Rolfing® & Rolfer’s
What is it all about?
Rolfing® & Rolfer’s
Many of us have one body part we think of as our “problem”; stiff neck, aching lower back, chronically tight shoulders, etc.
That symptom, just like a puzzle, is part of a larger pattern, and lasting relief can only happen if we change the whole pattern. In the ten basic sessions of a Rolfing® series, we work through the body systematically.
Each series is tailored to the individual, but there are many common goals: realigning the legs for better support, de-rotating the pelvis, and decreasing tension in the back and neck. Strain accumulated through injury, habit, and emotional holding is addressed, even in such commonly ignored areas as hands and face.
The Rolfer’s touch ranges from surface to deep, depending on what layer of fascial restriction is being worked on.
Fascia is a fibrous connective tissue found throughout our structures, encasing and penetrating muscles. External and internal stresses cause the fibers to thicken and form adhesions. Having constricted fascia is like wearing a pair of too-tight jeans.
I work very slowly; sometimes you will feel a stretching sensation similar to what you experience during yoga, as I correct vectors in your body that have been pulled out of line through the stresses of life.
There is often an immediate feeling of relief as long-held tension is released. At the end of the session, the Rolfer™ will help you find a straighter posture in sitting and standing, so you can consciously make use of your body’s increased movement potential. Other movement issues can be addressed, according to the client’s needs. Rolfing® results include increased flexibility, improved movement skills, decreased tension, balanced posture, and diminished pain. Release of emotion, either in the moment or in the aftermath of a session, is also commonly reported.
how it works with your body
What is Fascia?
Fascia is the four dimensional web of elastic connective tissue that envelops every muscle fiber, encases all joints, and even plays a role in the nervous system. Think of the fascial system as a complex wire system that connects everything together. If one set of support wires becomes tight or out of place, the excess tension may appear as nagging joint pain, muscle soreness, or a postural shift.
Fascia is what gives the body its shape. Fascia exists in layers of wrappings and webs throughout the body (for example we speak of superficial fascia – the fascia just below the skin, and myofascia – the fascia in muscle tissues). It is formed into strings, belts, sheaths, cylinders, etc. Fascia is highly innervated. In fact, recent studies have shown that fascia is the richest sensory organ in the body; it has more than 100 million sensory nerve endings! More than are in your eyes (which were previously thought to be the most sensitive of sensory organs).
What is the Rolfing Ten Series?
What is really known about Rolfing is the Ten-series, a standardized “recipe,” with the goal of systematically balancing and optimizing the structure and function (movement) of the entire body over the course of the ten sessions. Below is a very brief overview:
Session 1 is devoted to enhancing the quality of the breath. The focus is on the arms, ribs, and diaphragm. Some work is also done opening the hamstrings, neck, and spine.
Session 2 helps to give the body a stable foundation, focusing on the lower legs and feet.
Session 3 involves work on the lateral (side) body. Giving a view of how the head, shoulder girdle and pelvic girdle are positioned in relation to one another.
Session 4 is the first of the “core sessions.” It deals with the medial body, and the territory is from the sole of the foot up to the top of the inner leg/bottom of the pelvis.
Session 5 deals with the “front of the core” and balancing the surface and deep abdominal muscles with the back.
Session 6 is the “back of the core.” The session works with the entire back body, from the legs all the way up to the back of the head.
Session 7 deals almost exclusively with the head and neck. The goal of the session is to “put the head on top.”
Sessions 8-10 emphasize integration. Sessions 8 and 9 are either done lower body (feet to pelvis) then upper body (pelvis to crown) or vice versa (depending on what the practitioner decides is in the best interests of the client).
Session 10 serves to inspire a sense of order and balance. As the final session, its focus is to finalize the process and “tie up any loose ends”, bringing the body to its highest possible level of functionality and integration.