Rolfing® is named after its founder, Dr. Ida P. Rolf, a biochemist and Rockefeller University fellow. Dr. Rolf's profound inquiry centered around enhancing the whole person by organizing the body in gravity. She created a holistic system of soft tissue manipulation and movement education that she named "Structural Integration."
Rolfing strives to align and balance the body’s components until the entire system is a smoothly functioning coordinated whole. For example, the legs are aligned to the hips, shoulders to rib cage, the body is positioned over the feet, and then all of these joints and related tissue are integrated to one another.
A few of the many benefits people experience are reduced pain, an enhanced sense of body awareness, and improved posture.
These wonderful transformations are possible because Rolfing addresses the body’s internal system of flexible support, otherwise known as fascia. This amazing substance surrounds every muscle fiber, encases all joints and even has a role in the nervous system.
Think of the fascial system as an intricate internal guywire network for the body. And if one set of support wires becomes tight or out of place, the excess tension may appear as nagging joint pain, muscle soreness, or a postural shift.
The hallmark of Rolfing Structural Integration is a standardized “recipe” known as the Ten Series, the goal of which is to systematically balance and optimize both the structure (shape) and function (movement) of the entire body over the course of ten Rolfing sessions.
Each session focuses on freeing restrictions or holdings trapped in a particular region of the body. Using a holistic view of the client’s entire system during each session, the transformational process evolves in a comfortable and harmonious way. The Ten Series can be divided into three distinct units:
Loosens and balances surface layers of connective tissue. Work is on the arms, ribcage, diaphragm, upper leg, hamstrings, neck, spine, foot and muscles of the hips and lower leg.
Examines the terrain found between the bottom of the pelvis and top of the head. The idea of core also includes the deep tissue of the legs for its role in support.
Blends previously established advancements, and ones yet to be made, into the body in a way that encourages smooth movement and natural coordination to inspire a sense of order and balance.
Once completed, the wisdom of the "Rolfing Ten Series" will drive and support the body with health for years to come.
For those Rolfing clients who choose to pay in advance for all ten sessions, you will receive a 5% discount on your ten-session Rolfing series.
The Rolfing Ten Session Series is designed to leave your structure balanced and integrated at the end of the series. Generally, changes achieved during the Rolfing Ten Session Series last if your body is able to adjust and integrate to the work and the new information received. New movement patterns learned during Rolfing tend to integrate better into daily life when clients practice movement awareness and continue to schedule advanced Rolfing sessions. Many Rolfing clients who complete a Rolfing Ten Session Series view Rolfing as an important way to maintain their structural alignment and well-being. They schedule regular "tune-ups" (also known as advanced sessions) on a systematic monthly basis.
This is particularly common among athletes, computer operators, musicians, dentists, dental hygienists, hair stylists, surgeons, and those suffering from congenital or accident-related issues.
Rolfing is extremely valuable for people who experience a high level of stress. Advanced Rolfing, scheduled after the Rolfing Ten Session Series is complete, can help you maintain your good health and postural alignment throughout the course of your life.
What is Rolfing? Is it something that could help ease muscle tension?
If you're plagued by muscle pain, Dr. Oz recommends a technique called Rolfing, which he describes as "even deeper than a deep-tissue massage." This technique, which was developed by Dr. Ida Pauline Rolf, aims to separate bound-up connective tissues (or fascia), which link the muscles. "Rolfing literally releases the joints," Dr. Oz says. "When you talk to folks about the impact it has on them, a lot of them just stand taller. A lot is just freeing you up to live the way you're supposed to live."
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What conditions are best treated with Rolfing?
People seek Rolfing as a way to ease pain and chronic stress as well as to improve performance in their professional and daily activities. Because chronic stress often leads to tension in the upper back, neck and shoulders, Rolfing can help the body break these patterns that contribute to chronic discomfort. Athletes may also benefit from Rolfing's ability to promote muscular efficiency.
Studies have shown that those with neurological impairments such as carpal tunnel syndrome, piriformis syndrome and pronator syndrome can benefit from this structural realignment. Rolfing may be able to relax tissues contributing to jaw pain in a condition known as temporomandibular joint disorder, or TMJD. Asthmatics may also consider Rolfing as a means to break up restrictive patterns in nerves and muscles in the chest that limit full chest expansion. Rolfing can often effectively address structural problems that contribute to low back pain. It can be a beneficial treatment for posture problems, with studies showing effectiveness in the treatment of lordosis or curvature of the spine.
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Reviewed By Michael Smith, MD
Concert pianist Leon Fleisher almost played his way out of a career. The repetitive stress of daily practice, rehearsals, and performances left him with a crippling hand injury that sidelined him for 30 years. Though he continued to teach, conduct, and perform musical compositions written solely for the left hand, his ability to use his right hand was virtually nil. For years he explored practically every diagnostic and therapeutic option he heard about, with little or no success, until his wife suggested Rolfing. Ten months later, Fleisher was once again performing -- this time with both hands. Fleisher is not alone in having found relief from intense, crippling pain through this form of massage. Rolfing, which is named for the woman who developed it -- Ida P. Rolf, PhD -- is attracting increasing attention as more people, including celebrities such as actor LeVar Burton of Star Trek fame, and athletes such as Olympic figure skater Elvis Stojko, credit Rolfing for not only easing pain, but also with helping them gain more self-esteem and realize their potential.
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