Rolfing® structural integration has the ability to dramatically alter your posture and, by extension, your life.
Rolfing is a system for improving human physical structure and function. By slowly stretching and freeing the connective tissue – which holds muscles, bones and organs together – Rolfers restore flexibility, alignment and comfort to your body.
It’s estimated that over a million athletes, dancers, children, business professionals, and people from all walks of life have benefited from Rolfing since its development 50 years ago by Ida Rolf.
Rolfing can help you:
- straighten and lengthen your body
- finally release chronic muscular tension
- increase joint movement and flexibility
- improve circulation and your ability to breathe
- increase your body awareness
- become more efficient and graceful in your movements
- reduce symptoms from physical/emotional trauma
By working on your connective tissue, you can release, realign and rebalance the whole body. Rolfing can resolve pain and discomfort from many different causes, including back pain, repetitive motion injury, trauma, and aging and helps prevent problems by helping you relieve stiffness and tightness that predispose you to injury.
Rolfing is also an excellent foundation for and complement to yoga, pilates and other personal wellness practices.
Rolfing has been the subject of important research, with studies conducted at major universities, such as UCLA and the University of Maryland. Research has demonstrated that Rolfing creates a more efficient use of the muscles, allows the body to conserve energy, and creates more economical and refined patterns of movement. Research also shows that Rolfing significantly reduces chronic stress and promotes positive changes in body structure. For example, a study showed that Rolfing significantly reduced the spinal curvature of subjects with lordosis (sway back); it also showed that Rolfing enhances neurological functioning.
WHY IS IT HELPFUL?
Stress, trauma, and repeated imbalanced movement will eventually shorten the connective tissue leaving the body less flexible and often imbalanced. Rolfing reverses this process with slow hands-on manipulation that restores length, flexibility and balance.
On the physical level, it can help you release adhesions, strains, and sprains in the connective tissue. Your muscles become freer as the connective tissue around the muscles become more flexible. On the nervous system level, you become more aware of how your body moves, works, and feels so that you become less prone to injury.
HOW IS IT SET UP? WHAT WILL MY FIRST APPOINTMENT BE LIKE?
In the first session you will discuss your physical history and your goals. You’ll then begin the process of treating the connective tissue layer by layer, starting with the more surface or superficial layers of the connective tissue, we will work slowly and gradually to restore ease in breathing and comfort throughout most of the upper body.
I HAVE HEARD THERE IS CAN BE AN EMOTIONAL ASPECT TO ROLFING?
Any emotion we have is actually a physical event that changes the tone, length, position and even temperature of our muscles and connective tissue. Repeated or traumatic events can be recorded as stress, sadness or fear that is held in the body in the form of rigidity, jumpiness, and changes in posture. As the Rolfing slowly and carefully releases the tissue, these feelings dissolve in a way that is not overwhelming or re-traumatizing.
DOES ROLFING HURT? I'VE HEARD RUMORS...
Often people will “feel” an old injury or pain as it is released through Rolfing, but that is followed by the feeling of relief and well-being as flexibility and balance is restored to those areas.
WHEN I GET ROLFING, WILL THE CHANGES LAST?
The changes will not only last but they often continue after the sessions are over. In the same way that an imbalanced movement will eventually distort or wear down the alignment of the body, balanced and efficient movements will build the body back up.
WON'T MY BAD HABITS PULL MY BODY BACK OUT OF ALIGNMENT?
Rolfing increases the body awareness and makes people more sensitive to the effect of “bad habits” or imbalanced movement patterns. It naturally feels better to be efficient and balanced so the body instinctively will move in a more balanced way.
CAN ROLFING HELP WITH THE EFFECTS OF SHOCK AND/OR TRAUMA?
The effects of shock and trauma are extensive, involving the nervous system as well as the physical structure and function of the body. At times, a physical symptom or imbalance can connect to other deeper symptoms of trauma that may be buried in one’s nervous system or memory. In recent years, many Rolfers have deepened their understanding of trauma and its treatment by studying the techniques of Dr. Peter Levine (known as Somatic Experiencing.) These techniques have increased the trauma healing component of Rolfing. Some people choose to continue with separate session of Somatic Experiencing to help resolve the effects of trauma in their bodies and their lives.
WHAT IS ADVANCED ROLFING?
After the basic Rolfing is completed, the body evolves and changes, and in time deeper, more subtle work becomes possible. The advanced Rolfing designed for the Rolfing client who has already had the basic 10-session series.
WHO WAS IDA ROLF?
Ida Rolf was an American Biochemist who studied the flexibility of proteins in connective tissue in the 1930’s and 1940’s. During that period her son was ill and she could not find a doctor who could properly diagnose his condition. She finally realized that her son’s problems were due to pressure on his internal organs from a compressed physical structure. Following an instinct, she began to massage and manipulate his body until the pressure was released and his problems disappeared. She went on to develop Rolfing over a 30 year period. Ida Rolf created the Rolf Institute after many years of writing and lecturing.