What does Rolfing offer over other bodywork methods?
The goal of Rolfing Structural Integration is to balance your body’s structure. To do that, a Rolfer will look at how your entire body posture and movement, with attention to learning how it has compensated and adjusted over time. A 10 session format may be offered but not required. Individual sessions can be provided to accomplish the goal of each of the 10 sessions with attention to the client's specific concerns. Rolfing addresses the whole structure, not just to fix a local problem. The goal in any session is to achieve a more effective, adaptable body postural and movement patterns.
Do I have to do all 10 Session Series?
No, the classic 10 session Series is not encouraged or required. Clients can try a session to see if Rolfing is right. Some people come for two or three sessions and get what they wanted to achieve. Some clients with chronic problems choose to extend their Rolfing beyond the original 10 Session Series. I like the philosophy where the Rolfer and client can create an appropriate approach together.
Are the changes permanent?
Changes gained during Rolfing sessions are long-lasting for most people. Additional sessions with movement/awareness work may be required to develop new habits and energetic use of the body.
What does Rolfing feel like?
Clients might experience intense sensations or soreness at times during a session. At other times, the contact might feel neutral or pleasant. Clients are encouraged to communicate their experiences during a session. Early on, the practice of Rolfing developed a reputation as a painful process. Over time, the Rolfing community has developed the work to be more effective while working at more comfortable levels.
How is Rolfing different than massage?
Traditionally, massage has focused on relaxing and releasing short-term tension or stress. Rolfing is focused on changing chronic patterns of tension, and addressing postural changes. Rolfing is thought to address the body's connective tissue, known as fascia. Fascia is described as the 'glue' that binds and holds everything in place. The Rolfer's pressure is aimed at challenging the fascia that may feel as 'tight' or 'painful' areas which may not be allowing the muscles and joint to function properly. The pace and feel of a Rolfing session encourages the client to develop a personal journey of awareness.
Is Rolfing “deep tissue therapy” or “myofascial therapy”?
Currently, more and more manual therapists work with fascia. “Deep tissue work”, “myofascial release”, and “myofascial therapy” are a few of the names given to such work. What distinguishes Rolfing from other bodywork approaches is in the goals of our work – organizing the body for more efficient mobility, adaptability. Releasing tight tissue is a method that may be needed, but it is not the goal in itself. The goal is a balanced body that functions in an easier and more efficient way.
How is Rolfing different than chiropractic?
Dr. Ida Rolf was influenced by chiropractic in developing her work, in particular the chiropractic observation that the body's form as structure determines it's function (how you feel, how well your body works). Traditional chiropractic has had as its focus the skeletal system. She was most interested in the system of fascia – she believed that a majority of the time, the skeletal system was being pulled out of place by soft tissue, and so she focused her attention on the soft tissue (myofascia) instead. Chiropractic and Rolfing can work well together and are complementary modalities.
Does Rolfing have psychological benefits?
Rolfing can have dramatic and significant effects on the whole person, affecting emotions, perceptions of body image, and attitudes. For some people, the physical holding patterns they have adopted can be related to emotional holding or tension. For others, their structure may carry the effects of emotional or physical trauma. Rolfing can help shift the physical effects of trauma or emotional holding patterns and can be useful as a complement to psychotherapy or personal development work.