In Rolfing we see bringing the body into proper alignment as a path to health. A body that is aligned functions as it should. Thus, Rolfing sessions are designed to bring your body into better alignment so you move better and feel better.
Each session has structural and functional goals. The practitioner considers the specific imbalances in your body and what changes will make the biggest difference towards helping you to achieve those goals.
Sessions begin with a visual analysis of your structure and movement patterns. Then a combination of techniques are employed to bring your body closer to being in balance.
Sessions combine manual therapy, movement work, and client education. Sessions are typically done in a series to provide lasting results.
Benefits of Rolfing
Most people come to me for pain relief and improved posture. People often find surprising benefits to the work. These benefits include:
How long are sessions?
Sessions are usually about 50 minutes. There is some variation in session length because the length of the session is determined by the amount of time it takes to achieve the best results for the session.
What should I wear?
You will be on and off the table during the session so you must wear something you feel comfortable being see in. Usually underwear or loose fitting clothing works best.
The Rolfing Ten Series
The hallmark of Rolfing is a series of ten sessions that systematically brings your body into balance. Each session has common structural and functional goals, but is unique to the individual patterns in your body. The ten series is distinct from other therapies in that it optimizes the body's relationship with gravity.
These sessions focus on preparing your body for the deeper work that is done in sessions 4-7. The body is made more adaptable, given more bilateral support, and is balanced front to back.
The relationships between the deeper structures of your body are brought into balance. The line of support from the arch of the foot through the crown of the head is lengthened.
The spine is freed from compensations in the limbs. The body's horizontals are balanced to maximize verticality.
History of Rolfing
In 1920, Ida Rolf received her Ph.D. in biochemistry from the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Columbia University. Despite the resistance she faced as a woman in the field of science, she furthered her knowledge of the body through research in organic chemistry at the Rockefeller Institute.
Driven to find solutions to her own health problems as well as those of her two sons, she spent many years studying and experimenting with different systems of healing and manipulation.
Throughout most of her life she was intrigued with and explored many forms of alternative healing including homeopathy, osteopathy, chiropractic, and yoga. The notion that proper alignment, physiologic function, and anatomical structure are related is the basis of many of these healing methods.
Dr. Rolf agreed that the body functions best when the bony segments are in proper alignment. She added her observations that lasting improvement in alignment and an overall sense of well-being required a closer look at the effects of gravity on our bodies. She believed that the imbalances in structure placed demands on the body's pervasive network of soft tissues: muscles, fascia, tendons, and ligaments, thereby creating compensations throughout the body structure.
Dr. Rolf posed this fundamental question: "What conditions must be fulfilled in order for the human body-structure to be organized and integrated in gravity so that the whole person can function in the most optimal and economical way?"
Her life's work was devoted to this investigation which led to the system of soft tissue manipulation and movement education that we now call Rolfing.