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Decrease pains and aches with the Rolfing Technique

Updated on January 28, 2015

Why we all could use Rolfing

Long hours in front of the computer, always the same repetetive movements, driving long hours in the car, for instance, can have a debilitating effect on the structure of our body. And with those slight deviations comes pain and sometimes psychological discomforts.

Stretching and exercises of the opponent muscles to bring back balance can prevent an anatoical off-balance. Unfortunately, most of us don't stretch daily or are unaware of which exercises to do to rebalance the body. And by the time the shoulders are so far forward or the knee tilted inward, only a Rolfer can adress the issue and offer your body help in realigning it.

What is Rolfing

Rolfing was founded by the American biochemist Dr. Ida P. Rolf. Unlike other manual therapies that treat the body for individual symptoms, Dr. Ida Rolf wanted to improve the overall complex structure of the posture and therefore called her system "Structural Integration".

Rolfing is based on the insight that our body is not composed of separate parts but consists of one single interlinked system. The body has an ability to adapt its shape to a constantly changing environment. The degree to which our body not only receives its form but also develops it, is the measure of health, physical well-being and sense of freedom.

Our posture is affected in the course of our development by many factors: genetic inheritance, acquired postural and movement habits and traumatic events such as accidents or emotional stress.

If our body is not perfectly balanced, its movement becomes restricted. Even our breathing becomes more superficial. As a result, we experience a limitation of our physical and emotional vitality. Our appearance and our physical and emotional well-being remain below our possibilities. Chronic pain has a chance to develop.

Like a spiderweb

All changes in the shape occur mainly in the structures of our connective tissues. The connective tissue that literally connects all structures of the body is mainly made of collagen fibers. It has the ability to accept and to transmit tensile forces, and the ability to adjust the long-term strength and the directions of these forces. Bad posture lead to shortening and thickening of certain muscle groups.

What to expect from Rolfing

During a rolfing session, a rolfer concentrates on releasing negative holding patterns by relengthening shortened muscles. This allows the body to slowly find its balance again. The whole structure becomes more integrated again and the different body systems can work in harmony again.

Recent research in neurology have found that the connective tissue is interlinked with the sensory and perceptible movements of our brain. Therefore Rolfing can influence the ability of our brain to coordinate movement. Trained "Rolfing Movement Teacher" help clients recognize unilateral and unfavorable movement habits and acquire new, smoother and more coordinated movement possibilities. People who have completed Rolfing have experienced an increased freedom of movement and a more balanced emotional health.

The process begins with the analysis of the body posture of the client and the quality of movements. The Rolfer observes the client during standing and walking trying to determine which shortened and tense body zones prevent a harmonious balance. Photographs are taken to document the progress of the work. Each session is planned and executed accordingly to the individual needs of the client. Originally, Rolfing consisted of 10 sessions. Today, after years of research and practice, the number of sessions needed may vary according to the individual needs. One session usually lasts for one hour. There is usually a three-day to one-week break in between sessions. Rolfer have developed a unique and incomparable way to treat the body as a whole. Each session will add to the permanent changes of the entire body. Success is measured by an improved posture and movement quality.

Rolfing initiates changes not only in the physical body, but also in the subjective experience. As a result of life circumstances our body is often developed inadequately. During rolfing it undergoes a series of significant improvements. An improved body image will also positively affect a healthy psyche. But since life continues and stress and accidents can happen, occasional Rolfing sessions to recheck our posture and to correct minor deviations will be very helpful in staying healthy.


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