Many people are unfamiliar with the term Rolfing® and have asked what it is. So I would like to take this opportunity to educate you on it:
Well, in 10 words or less Rolfing is realigning your body and getting you out of chronic pain! The term “Rolfing” refers to a system of body education and physical manipulation developed by Dr. Ida P. Rolf. It is a method of structural integration, a product of 50 years of study by Dr. Rolf. Dr. Rolf saw the body held together by fascia, a sheet-like web of tissue that holds together the muscles, bones, organs and other soft body structures. Think of the skin on a chicken; that’s fascia. When the fascia is damaged by injury, chronic poor posture or long-term emotional tension, the body becomes stiff and sore. Before I continue, for those of you who have heard of Rolfing, I would like to dispel a myth: Rolfing is not necessarily painful! Rolfing is a form of deep tissue massage in which the fascia or connective tissues are lengthened in order to hydrate the tissues, which encourages the fascia to become more flexible and improve circulation as well as breathing. Basically, Rolfing aims to pull your body structure back together after it’s been thrown off kilter.
Dr. Rolf saw the body as a series of blocks stacked on a column ~ the head, shoulders, torso, pelvis, and legs. Normally, the blocks are held together by the fascia and kept in vertical alignment by the pull of gravity. Now imagine if one of the blocks gets injured and displaced, the stack becomes misaligned creating physical and emotional discomfort.
You might ask yourself, why might I consider Rolfing? Good question. The answer is to get relief from pain and stress in the body, but also to improve performance in daily activities, improve posture (e.g. one shoulder higher than the other), for relief from acute or chronic pain, carpal tunnel syndrome, and to obtain a sense of feeling grounded, confident, fluid in movement. In general, to live more comfortably in your body. The list is endless.
Rolfing is not necessarily painful. Although not generally as soothing as Swedish massage, many of my clients do find Rolfing relaxing. As with a massage, you may feel some discomfort as areas that have been chronically sore are worked through. Rolfing, however, is more active than a massage. I will request movement from you and of course ask you to BREATHE! When you fully participate we get to a deeper level of relief and benefits.
Rolfing is a strategy of a standard 10 session series, which may be completed at the rate of one session per week or spread over a duration of 6 months. The sessions last approximately one hour. I think of the sessions as a partnership; we work together as a team. This may not be quite as relaxing as recieving a Swedish massage, although many of my clients do find it relaxing. I will request movement from you, and of course, ask you to BREATHE! I feel that when a client participates, we are able to access at a much deeper level. The basic 10 sessions follow a particular sequence and each prepares the body for the next session. Each of the first several sessions releases restrictions in specific areas of the body and progressively reinforces the results of the previous one. The last three sessions integrate the work of the earlier ones and fine-tune the relationships between segments to bring your body to optimal balance. We work within your threshold.
There are times when I may have to do a movement session, which will improve range of motion (ROM) functionally as well as structurally. If need be, I may also include some Energy Work such as Reiki, Biodynamic Cranio Sacral Therapy if you are open to it. If not, no big deal. Sometimes we might have to add an additional session or two depending on your structure. Of course, it is always your choice.