People come to Rolfing Structural Integration because they want to feel better, more confident, free from pain, chronic postural restrictions and structural imbalances.
Simply ask yourself the following questions and if you say “Yes” to any of them then perhaps it is time to be Rolfed:
• Are you having chronic pain?
• Would you like your body to function with ease?
• Have you been feeling locked up, rigid, asymmetrical, and unable to move with ease?
• Have you had a surgery or an injury that you are not recovering from?
• Are you done with your past, but your past isn’t done with you?
You may be stuck behind a desk all day feeling progressively compressed, stiff and inflexible? Have difficulty reaching for that jar on a shelf or the pen that has dropped on the floor – once easily reachable now just out of reach. Or suffering from stress and finding it difficult to let go and relax.
Clients have often tried other therapies, like Massage and Osteopathy without success. Others have reported that a course of Rolfing® has helped them to negotiate through a difficult time, boosting their emotional and psychological resilience through the sessions. Creating and allowing space for life’s challenges to unfold without taking them onboard.
Rolfers work on and with the whole body to encourage better alignment, ease and efficiency.
Recognizing that when there is strain in the body the forces travel across muscle groups via the connective tissue system (myofascia) connecting muscles, bones, joints, organs and pretty much anything else you can think of. Fascia is good at connecting things together and it is this interconnectedness that interweaves with every muscle fibre, continuous even with the tendons that attach muscle to bone. Surrounding and supporting our whole body in this way. Similar to the idea that a fly wriggling in a well-tensioned spider’s web can be sensed throughout the whole webs network.
Such is the influence and sensitivity of fascia in our bodies, so it may come as no surprise that when there is strain, injury, disease, lack of movement or overuse (by too much activity, posture or habit) fascia responds by making even more connections, forming restrictions, scars, and adhesions . In these situations fascia becomes over-linked (stuck together) with its surrounding structures and when this happens it binds, restricts and pulls much like a too tight Jumper. For example If you were to snag your onesy on a branch of a tree it might restrict your movement at one corner and then the whole jumper will naturally accommodate and distribute that pull/force.
Much in the same way as a wetsuit that is three sizes too small, the body distributes strain in the same way across the whole myofascial system.. A tight body is not only more prone to injury and pain, its performance is limited. Part of the problem is that the wetsuit gradually shrunk over many years causing you to lose awareness of its effect on your performance.
“When the body is working properly, the force of gravity can flow through it. Then, spontaneously, the body heals itself.”
A Rolfing® process can be deeply transformative and clients often discover a new ways of inhabiting and owning their body, changes in behaviour can also ensue, such as clearer boundaries, more confidence and greater autonomy.
A Rolfing Structural Integration series is a process, taking you through a course of individually tailored sessions. This Rolfing process allows you to explore how your body is organising itself in the field of gravity, looking at ways of bringing the body into balance. Its systematic and cumulative that takes place typically over 7-10 sessions (sometimes more) each one focusing on a particular theme and building on the results of the last. In the sessions I use body reading, discussion, hands-on manipulation of the connective tissue (fascia), movement and perceptual work. Each successive session of Rolfing builds upon the results of the previous session, providing for a progressive evolution of healing and development. Sessions have specific goals and themes for example session 1 aims to open and establish a freer, more balanced and efficient breathing pattern. Increasing capacity and energy, while session 2 aims to balance the structures in the feet and legs to create stronger foundations from the ground up supporting the work with the breathing from the previous session.
Dr. Ida Rolf spent her life exploring the healing possibilities held within the human mind and body. She graduated from Columbia university with a doctorate in Biochemistry and went on to attain professorship at the Rockefeller Institute for medical research, no minor achievement for a woman in the 1920’s.
She brought these insights together in the system of structural integration which is now known as Rolfing. Founded after her death in 1979, the Rolfing Institute of Structural Integration has shared her work across the world.