What Is Rolfing? – Named after its founder, Dr. Ida P. Rolf, Rolfing Structural Integration is a form of manual therapy that allows a person of any age to regain postural efficiency and freedom of movement. It creates feelings of wellbeing and can revive vitality.
Understanding Rolfing starts with an understanding of posture and physics. The body is subject to gravity just like all matter. What we see as “good” posture is balanced mass flowing easily through functional mechanics or as we call them: joints. When we see “bad” posture we recognize that the force of gravity is creating drag and beginning to pull the structure down just as it would a building that has lost it’s structural integrity.
Rolfing uses techniques of tissue manipulation of varying depths along with movement education to create postural alignment, dynamic support and balanced functioning of the joints and muscles. The resulting alignment allows optimal movement that requires minimal effort, and therefore leaves more ease and energy for life.
Rolfers are trained to see details in the contours and flow of a body to identify maladaptive patterns and shortening in the tissues. This way Rolfer and client together can make be selective with where, when, how and how much tissue manipulation will be best to free tissues and also build better organization in the body. Your sessions will often start with movement analysis to give your Rolfer clues as to where manipulation and intervention would be most optimal.
Often maladaptive patterns result in shortening and thickening of tissues. These have often been created from injuries and their compensations both physical and emotional; habitual movements from work or work environments; and even incorrect perceptions of our own identities.
A Rolfer may notice shoulders that are pulled forward, and look for clues as the client walks around the treatment room. Is it from shortening in pectoralis major or pectorals minor? Perhaps the abs and obliques are pulling down on the anterior rib cage pulling the shoulders forward. Or perhaps it is a pelvis that is tipped anteriorly and failing to offer support for the upper body. Your Rolfer will look at all of these details and more, factoring in your inner experience and also your body history. From that, your Rolfer will create a session that is specifically tailored to reach the goals of the session for you and your body.
Rolfing works best and most completely through the classic “Rolfing Ten Series,” ten sessions reflecting ten goals that were created by Ida Rolf to open and balance the entire body. The average spacing between these sessions is one to two weeks, though
they can be spaced out as far as once a month if necessary. (More sessions may be necessary or desired depending on the individual and their particular process.)
After completing the Rolfing Ten Series, inappropriate patterns of movement are corrected, and the body is more effortlessly upright, balanced and at ease. Graduates of the Rolfing Ten Series report feeling lighter, freer, and have a more balanced and positive emotional outlook. Old attitudes become easier to release as stuck body patterns recede. Schedule today for a free half hour consultation.
Rolfing is not intended to be a substitute for medical treatment. It does not attempt to diagnose or prescribe. Its sole purpose is to bring order to structure, and it is through the accomplishment of that purpose the function of the whole person is enhanced.