Sometimes, when we most need a change in our life, we stumble upon something amazing. Rolfing is that special something that has helped so many who were struggling with physical or emotional pain.
Rolfing, also known as structural integration, is a type of bodywork named after Dr. Ida Rolf, a biochemist who learned from osteopathy, yoga and physical therapy. The ultimate goal of Rolfing is to bring body segments into proper alignment, called ‘integration’, to improve overall health.
Essentially, Rolfing is a way of manipulating soft tissue using gravity. Known as ‘Rolfing bodywork,’ the treatment is aimed at improving a body’s posture and structure via myofascial system manipulation (connective tissue alignment).
Many call Rolfing bodywork a deep-tissue approach because it works alongside all layers within a body to ease stress throughout a person’s entire being. Rolfing may increase alignment of muscles and ligaments, improve ease of movement, help to lengthen muscles, create balance within the body’s system and ease the pain. Some people have found that Rolfing bodywork has reduced their chronic stress, reduced spinal curvature, and enhanced neurological functioning.
Many people who seek out the new habit of Rolfing bodywork do so because they are in pain, either physically, mentally or both. For example, many Rolfing success stories come from those who had experienced pain and chronic muscle tension due to physical or emotional trauma. After years, and sometimes even decades, of being in pain, Rolfing sessions either minimised or completely erased that pain. The Rolfing bodywork method has become the way they find stress relief.
Professional athletes use Rolfing techniques to rehabilitate injuries faster while increasing range of motion for future use. Musicians and dancers have also been known to use Rolfing bodywork to avoid repetitive stress injuries. Others, such as counsellors and therapists, have sought out Rolfing for their patients in order to increase physical health in the hopes of better aligning mental health.
Here are five ways which Rolfing bodywork can help you change your life.
5 WAYS ROLFING WILL CHANGE YOUR LIFE
Rolfing bodywork uses soft tissue manipulation and movement education. Through the 10-session process, Rolfers may see a positive impact on their body posture and structure over time as their limbs and body parts are more properly brought into alignment. One of the ways Rolfing does so is by working with gravity, not against it. As Ida Rolf said: ‘This is the gospel of Rolfing, when the body gets working appropriately, the force of gravity can flow through. Then spontaneously the body heals itself.’
2. EASE OF MOVEMENT
For many who are athletes, repeat the same motions over and over again or generally feel their muscles tensing up through a bad night’s sleep or an awkward pull in the side, ease of movement can become restricted or painful. Rolfing aims to speed any lack of movement by reducing pain, stiffness and muscle tension by improving movement and circulation around joints. Structural integration is usually performed over ten sessions, with the goal of loosening superficial fascia before working deeper to improve feet and legs first before moving to higher structures.
Throughout the first few sessions of Rolfing bodywork, the goal is to help align the feet, legs, and hips, specifically. These alignments create the foundation of the body’s balance. Later sessions also focus on the back to balance everything done to the front. Every bodywork is carefully balanced in order for the body to learn better how to co-operate.
4. MINIMIZING PAIN
The entire idea behind Rolfing is that fascia — the fibrous layer covering muscles — stiffens, shortens and loses elasticity after physical or emotional stress and/or prolonged poor posture. Those stiffened muscles which shrink can cause pain throughout the body, not to mention any emotional stress just compounds the pain. Over the 10 sessions, Rolfing bodywork gets deep into those painful muscles, trying to better align, balance and restore ease of movement. By doing so, often the pain is minimized or disappears altogether.
5. FINDING SUPPORT
As a single parent, you may already know that finding a support group can be crucial — both to your emotional and physical wellbeing. Having support and finding your voice within your community, among your peers in life, is important.
The same can be said of those in the Rolfing bodywork community. Most people who are interested in Rolfing have some sort of physical or mental pain which is bothering them, ranging from a bit annoying to debilitating. Everyone who wants to have their bodywork done is probably on a health journey and they’re just trying to steer their ship toward a healthy, less painful outcome.
This common sense of purpose can often bond people who go through Rolfing bodywork together. These communities offer support to people who are on their journey and struggling to get well. It can be completely lifechanging to make friends who are going through what you’re going through. They understand how you are feeling and can often lend an ear to listen or a helping hand.
Currently, there are more than 1,200 certified Rolfers in 27 different countries. You can find local Rolfers online. Although not the same, if you are in need of physical or mental readjustment from a chiropractor, masseuse, therapist or psychologist, you can also find help online. There’s no need to suffer any more if you are in pain. Reach out now.