Rolfing® Structural Integration is an holistic form of bodywork that was developed by Dr. Ida Rolf in the 1950’s. Rolfing involves hands on manipulation of the fascia alongside movement and perceptual education, over a series of sessions designed to bring greater balance, and thereby freedom, to the body. By alleviating any strain that may be distorting the web of fascia interweaving our entire structure, Rolfing can help realign the body into a healthier and more comfortable relationship to gravity. It can be particularly helpful for chronic conditions.
Gravity is the one constant that we are all navigating. If we are adaptable and stable (therefore balanced) in relation to this force we feel open, energised, resilient. This ability to continually respond to gravity in order to stay upright, alongside the way we habitually move, is what shapes our body to give us the posture that we move through life with.
Discomfort may arise when these patterns of response become restrictive, limiting our mobility and placing excessive stresses on certain areas that bring them to a point of imbalance. This may be as a result of physical trauma (injuries or illness), emotional trauma, repetitive actions, a sedentary lifestyle or limiting habitual patterns, and can lead to discomfort, restriction, disorientation, pain, tiredness, or a general sense of feeling ‘out of sorts’. Rolfing® Structural Integration works to bring balance to the body in order for it to more efficiently negotiate this downward force of gravity.
It does this through a combination of hands on manipulation of the connective tissue, movement, and perceptual education that works directly with the body’s fascial network. This ‘web’ interconnects the entire structure, surrounding individual muscle fibers, linking muscle to bone, and forming tendons and ligaments. It is extremely adaptable to changes that may occur within the system, providing an extraordinary structural resilience through the optimal interplay between stability and adaptability.
The touch within a Rolfing session is precise and perceptive, ranging from light ‘listening’ through to a deeper manipulation of the tissue to create more space and facilitate flow throughout the structure. Alongside this, the work helps extend the perceptual understanding and embodiment of new experiences as the journey progresses. This enables us to orient within different contexts, bringing a clear sense of support from the ground with the ability to freely express ourselves.
Rolfing can be beneficial for anyone looking to improve posture, flexibility, stamina or strength and find a greater spectrum of movement and ease. It can be particularly beneficial for chronic issues, with people coming to Rolfing for help with aspects such as:
• Shoulder and Neck Tension
• Chronic pain
• Postural improvement
• Recovery post injury or surgery
• Tiredness and low energy
• Breathing problems
• Digestive issues
• Sense of physical ‘unease’
• Injury prevention or to enhance a movement practice/training (i.e. dancers/actors/circus performers, Yoga and Pilates practitioners, and athletes).
One to three sessions may be enough to bring relief from a particular discomfort. However, if you are looking for overall changes to patterns that have been built over time then it is generally advised to undergo a series of 10-15 sessions. This gives the time needed to embody a new way of relating to gravity and establishing a more balanced pattern of use. In order for the client to be able to assimilate changes to lasting effect in relation to the ongoing demands placed upon them within daily life, the process allows time and space, generally taking place every 2 – 5 weeks.
If you’re not sure whether Rolfing is for you, please don’t hesitate to get in touch to ask questions and/or come try a session.