Rolfing is a unique kind of manual therapy and movement education. It permanently improves your body as an integrated whole.
This is done by re-training movement patterns and releasing restrictions in the connective tissue of your body. The result is that you have a unified body that moves freely and easily like it was meant to.
3 Foundational ideas of Rolfing:
- Stress and injuries cause restrictions in your body
- Restrictions build up over time reducing your body’s performance and causing pain and disfunction
- Your body is very resilient and adaptable and can be restored to its optimal state
Some of these restrictions are in the connective tissue of your body and some are in the muscles. Both of these are controlled by your nervous system, and ultimately your brain.
Constant tightness in your muscles comes from continuous and unconscious signals from your brain telling the muscles to stay contracted. Since the problem lies in the established habits in your brain, the long-term solution to your muscle problems lies in changing those habits through movement education, not external manipulation (like massage).
External manipulation of the muscles can give some short-term relief. However, the continuous signals from your brain will shortly return the muscles to their habitual state.
Connective tissue, on the other hand, is not controlled on a continuous basis like the muscles. Your connective tissue tightens up in response to long-term stresses on the body to protect your muscles. This is helpful for your body while it is needed. The problem is that this tightness remains after it is no longer helpful.
Most other therapies/therapists try to force the tissues to change. This fails to create lasting results and can result in a lot of soreness and even bruising.
Both the muscles and the connective tissues can restrict the body’s movement, and each can reinforce restrictions in the other. Both must be addressed together in order to fully restore the whole body to its optimal state.
Rolfing is an educational process that helps you discover the most efficient way of using your body and learn how to take of it on your own. Your needs and desires produce a personally customized series of sessions.
You are encouraged to develop you own body awareness. This is the key to realizing your body’s potential. Body awareness assists to both speed your improvement and to help maintain your ideal state. Rolfing is able to undo much of the negative effect stress/injuries/etc. have had on your body. However, it is up to you to use new efficient patterns of movement to maintain a renewed body.
I have combined the principles of Rolfing movement and manual therapy with Hanna Somatics to form a new system of movement education.
I developed it myself when the two systems independently did not give me all the results I was looking for. It is far more effective, easier on the body, and something you can learn to do on your own if you are interested. By developing something that I can use on my own body, I have gotten immediate and direct feedback as to what is most effective in changing the body.
This has enabled me to develop a system of removing tension that is superior to all others by experimenting on what is most effective in my own body.