By Gillian B
In a search to resolve some long-standing structural imbalances in my body, I came across a unique bodywork technique called Rolfing. While it has a peculiar name, as a therapy it works wonders!
What the heck is Rolfing?
Developed by Dr. Ida Rolf, Rolfing, or Structural Integration, is designed to unwind whole body patterns of restriction and restore the body’s balanced relationship with gravity.
Dr. Rolf’s theory was that the cause of human discomfort, both physical and emotional, may lie in our internal connective tissue and the relationship it has with the earth’s gravitational field. Through a series of 10 sessions, called a “recipe”, Rolfing works to rebuild the body from the ground up.
Structural Integration can help:
- poor posture, chronic aches and pains, accidents and trauma, everyday stress and strain
- athletes, musicians, performers, people looking to enhance performance of all kinds
- people interested in exploring personal growth, and improving overall health and well-being
Rolfing.org claims: “A recent investigation demonstrates that the basic 10 sessions of Rolfing Structural Integration, when applied by a physical therapist with advanced certification, is capable of significantly decreasing pain and increasing active range of motion in adult subjects, male and female, with complaints of cervical spine dysfunction, regardless of age.”
It is very different from the type of adjustments that you would get from a chiropractor or osteopath. The sessions build on each other, and contain an array of structural goals and intentions, rebalancing various structures and relationships in the body. For example, the goals of session one include things like lengthening the front of the rib cage, balancing the relationships between the rib cage, shoulders and neck, and balancing the relationships between the rib cage and pelvis. Session two proceeds onwards to unwind patterns of compensations in the legs, and then to reestablish a longer, lighter, and stronger spine. Over the course of the 10 sessions the chronic tension in the body’s structure unwinds and everything falls back into place.
Here is a video outlining what you can expect at your Rolfing session:
All in all, I have to say is that Rolfing ROCKS. If you want to bring your body back into alignment, you should definitely find a practitioner near you!