What is Rolfing® Structural Integration?
Rolfing Structural Integration is an original and scientifically validated system of body restructuring and movement education, and the worlds most advanced form of bodywork. The Rolfing technique resembles a slow deep tissue massage, but focuses on layers of restricted connective tissue in the entire body called fascia, rather then on isolated regions of contracted muscle tissue like during massage. Rolfing treats the body as whole by systematically reshaping, reorganizing and integrating the physical structure into balance with gravity. Rolfing is interactive, self-empowering and more invigorating then massage.
Who gets Rolfed?
Athletes, dancers, students of yoga and meditation, artists, actors, musicians, business people, people riddled with chronic pain and stress and those seeking improved performance in their professions and daily activities. People of all ages use Rolfing to optimize the experience of living in their body and to come into a more personal and profound relationship with earth, spirit, self and other.
Most human beings are significantly out of alignment with gravity; gravity is the basic shaper of the body. From birth until death gravity is always working on us. Our bodies get pulled into unnatural positions, which result in chronic patterns of tension, stress and pain. Mind and body are mutually sustaining and we can become rigid, inflexible and “set in our ways”. We function better when our bodies are aligned with the gravitational field of the earth.
In its optimal condition fascia (connective tissue) is a white, loose, fibrous, moist tissue. Like a multi-layered stocking fascia surrounds, supports and connects every muscle, organ, tendon and bone, giving our body shape and strength. Healthy fascia helps facilitate fluid movement between different parts of the body. Much like a sculptor working with clay, a Rolfer works with the body’s living malleable myofascial system, by lengthening and releasing age-old fascial restrictions that inhibit fluid movement, causing imbalance, chronic tension and pain. Restrictions can be related to posture and movement patterns, or the times in our lives when the sympathetic (fight and flight) branch of our autonomic nervous system responds to protect us, like during an accident, injury, or intense emotional experience.
What happens and what’s involved?
Over a series of sessions, both client and Rolfer work together to “lift” head, shoulder, thorax, pelvis and legs, into vertical alignment. Each session builds on the cumulative results of the previous one. Chronic discomforts often disappear immediately, or soon after the series are completed. A sense of lightness and internal “rightness,” along with more energy and greater mobility are often the result. Rolfing creates long-lasting change by addressing the underlying cause for pain and tension. The goal of Rolfing goes beyond relieving tension in isolated body regions, instead the entire body is integrated in gravity so the body as a whole functions more efficiently. People who have been Rolfed move with more surety and grace and often report positive changes in their outlook on life. Benefits often include improved posture, self-confidence and body awareness, increased vitality, mental clarity and relief from chronic pain.
Treatments are offered in a series of ten sessions that are approximately one hour in length and usually spaced one week apart. Individual non-series sessions are also available.
How long does Rolfing last?
Unlike massage or other forms of bodywork, Rolfing changes the structure of your body. The effects of Rolfing are long-term and last many years. In addition to changing the body, Rolfers make themselves obsolete by empowering their clients to take charge of their own physical and emotional health.