With 13.7 million Americans in 2003 seeing physicians for shoulder problems you know it is a serious problem. I have seen Rolfing do amazing things for shoulder problems. I wrote a post how Rolfing helps shoulders – here.
Editor’s note: This article is an excellent description of what Rolfing can do to assist a client who is experiencing dental problems. While I had my client in Scottsdale I worked with many dentist, orthodontists and oral surgeons. Rolfing can certainly help. Benjamin Shield, Ph.D., a Rolfer in Los Angeles wrote this article as much for dental and Rolfing patients as he wrote it for dentists. It is long, but if you have one of these problems you will appreciate reading it.
This article will explore the symbiotic partnership between the dental profession and manual therapeutics. It is intended as an interface for communications with dental professionals. It is meant as a primer for the dentist, as most manual therapist will already be aware of the information contained here. It will focus on the evaluation and treatment of functional disorders such as sensory disturbances, headaches, neuralgias, endocrine dysfunction, and autonomic nervous system imbalances. [Read more…]
Respiratory disorders, such as allergies and asthma, can actually alter the body’s physical structure. In the case of respiratory difficulty, restricted breathing can create a misshapen rib cage. If breathing is difficult–or even scary–the body will distort around that stress, adapting by creating fascial adhesions, or scar tissue. Not taking full breaths creates the restricted structure, reinforcing the experience that breathing is difficult.
So how do we reverse this pattern?
First, you free the chronic structural and soft tissue pattern by releasing the chronic tension held in the body. Rolfing was specifically designed to remove the chronic tension held in the body’s soft tissue, and can reestablish the subtleness to allow the rib cage to move more freely.
Twenty years ago, I conducted a study on Rolfing with elite runners at Arizona State University. The biggest improvement they collectively experienced was increased vital capacity (the ability to take in more air). Even the world-class runners—including an Olympic marathon runner—experienced breathing improvements. Chronic allergy and asthma sufferers, after decades of breathing restrictions, usually see considerable improvement with Rolfing.
The other key factor with optimal breathing is to learn not to respond to stress in the old tension-producing manner.
When I had a clinic in Scottsdale, AZ, we operated a Mindfulness Stress Reduction program for hospitals and corporations. In the eight-week course, we often had students who experienced breathing problems. After a few weeks of teaching their mind and body to relax in the face of stress, the respiratory symptoms would decline. The core of the course was learning to feel, and then let what was occurring to occur. When we stop resisting our bodies, we stop tensing. For whatever reason, we learned to hold our breath when stressed; when we just let go and breathe, the stress seems to dissipate. When the tension of stress is gone, we breathe naturally.
Releasing Stress Heals
Do you have ongoing, non-specific pain? Is this pain worse when youâ€™re tired or stressed? If you answered yes, you may be suffering from Fibromyalgia.
If you google stress and Fibromyalgia, youâ€™ll see that Fibromyalgia is a hot topic. For my Stressed Out blog, I wrote a post explaining Fibromyalgia and its relationship to stress. Itâ€™s the most-read post on that blog.
For years, I have told my clients that, as a culture, we live on the Fibromyalgia continuum. Virtually everyone has some of the symptoms. But the subclinical symptoms may only show up sporadically, when youâ€™ve pushed yourself for several days. [Read more…]
Here are videos explaining Rolfing.
Michael Solberg, MD a Dallas plastic surgeon and Rolfer, describes how Rolfing works. When I had my clinic in Scottsdale, AZ, I had plastic surgeons for clients. These fellows, without really knowing it, had a great understanding of fascia. Back then, fascia was not given much attention in anatomy classes, so not much credit was given to fascia for what it was doing. Yet without fascia surgery, plastic surgery would not be possible. Fascia allows the attachment of tissue; fascia is the web that holds everything together. (An interesting side note: Michael’s father, Ken is an old friend and “old Rolfer”. If Ken is old, that makes me old too.)
An old video of Ida Rolf, Ph.D. is a very good explanation of what occurs when injury (stress) impairs fascia, and how Rolfing releases the adhesion. Here is another old video of Ida speaking of Rolfing. These old videos are entertaining for their ancientness.
YouTube has several videos on fascia, the connective system that Rolfers release and organize. But the 2007 Harvard conference on fascia was its “coming out party”.
An old friend of mine, Robert Schleip, Ph.D, was the driving force behind conducting a conference at Harvard on the latest in fascial research. In this interview, Robert explains that fascia is the proprioceptive organ (provides a sense of the body’s position). Science is realizing that fascia is everywhere, Robert says, influencing everything. Now the forgotten fascia is the thing to study.
Serge Gracovetsky, Ph.D. speaks about his back problem; seven orthopedic surgeons giving him seven different diagnosis prompted him to research why his back was bad. He discovered that, like the circulatory system, the skeletal-muscular system needs to have cycles of rest. This is done by the work being alternated between the muscles and the fascia (connective tissue). One system rests as the other works.
Thomas Findley, MD, Ph.D. Rolfer was another organizer of the Harvard conference. He provides background on why the conference was organized, and exactly what fascia is.
It seems researchers discovered that subcutaneous fat might be a good thing. “Even more surprising, it wasn’t that abdominal fat was exerting negative effects, but that subcutaneous fat was producing a good effect, ” Professor Ronald Khan.
As a Rolfer, I am in the process on conducting a pilot study on reducing cellulite for women. I do believe there are multiple causes of cellulite that can be affected through Rolfing and other holistic treatments. I also believe that as a culture we have become obsessed with having the perfect body. Being healthy produces a attractive body that is sustainable . The secret to Rolfingâ€™s affect on reducing cellulite is it reduces the stress of the body while increasing the tissueâ€™s circulation.
You might not be able to share your cellulite with me, but you can reduce your visceral (abdominal) fat and cellulite (subcutaneous) fat to be and look healthy.
Rolfing is making the science news. Science Magazine, “the world’s leading journal of original scientific research, global news, and commentary,” has an excellent write up about the recent First International Fascia Research Congress in its November 23, 2007 issue (vol. 318, pp. 1234-5). Go to the Rolf Institute website at https://www.rolf.org/about/research.htm to link to the full text of the article, “Biomedical Research; “Cell Biology Meets Rolfing” and “From Rolfer to Researcher”.