What is Rolfing?
Rolfing is a form of therapeutic bodywork and movement education releasing patterns of stress and tension held in the body. It brings the body's natural structure into balance and alignment, optimizing function of the entire body. "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."(excerpt from Rolf Institute of Structural Integration)
The temptation is to look at the region of the body that's presenting the pain. Let's look at the relationship of the parts that's causing it.
I'd like to try a session but what is the Ten Series?
Some clients choose to come in for individual sessions geared towards a specific goal and some go through a Ten Series. In a series, each session focuses on specific areas, freeing restrictions to create and restore ease of movement with increased range of motion.
Sessions 1-3 work to balance the surface layers of connective tissue (fascia), opening the breath, upper and lower legs, feet, neck and spine. It also looks at the position of the head, shoulders and hips in relation to gravity.
Sessions 4-7 bring focus to the pelvis, the deep fascia of the legs, balancing the abdominal muscles, neck and head. It looks at how the body is supported.
Sessions 8-10 support the body's ability to accept, adapt and integrate the changes to create a higher level of order and balance. It addresses the body as a whole.
view in new window
Can I schedule individual sessions to address a specific problem?
Yes, we can work to restore function to a specific area. The approach would be the same - understanding and addressing what's contributing to the dysfunction to provide long term relief.
How many sessions do I need?
The number of sessions depends on your goals, level of fitness, current activities and body awareness. We encourage clients to bring more awareness to habits that may be contributing to the problem areas and help your body adapt to new healthier patterns. Every individual responds differently. It is generally recommended to come in initially for 3-4 sessions a week apart. Sessions after can be spread out or you may come in for tune-ups as needed.
What does it feel like and what is my role in a session?
The sessions can be vary in intensity. Continuous communication between client and Rolfer are essential in ensuring a balance between effectiveness, level of comfort and the amount of direct pressure necessary to affect change. The Rolfer will work at varying levels of pressure while asking for movement from the client to release the patterns of tension and allow the body to re-organize itself. As the body becomes more integrated, clients report having increased awareness in their body, a sense of lightness and ease in movement, and relief from chronic patterns of pain.
What is the difference between Rolfing and massage?
Rolfing seeks to help the body realign and reorganize itself by releasing chronic habitual patterns and introducing new ways of movement. This is accomplished by observing current movement patterns in your body, taking note of prior injuries, and addressing strain patterns contributing to the lack of ease you may be experiencing. Because of this approach, clients generally experience long term relief from Rolfing sessions and are able to notice structural changes which give ease to the body in comparison to massage.
What is the difference between Rolfing and chiropractic?
Rolfers work on soft tissue and their focus is on reestablishing the relationship between the parts and helping integrate the changes into your body as a whole. Chiropractors manipulate the spine by using high velocity adjustments. Rolfing influences the position of the bones when the imbalances created by tension in the soft tissue are reduced.
What should I wear?
Each session looks at posture and movement before, during and after the session. Female clients are asked to wear a bra (not crossback) and underwear or spandex shorts for both male and female. This will allow a better visual in assessments.
What is Visceral Manipulation?
Visceral Manipulation (VM) evaluates and treats the dynamics of motion and suspension in relation to organs, membranes, fascia and ligaments. It requires assessment of the structural relationships between the viscera, and their fascial or ligamentous attachments to the musculoskeletal system. Strains in the connective tissue of the viscera can result from surgical scars, adhesions, illness, posture or injury. Tension patterns form through the fascial network deep within the body, creating a cascade of effects far from their sources for which the body will have to compensate. This creates fixed, abnormal points of tension that the body must move around, and this chronic irritation gives way to functional and structural problems.
Imagine an adhesion around the lungs. It would create a modified axis that demands abnormal accommodations from nearby body structures. For example, the adhesion could alter rib motion, which could then create imbalanced forces on the vertebral column and, with time, possibly develop a dysfunctional relationship with other structures. This scenario highlights just one of hundreds of possible ramifications of a small dysfunction - magnified by thousands of repetitions each day.
