“This is the gospel of Rolfing: when the body gets working appropriately, the forces of gravity can flow through. Then, spontaneously, the body heals itself.” –Ida P. Rolf, Ph.D.
What is Rolfing?
Named after it's founder, Ida P. Rolf, Rolfing® Structural Integration is a form of hands-on bodywork and movement education that reorganizes and balances the body by lengthening and repositioning the connective tissues, called fascia, that permeate the entire body.
Rolfers recognize that the body is inherently a system of seamless networks of tissues rather than a collection of separate parts. These connective tissues surround, support, and penetrate all the muscles, bones, organs, and nerves. Rolfers manipulate this web-like system of connective tissues to release, realign and balance the whole body, thus potentially resolving discomfort, reducing compensations and alleviating pain. Rolfing restores the body to a balanced state that allows you to be more comfortable moving in your daily life.
BENEFITS OF ROLFING
Relives tension in the body
Promotes better breathing
Reduces chronic pain
Mobilizes scar tissue
Promotes healing post surgery
Resolves pain from old injuries
Allows you to feel better in your body
How does it work?
When your body is under stress, your tissues contract. How much of the day do you spend hunched over a computer, talking on a cell phone with your head cocked to one side, carrying a baby on one hip, or lugging around a heavy bag? Your body adapts to your activities and over time you get a little lopsided. When one area shortens, another area can over-lengthen to compensate. These compensatory patterns can exhaust your body and cause pain.
Here’s an example:
Let's say that years ago you hurt your shoulder. The injury was not particularly serious, but the pain caused you to avoid using your shoulder as much as possible. Over time your shoulder healed, but the surrounding tissues grew dense and tight because of scar tissue and immobility. Your highly adaptable body found a new way to walk that didn’t involve your shoulder.
Ideally, your entire body is involved in walking. Your spine undulates, your shoulder girdle swings around your ribcage, and your pelvis sways front to back and side to side. Since the tissues around your shoulder have hardened and become less resilient, perhaps your lower back and pelvis overwork to compensate for the lack of movement above. Years later you shoulder seems fine to you. You have gotten used to it feeling a little tight, but now your low back hurts. This is where I come in!
Rolfing, just like yoga, is a process that relies on the wisdom of the body. Human bodies are highly capable of adapting and self healing but sometimes need help to jump start the natural process. Rolfing addresses your whole structure by freeing stuck places and waking up areas that have gotten lazy and stopped doing their job. Rolfers explore the connections between different areas in the body that are affecting each other. When you live in a balanced body, you breath more easily, you feel stronger and more flexible, and daily activities don't wear you out. You become a brighter version of yourself.