Rolfing



Rolfing is a form of deep-tissue, structurally oriented bodywork that was created by Ida P. Rolf, Ph.D., a Columbia University trained biochemist in the 1930s. When she developed this therapy, Dr. Rolf was influenced by her knowledge of Hatha yoga, the Alexander technique, osteopathy, and homeopathy.

She called her own approach structural integration because it dealt with the way the body's structure affects its function. It didn't take long, however, for the public to start calling it Rolfing--and the nickname stuck. In 1971, Dr. Rolf established the Rolf Institute of Structural Integration, now located in Boulder, Colorado, with adjunct institutes in Munich, Germany, and Sao Paolo, Brazil, to oversee the standardization of the Rolfing method and the training of practitioners, known as Rolfers.

Today, Rolfing is employed primarily to help reduce stress and ease mobility, address posture problems, and reduce musculoskeletal and back pain. Proponents suggest that it can relieve a variety of other ailments as well. How Does It Work? Rolfing is based on the premise that physical and emotional stress--as well as gravity--can throw the body out of vertical alignment and cause muscles and the connective tissue known as fascia to become rigid and inflexible. (Fascia encases muscle and connects muscle to bone.)

These problems can then lead to more stress, illness, and a loss of general well-being. Rolfing aims to realign the body by using intense pressure and stroking to stretch shortened and tightened fascia back into shape. The goal is to make the fascia softer and more flexible, and to restore its natural balance in relation to muscles, tendons, and bones.

Practitioners manipulate the fascia rather than the muscles themselves. Pressure from the practitioner's knuckles, knees, elbows, or fingers on this connective tissue is said to release deeply held tension and stress. Rolfing results in ease of movement, improved posture, and overall emotional and physical health.

 





 









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