Rolfing® Structural Integration
Rolf Therapy is a systematic approach to releasing the patterns of stress and impaired functioning in the body's structure (which is often the cause of pain and/or limited mobility) and bringing the body into a more balanced state. Rolfing is probably first thought of by most people to be a form of bodywork, but it is as much a form of education, teaching us how we can live more easily in our bodies and gain a new awareness and understanding of ourselves. It is a process of change.
Structural Integration is an educational process of understanding the relationship between gravity and the human body. Most of our bodies are misaligned, which often results in poor posture. As we grow older, this changes our relationship to gravity and the posture worsens. We may "shrink" in height, and flexibility is slowly lost.
Rolfing® is a service mark of the Rolf Institute
What are the primary causes for disorganization in a structure?
Posture, illness, emotional and physical traumas are factors that cause imbalance in connective tissue, or the myofascial system of the body. This tissue is a thin membrane surrounding muscles and bones.
The system lends support to the body and gives it its shape. The imbalance is identified as a shortening and gluing together of the tissue which impairs muscle potential and joint mobility. The body responds by creating compensations. This usually is felt as chronic pain, discomfort, stiffness, or decreased flexibility and movement.
How Does Structural Integration Work?
The work is conducted through a Ten-Session Series of systematic manipulations of the connective tissue, through movement and postural education, and by means of re-educating muscle groups.
By applying energy in the form of pressure, the gelled consistency of the connective tissue is temporarily altered to a state of fluidity which allows structural organization to become possible.
When imbalances in the tissue are organized, compensations are eased. As compressions are relieved, length and space come into the body, permitting muscles to work easier and allowing joints in the body freedom to function.
Feelings of discomfort or pain are often alleviated. Gravity is now able to flow through the body, and act as an uplifting force.
How Does Structural Integration Feel?
The area being worked during a session can range in sensation. Injuries to an area or the holding of chronic stress as well as other factors will affect the experience. A feeling of something releasing or letting go, to momentary discomfort are common sensations. Following a Structural Integration series, people report feeling lighter, taller and better balanced
Are There Psychological Results?
While Structural Integration is primarily concerned with physical changes in the body, it affects the WHOLE person. We are made up of emotions, attitudes, belief systems and behaviors, as well as the physical being.If you align the physical structure, it will open up the potential of the being. Clients often report positive changes, stating less stress and improved ability to handle life's changes.
Does Structural Integration Last?
Yes! Photographs taken of clients years after a Basic Ten Series show that changes are still present and often improved.
Keep in mind, however, as a person's life changes, bodies change in response. All injuries, lengthy illnesses, accidents and emotional stress may necessitate additional work.
After a period of time, clients often return for more advanced work dealing again with balance, movement, and awareness.