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Is it a sharp pain in the low back when you bend over to tie your shoe? Is it a persistent neck ache that's aggravated by long periods of sitting? If tension, constriction, and pain have become chronic in your life, it is an important signal - a signal that your body is struggling with a structural imbalance.
Than's why many people have turned to Rolfing over the past 40 years. Its hands-on approach to release deeply ingrained patterns of tension and strain has been highly effective in treating everything from neck and back pain to impaired mobility, repetitive stress injuries, and other chronic tension. The Rolfing process goes well beyond conventional therapies and other forms of bodywork to balance the body in gravity for permanent relief. What's more, many people find the Rolfing experience to be an excellent way to keep their bodies flexible and adoptable - able to meet the daily stress and changing demands of life. In fact, professional athletes and dancers have long used Rolfing to enhance their performance. Whatever your profession, passion, or age - Rolfing integration offers you a proven pathway to greatly enhanced physical flexibility, vitality, and balance.
Like every other physical structure in the universe, our bodies react to the constant influence of gravity. When we are out of balance, gravity drags us down, just as it drags down a building that has lost its structural integrity. Whether from poor posture, injury, illness, or emotional distress, an unbalanced body is in a constant tug-of-war with gravity. The result is an accumulation of tension and strain with the body's muscles and surrounding connective tissue that gives rise to pain, rigidity of movement and depleted energy.
The primary aim of the Rolfing process is to permanently release this tension and to overcome deeply ingrained physical restrictions - balancing and realigning your entire body in relation to gravity. Dr. Ida P. Rolf called her revolutionary bodywork approach Structural Integration. Unlike every other form of contemporary bodywork, Rolfing bodywork is the only manipulative system whose ultimate goal is to evoke highly integrated and efficient ways of moving that enable your body to remain effortlessly balanced in gravity.
"One individual may experience his losing fight with gravity as a sharp pain in the back, another as the unflattering contour of his body, another as constant fatigue, and yet another as an unrelenting threatening environment. Some may call it old age; yet all these signals may be pointing to a single problem so prominent in their own structures and the structures of others that has been ignored; they are off-balance; they are at war with gravity."
Dr. Ida P. Rolf
The Rolfing method releases the tension, tightness, and restrictions that are held in the connective tissue - called fascia. Fascia surrounds and penetrates the muscles and every other structure in your body. If you have ever cut into a piece of steak, you have seen the fascia close up - it is the white filmy substance binding muscles together.
Dr. Rolf was the first scientist to recognize the critical role played by the fascia, which gives the human body its specific shape and orientation. While the fascia's remarkable plasticity enables us adapt to stress and injury, it also thickens and rigidifies in response to strains pulling our bodies out of alignment with gravity. Slouched backs with heads too far forward, knock-knees or bowed legs, flat feet or hight arches, excessive spinal curvature - there are all the telltale signs of complex patterns of strain and tightness resulting from the thickening of the muscles and fascia.
Dr. Rolf's deepest practical insight was to recognize that this very same plasticity could be harnessed to literally reshape the body and bring about a fundamental structural transformation. Through highly refined techniques of applying pressure with the hands, a Certified Rolfer can soften and lengthen the fascia, which in turn frees the body from constrictions and enables it to right itself effortlessly in gravity.
For over 4 decades, Rolfing integration has brought lasting relief from chronic conditions of all kinds while promoting an enhanced sense of vitality and well-being in people of all ages and walks of life. The integration consists of 10 Rolfing sessions known as "Ten-Series", the goal of which is to systematically balance and optimize both the structure (shape) and function (movement) of the entire body through the process. Not only does this Rolfing process help you avoid the degenerative effects that arise when you are out of balance with gravity, it also enables you to let go and experience a new sensitivity toward your body and the physical world. Rolfing clients also frequently achieve greater psychological and emotional well-being. It has helped people in psychotherapy gain a more direct connection to their emotional life.
The photo on the left - before session 1, the photo on the right - after session 10 : The pelvis had an anterior tilt before 10 sessions but it moved to a neutral position. The front of the rib cage has been lifted. She was feeling her weight coming down on the ball of the feet, but she is standing in balance after 10 sessions.