Rolfing is a holistic therapy that realigns and reeducates the entire body to allow for more efficient patterns of movement and less strain on the body in daily life.
Rolfing’s holistic approach sets it apart from fields like massage, myofascial release, and chiropractic. Rolfers believe that focusing only on local symptoms results in unnecessarily lengthy treatment programs that simply displace strain from one part of the body to another.
Unlike other manipulation techniques, Rolfing seeks to create ease in the entire body by first aligning the structure into its most efficient form and then addressing any issues that have not yet been resolved.
If a client complained of shoulder pain, for example, many bodyworkers might look only at the affected area, but a Rolfer would look not only at the shoulder but would also give attention to the rest of the body — checking the pelvis, the knees, and the feet — to see whether locked or skewed ankles, knocked-knees, or hip joint dysfunction were causing a weight-distribution and movement problem that placed the upper body under unnecessary strain.
Typically, Rolfing is experienced as a ten session series that allows the client’s body to come to a new level of organization. As the client’s body changes, patterns that have caused pain or discomfort often dissipate or disappear completely. Any remaining issues may be addressed more specifically by localized work which, after the ten-series, the body is more able to integrate, support, and sustain.
Post by Matt Hsu, Certified Rolfer™ – San Francisco