Rolfing® & Structural Integration
What Is Rolfing™?
Rolfing® Structural Integration is a hands-on manipulation and movement re-education system which was developed by American biochemist Dr Ida P Rolf in the 1950’s.
Over ten structured sessions, Rolfing® helps to unwind layers of tissue strain, which may have built up over many years due to injury, habitual movement patterns or emotional holding. Undergoing the full Rolfing® series is like giving your body a much needed service. It improves posture, balance and muscle coordination for more energy and greater freedom of movement.The Rolfing® “Ten series” can be viewed as a basic recipe which all Rolfers follow to achieve the common goal of balancing the client’s body in gravity. However, each client is unique and it is possible to adapt the recipe to suit the client’s needs.
Like massage and physical therapy, Rolfing® works with the soft tissue. However, massage generally addresses problems that are more acute and the primary goal is often one of relaxation. Massage is not designed to treat long-standing structural or chronic issues.
Chiropractors principally concentrate on adjusting the vertebrae of the spine. Rolfers work with the soft tissue system known as 'fascia'. Fascia is a specialised highly inervated system of body tissue that you can conceptualise as being similar to a spider's web or the densely woven yarn of a woollen jumper. Fascia is also densely woven; it covers and penetrates every muscle, nerve, artery, vein and bone. It also enfolds all of our internal organs, including the brain, lungs, heart and spinal cord.
The fascial system is one continuous structure that exists from head to toe. The entire body is inter-connected to every other part by the fascial system. Just as a distortion or tight pull of the woollen yarn in a jumper affects the shape and container of the entire jumper, the body also develops myofascial restrictions over time through trauma, surgery and inflammation. Rolfers work directly on the fascia to improve its pliability, remove restrictions and re-organise the body as a whole.The Rolfing® process puts a vast amount of new information into the body which provides changed structural relationships, greater body awareness and new movement possibilities.
Rolfing® is able to address local issues of discomfort in the global context of the body. Frequently the pain or tension we feel is coming from another area of the body and unless this is addressed, any local intervention may only offer temporary relief.
Rolfing® improves more than posture and issues of pain. The release of long held tension often results in people reporting a newfound sense of vitality, grounding, freer breath and a sense of vitality in their bodies and wider lives This often provides clearer personal boundaries and is the catalyst for much needed life changes and decisions.
Rolfing® is able to provide long lasting relief from most muscle and joint pains, such as RSI, back and neck pain, migraines, scoliosis, shin splints and plantar fasciitis. Rolfing™ is also highly beneficial for athletes, dancers, yoga practitioners and performing musicians who seek to reduce or address injuries and avoid stress to strained muscles and joints. For those who undertake the full ten series, it can be of benefit to return after some time to address new discoveries and work on specific issues. This is particularly pertinent for people with ongoing chronic conditions.