Rolfing engages with the patterns that shape your body to dramatically improve the way you feel and move.
How Rolfing Helps
For more than 60 years, Rolfing has been a great help not only to people looking for relief but also as a catalyst for people of all walks of life—athletes, musicians, yogis, and others—to make strides in the mastery and ease they feel in their bodies.
Rolfing is able to help clients with a great variety of problems and goals for their bodies. A Rolfer will concentrate on problematic areas but always seeks to build order, ease and balance throughout the body to support the release and relief of the areas that are under more stress.
Here are a few of those issues that respond well to Rolfing:
relief from chronic tension and pain
Pain, tension and strain result when your body isn’t handling the forces coming through it properly—in action (walking, running, lifting) and in activities as seemingly trivial as holding your head erect or typing all day.Of course, we’ve named many of the kinds of chronic issues that people experience. Among those, Rolfing has helped clients with issues like back pain, neck pain, ITB syndrome, plantarfasciitis, spine compression, some recurring headaches, TMJ syndrome, and a variety of others.
If there is a particular issue that you’re dealing with and you’d like to know if Rolfing can help, don’t hesitate to contact me.
improved alignment and posture
Sitting or standing “straight” doesn’t have to be an effort a chore. Anyone can benefit from building better support and alignment in everyday life, including people with alignment issues and scoliosis.
By organizing the body to be supported easily all the way down through your feet, Rolfing aims to make the simple act of sitting or standing upright easier and more pleasurable.Practitioners of movement arts like yoga, dance, Pilates as well as seated meditation also find that the detailed attention Rolfing brings can help them make shifts that they hadn’t yet been able to make in their own practices
recovery from injury, trauma and overuse
Your body changes when it has gone through something traumatic, such as an accident, injury, surgery, overuse or various kinds of emotional or psychic trauma. The body builds scar tissue around wound sites, muscle tone and fascia shorten and contract to protect the body in various ways.
These patterns of healing, protection and compensation are important—they’re about survival—but they can also outlive their usefulness, reshaping the way your body holds itself together. Rolfing works well in these cases to support recovery of freedom and full range of motion.
more powerful and efficient movement
Many athletes have benefited from the boost to performance and efficient body mechanics that the work of Rolfing provides. By helping the body align and organize at a fundamental structural level, Rolfing frees up muscular energy and coordination that otherwise would have been wasted.
improved balance and motor control
When forces are balanced more evenly through your the tissues of your body, you not only have more energy available to you, you also increase your proprioception— your ability to sense balance, position and space as you move.
greater comfort and ease in the body
Rolfing is essentially about ease—bringing a level of order to the body that allows you to be in it with less effort and strain—and dealing with the issues that are getting in the way.
When you’re more balanced and organized, your joints and spine decompress, you feel less strain and more open, stronger, and at home in your body.
How Rolfing Feels
A typical Rolfing session starts with a short assessment—movement and perhaps a walk around the room—to see patterns that are showing up in the client’s structure while moving and how they might have changed since last time.
Most of the session after that takes place on the table as we work hands-on with the relevant restrictions, and the hour typically winds up with another short assessment as well as some movement cues and suggestions to help you feel what’s changed in your body and to take those changes out into the world with you in a clearer way.
You’ll leave a session feeling relaxed, aligned, and often having learned something new about the kinds of movement available to you.
The quality of touch in a Rolfing session is generally slow, with a clarity and precision of contact that clients generally feel “met by” and very comfortable with. The pressure can range from relatively strong to very gentle, depending on the areas being addressed.
Some people have the idea that Rolfing is very painful, or that it should be painful if it’s going to work. Neither of these is true. See the FAQ page for more my perspective about the difference between effective work, deep work, and painful work.
Because structural work like this develops over time in a person’s body, Rolfing tends to be most effective in a limited series of sessions, each one building on the progress of the next. Single sessions can be very effective, but building sessions together in series tends to help the work take shape stronger and last longer. Dr. Rolf taught a standard series of ten sessions (known as the Ten Series) which works methodically through the major relationships in a client’s body.
How Rolfing Works
Named after Dr. Ida P. Rolf, Rolfing organizes your body structure by working with connective tissues (or fascia).
Fascia permeates your entire body. This complex and ever-changing web determines the range and limitations to your posture and your movements. Your entire musculoskeletal system is embedded in and shaped by fascia. Any change to any part affects the entire arrangement of the web.
By working with the fascia, we’re working with the way your body is connected together on a fundamental level. Rolfing is able to make lasting changes in the tension and balance in your muscles as well as the relationship of your bones, the shape of your spine, and more.
This allows for lasting relief of areas of tension and strain, along with an overall better organization of the body that brings about a whole new level of ease.