Rolf Structural Integration, called Rolfing, originated from the work of Dr. Ida P. Rolf. It is a healing approach that views the body's connective tissues and skeletal framework as a holistic system. Any imbalance in this system will develop into greater imbalances which affect one's overall health, energetic, and emotional wellbeing.
Rather than identifying specific parts or pieces that need to be manipulated for healing, Rolf structural integration works under the understanding that connective tissues are integrated into all aspects of the human body. Therefore, they should be treated as a seamless network, or web, rather than individual isolated parts for long-term healing to occur.
Is Rolf Structural Integration Painful?
Clients have often overheard that Rolfing is a painful process, albeit with hugely beneficial results. While some aspects of deep fascia and connective tissue work can cause temporary discomfort, clients should always communicate their pain level to the Rolfer so that the techniques can be appropriately adjusted.
What Is Involved in Rolf Structural Integration?
Rolfing can be viewed as the middle-point where chiropractic and various massage therapies meet. It consists of 10 sessions, all of which last for approximately 60 - 90 minutes. Each session has a specific target goal and the licensed Rolfer and client work together to release tension and constrictions that exist along various fascia planes. It is always done with attention to the body's posture and alignment. Rolfers focus their awareness on the body's responses, which indicate when fascia releases have occurred.
Therapists begin by visually observing clients' standing posture, to identify where imbalances exist and areas where tension and constriction are held. Unlike most therapies that involve relatively little feedback from clients, Rolfing relies on feedback from the client so that the sessions can remain as pain-free as possible, and allow Rolfers to assess their work based on a client's feelings and responses.
The relief and healing provided by body-based healing techniques can be quickly reversed if a client has chronic poor posture, a job requiring repetitive motion or unhealthy body positioning, or experiences reoccurring strain and injury - as experienced by athletes and dancers. Patients' actions, behaviors, and lifestyles can inadvertently return muscle and connective tissues to their previously harmful patterns. Rolfing provides a process towards permanent overall structural health, which results in pain relief, relaxation, and energetic balance.
As connective tissue, fascia, and the skeletal system are released from unhealthy patterns of tension and restriction, healthy posture and energy are restored.
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