Rolfing ® is a form of bodywork that combines guided movement by the client with hands-on manipulation by the therapist to gradually release restrictions in the body. The goal of Rolfing® is to change physical structure, to help the body reclaim its optimum natural alignment and balance in gravity. It works directly on the network of soft tissue called fascia that maintains tension throughout the body and creates each individual’s unique shape.
Rolfing® has also been successful in reducing chronic muscle strain. Postural problems, injuries, repetitive motions, surgeries and scars, and even everyday physical and psychological stress can tighten muscles, misalign bones and diminish mobility. By lengthening the affected muscles and tissue, Rolfing® focuses on the source of tension. Dr. Ida Rolf, the creator of this work in the 1940’s, found that when restrictions are released, the tissue’s natural elasticity and mobility are restored, bones regain their correct position, and the body is better able to release tension and pain. Clients report greater energy, increased freedom of movement, and an enhanced sense of well-being.
What to expect?
Each session of Rolfing ® begins with a visual and hands-on assessment of the client’s individual structure and movement. Most of the work is than accomplished with the client lying on a massage table, sitting on a bench, or standing and moving in specific ways while the Rolfer® works with his hands and elbows to address various parts of the body. The client’s sensations can vary greatly from pleasure to burning, but should not require bracing or tightening anywhere in the body.
The classic series consists of ten sessions, each lasting approximately 75 minutes. There is no requirement for a client to commit beyond any one session. However, each session builds upon the previous and anticipates the next, while also paying special attention to individual needs and issues. Sessions will often include education on movement and posture that takes on the form of “homework” between sessions. Once a series has begun, succeeding sessions should ideally be scheduled in intervals of no more than 3 weeks.