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Rolfing And The Modern Body
From the middle of the city the night sky looks like a muddled blank canvas hanging high over our heads. We can make out a few stars, a satellite, a distant planet. But the true beauty and expanse above us is hidden. And the source of that veil isn’t up in the sky. It’s coming from right where we’re standing: it’s hidden by smog and light pollution.
As time passes, this veiled version of the night sky starts to seem “normal.”
Imagine if something similar were happening inside the modern body: we sit at computers, stare at phones, have accidents, injuries, trauma, stress, and maybe just general poor posture. As the effects of these influences compound, we end up getting used to them. And although we try to “reset” through stress-relieving activities, rest, and therapy, we are essentially just resetting back to what we think is “normal.” For many of us that is a seriously sub-optimal state.
The truth is, people don’t just naturally reset to their injury-free bodies by taking a vacation or getting a good night’s rest. Sure, it helps. But it’s like turning off your computer. It’ll probably run “fresh” for a while when you turn it back on. But if there are underlying problems, they’re going to come back. This is how structural stress works.
Why Is Rolfing® Recommended?
As people age, endure stress and injuries, and chronically misuse their bodies, the structural integrity of the body begins to falter. At first this can show up as an ache or pain. However, in time, the body begins to get stuck in these structural anomalies. As a result, it either creates compensations to relieve discomfort, or the mind sets new expectations for how we should feel in our bodies. Many of these compensations and expectations can be reversed and the body can be restored to a place of comfort and integrity.
The primary aim of the Rolfing process is to release tension that has worked itself deep into myofascial tissue –balancing and realigning the entire body in relation to gravity comes next. The result is “structural integrity” – the proper alignment of physical and functional structures of the body from head to toe.
How Does Rolfing Work? Who Can Benefit?
We are all in constant search of improvement. Some seek short term improvement, others seek long term. Rolfing is for people seeking long-lasting answers to issues of pain, stress, tension, and trauma. Rolfing is an answer to the conundrum: how do we shake off the past so we can live more fully in the present?
Rolfers use concentrated pressure to release the tension, tightness, and restrictions that are held in muscles and connective tissue, called fascia. The pressure Rolfers use is different than relaxing massage or even deep tissue massage. The Rolfing touch is meant to reorganize the body toward higher levels of order, balance, and integration. This is accomplished by more than just deep pressure. Rolfers address the way fascia weaves its way deep into the human body, and we work on changing the state of the tissue at the deepest accessible layers. As restrictions and patterns of holding are released, Rolfers begin to nudge people toward a cleaner, more functional blueprint of posture and movement, free of the need for structural compensations.
How Did Rolfing Get Its Name?
Dr. Ida Rolf was the first scientist to recognize the critical role played by the fascia, which gives the human body its specific shape and orientation. Fifty years later, scientists have confirmed what Ida Rolf proposed — that fascia is a living organ, not just inert connective tissue. While the fascia’s remarkable plasticity enables us to adapt to stress and injury, it also thickens and rigidifies in response to the strains pulling our bodies out of alignment with gravity. Slouched backs with heads too far forward, knock-knees or bowed legs, flat feet or high arches, excessive spinal curvature — these are all telltale signs of complex patterns of strain and tightness resulting from the thickening of the muscles and fascia (Read about Fascia).
Dr Rolf’s deepest practical insight was to recognize this very same plasticity could be harnessed to literally reshape the body and bring about a fundamental structural transformation. Through highly refined techniques of applying pressure with the hands, a Certified Rolfer can soften and lengthen fascia, which in turn frees the body from constrictions and enables it to right itself effortlessly in gravity.
Rolfing Austin: What to Expect
Initially Rolfing brings relief from pain and tension. As the body parts with dysfunctional patterns, your Rolfer can begin to guide your body toward a new anatomical and functional center. We call this “The Line.” It is a place of centeredness where the body feels light, easy, fluid, and yet grounded. In addition, as old postural habits, injuries and traumas give way, the body begins to move with more freedom, flexibility, and grace. In turn, this allows the body to adapt to daily stress more easily.
Most people come to their Rolfing sessions with a list of complaints, aches and pains, some minor and some symptomatic and indicative of deeper structural trouble. While they are aware of the discomfort associates with their troubles, they are often unaware of the more subtle body sensations that would give them an ability to consciously alter their physical co-ordination and relieve some of their aches and pains.
During the Rolfing series, as restricted tissues are released and new movements become possible, greater body awareness is accessed. In addition to receiving bodywork, you can expect that the combination of freedom from physical restriction and greater self awareness will result in new patterns of co-ordination and reduced strain at the sites of the pain. Each Rolfing session covers particular anatomical territory, starting from the surface tension around major joints, and moving toward crucial pelvic, spine, and cranial patterns. Coupled with occasional homework assignments your Certified Rolfer gives you, the Rolfing process moves you toward functional integration. For this reason Rolfing is considered cumulative and reaches its peak effects at the end of series of sessions. Many of these common benefits are experienced as soon as the first Rolfing session.
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513-505-3135 (SMS only)
We are located at 4131 Spicewood Springs Rd, N-9 in Austin TX