Visceral Manipulation is based on the specific placement of soft manual forces to encourage the normal mobility, tone and motion of the viscera and their connective tissues. These gentle manipulations can potentially improve the functioning of individual organs, the systems the organs function within, and the structural integrity of the entire body.
Due to the delicate and often highly reactive nature of the visceral tissues, gentle force precisely directed reaps the greatest results. (excerpt from Barral Institute)
What is Nerve Manipulation?
Neural Manipulation identifies and releases local nerve restrictions while at the same time examines the effect these local fixations have on the rest of the body. Manual therapy, as it applies to the treatment of nerves, follows the standard principles of mobility and function. For optimal function nerves must be able to move freely within its surroundings. When a nerve is fixed, it typically looses its ability to glide and/or stretch in length. If a nerve is being impinged or compressed, the goal would be to release restrictions between the nerve and the surrounding tissue in order to facilitate normal functioning of the structures around them. (excerpt from Barral Institute)
What is Scar Work?
Working with scars is like speaking a different language in the world of connective tissue. Scar tissue is very dense fascia with unique properties. Scar tissue work uses a casual, light touch - a little reminiscent of working with bread dough.
The work is rarely painful - even for very new scars, and the amount of change in one intervention is extensive. The cosmetic effect is delightful and the functional changes can be profound. Natural and surgical scars of any age respond immediately followed by a short period of rapid healing and continued improvement. The improvements are permanent.
Scar tissue quality changes quickly and easily. Lumps, gaps, ridges, holes, bumps, knots, and strings in the tissue rapidly smooth out into a three dimensional fascial web. The work starts with the surface layers and goes into the far reaches of the scar including work with any involved viscera. Scar work often results in large whole body integration shifts along with trauma resolution, and nerve-impaired numbness. (excerpt from Sharon Wheeler's Wheeler Fascial Work).
What is Bone Work?
Accidents and injuries can disorganize the functional relationships between bones. Bones can get stuck together out of place causing chronic dysfunction. Since the initial spontaneous discovery in 1973 Sharon Wheeler has been exploring the curious phenomenon of Bone Change. These techniques are designed to address shape and contour. Bone Change employs precisely placed manual pressure into the fascial elements of the bone. (excerpt from Sharon Wheeler's Wheeler Fascial Work).
What is Active Isolated Stretching?
The Active Isolated Stretching (AIS) method of muscle lengthening and fascial release is a type of Athletic Stretching Technique that provides effective, dynamic, facilitated stretching of major muscle groups, but more importantly, AIS provides functional and physiological restoration of superficial and deep fascial planes. Over the past few decades many experts have advocated that stretching should last up to 60 seconds. For years, this prolonged static stretching technique was the gold standard. However, prolonged static stretching actually decreases the blood flow within the tissue creating localized ischemia and lactic acid buildup. This can potentially cause irritation or injury of local muscular, tendinous, lymphatic, as well as neural tissues, similar to the effects and consequences of trauma and overuse syndromes.
Performing an Active Isolated Stretch of no longer than two seconds allows the target muscles to optimally lengthen without triggering the protective stretch reflex and subsequent reciprocal antagonistic muscle contraction as the isolated muscle achieves a state of relaxation. These stretches provide maximum benefit and can be accomplished without opposing tension or resulting trauma.(excerpt from Aaron's Mattes' Active Isolated Stretching)
What is The MELT Method?
The MELT Method¢ī (MELT¢ī) is a simple self-treatment technique that reduces chronic pain and helps you stay healthy, youthful, and active for a lifetime. Just 10 minutes of MELT three times a week is all you need to reduce the effects of accumulated tension and stress caused by daily living. MELT was created by New York City manual therapist and connective tissue specialist Sue Hitzmann. Using specialized techniques, a soft body roller, and four different small balls, MELT rehydrates the connective tissue, rebalances the nervous system, and restores space to compressed joints. (excerpt from The MELT Method website)