What is Rolfing® Structural Integration?
Named after its founder, Dr. Ida P. Rolf, Rolfing Structural Integration is a form of bodywork that reorganizes the connective tissues called fascia.
More than fifty years ago, Dr. Rolf recognized that the body is inherently a system of seamless networks of tissues rather than a collection of separate parts. These connective tissues surround, support and penetrate all of the muscles, bones, nerves and organs. Rolfing Structural Integration works on this web-like complex of connective tissues to release, realign and balance the whole body, thus potentially resolving discomfort, reducing compensations and alleviating pain. Rolfing SI aims to restore flexibility, revitalize your energy and leave you feeling more comfortable in your body.
Essentially, the Rolfing process enables the body to regain the natural integrity of its form, thus enhancing postural efficiency and your freedom of movement.
What are the benefits?
Rolfing Structural Integration has the ability to dramatically alter a person’s posture and structure. Rolfing SI can potentialy resolve discomfort, release tension and alleviate pain. Rolfing SI aims to restore flexibility, revitalize your energy and leave you feeling more comfortable in your body. The genius of the work rests on Dr. Rolf’s insight that the body is more at ease and functions most effectively when its structure is balanced in gravity.
Athletes, dancers, children, business professionals, and people from all walks of life have benefited from Rolfing SI. People seek Rolfing SI as a way to ease pain and chronic stress, and improve performance in their professional and daily activities. It’s estimated that more than 1 million people have received Rolfing work.
Research has demonstrated that Rolfing SI creates a more efficient use of the muscles, allows the body to conserve energy, and creates more economical and refined patterns of movement. Research also shows that Rolfing SI significantly reduces chronic stress and changes in the body structure. For example, a study showed that Rolfing SI significantly reduced the spinal curvature of subjects with lordosis (sway back); it also showed that Rolfing SI enhances neurological functioning.
What is the Ten Series?
The hallmark of Rolfing Structural Integration is a standardized “recipe” known as the Ten-Series, the goal of which is to systematically balance and optimize both the structure (shape) and function (movement) of the entire body over the course of ten Rolfing sessions.
Each session focuses on freeing restrictions or holdings trapped in a particular region of the body. A practitioner also maintains a holistic view of the client’s entire system during each session, thus ensuring the transformational process evolves in a comfortable and harmonious way.
The Ten-Series can be divided into three distinct units:
Called the “sleeve” sessions, session 1-3 strive to loosen and balance surface layers of connective tissue.
Specifically, the first session is devoted to enhancing the quality of breath with work on the arms, ribcage and diaphragm. Opening is also started along the upper leg, hamstrings, neck and spine.
The second session helps give the body a stable foundation by balancing the foot and muscles of the lower leg.
The third session typically involves a “side view” for an understanding of how the head, shoulder girdle, and hips are positionaly related to one another when standing under the influence of gravity. Then, the body is addressed within the context of this new vision.
Sessions 4-7 are referred to as “core” sessions and examine terrain found between the bottom of the pelvis and top of the head. The idea of core also includes the deep tissue of the legs for its role in support.
Session four begins this journey, its territory extends from the inside arch of the foot and up the leg, to the bottom of the pelvis.
The fifth session is concerned with balancing surface and deep abdominal muscles to the curve of the back.
Session six seeks to enlist more support and moment from the legs, pelvis and lower back, while the seventh session turns its sole attention to the neck and head.
During sessions eight and nine, the practitioner determines how best to achieve this integration, as the protocol is unique for each individual.
The tenth and final session is also one of integration, but more importantly, serves to inspire a sense of order and balance. Once completed, the wisdom of the Rolfing Ten Series will drive and support the body with health for years to come.
Graphics courtesy of Matt Hsu, Certified Rolfer™
Does Rolfing hurt?
When some people think of Rolfing Structural Integration, one of the first words that come to their mind is pain. Often, this perception is based on anecdotal accounts of sessions performed during the infancy of Rolfing. Part of this reputation can be attributed to an often-quoted complaint of Dr. Rolf during her training classes that her students failed to work deep enough. Apparently, many assumed that what she meant was that they needed to work harder and deeper. However, we now realize that deep work is not necessarily synonymous with physical intensity.
Put simply, new techniques and approaches are allowing us to dissolve many restrictions in the fascia with little to no pain, oftentimes with more profound and lasting results. In rare instances, a more intense technique may still be required. As the Client, you are always in control of the level of intensity you are comfortable with, something we will constantly check in with throughout each session.
Is Rolfing right for me?
Most likely the answer is yes. Rolfing has helped hundreds of thousands of individuals overcome pain and physical limitations in their lives. Contact Janu for a free consultation to see how Rolfing may be able to help your unique situation.Contact
Can Rolfing help with my condition?
Many individuals have experienced incredible transformation in their lives as a result of receiving Rolfing® Structural Integration.
Some of the many benefits people report after receiving Rolfing® SI include:
- More energy and a greater sense of well being
- Improved relaxation and ability to sleep
- Greater enjoyment and awareness in movement
- A reduction or complete elimination of chronic pain
- Reduced stress
- Improved injury recovery times
- Increased athletic performance and stamina
- Posture improvement and healthier overall appearance
- Cellulite reduction and weight loss
- Enhanced circulation
- Improved organ and digestive function
- Elimination of chronic fatigue symptoms
- Reduced Fibromyalgia pain symptoms
- Reversal and prevention of repetitive motion injuries
- Increased flexibility and coordination
- Elimination of Headaches including Migraines
- Elimination of chronic back pain
- TMJ re-alignment and pain elimination
- A reduction in emotional stress