Rolfing® Structural Integration

Rolfing® Structural Integration is a holistic bodywork method which, to this day remains a completely unique form of therapy. Dr. Ida P. Rolf, a biochemist who created Structural Integration, conceived the breakthrough concept of integrating the force of gravity into therapy. This is a key difference between Rolfing® SI and other methods of fascia therapy.

Rolfers™ refer to fascia as the “organ of structure”

Dr. Ida Rolf determined that deliberate and targeted mobilization of connective tissue – i.e. the fascia – leads to relief and well-being. She called fascia “the organ of form.” Because Rolfing deals with the systems of form and structure, it does not orient itself around diagnosis or single symptoms. However, because Rolfers understand the governing principles behind anatomical organization, the Rolfing series addresses many aches, pains, and injuries that are residing in the body.

The aim of Rolfing Therapy:

  • The muscles and connective tissue’s elasticity and lubrication are re-established.
  • The body is realigned – we address asymmetries of appearance and function.
  • Unnecessary tensions within the body are released.
  • Discomfort from viscous or thickened fascia is relieved.

Rolfing® SI and Gravity

Gravity affects us everywhere on earth and constantly creates a pull or push tension in our bodies. If the body has become unbalanced, it must compensate to remain upright. As a result, muscles and fascia can become constantly strained with high energy demands on the body. Slouching postures aimed at relieving pain after accidents or operations, and one-sided use cause the fascia to become ever more compact in certain areas of the body. They become viscous, lose elasticity and are “drier” than healthy connective tissue. Through Rolfing  the body can re-organize itself in relation to gravity. Ideally, in a standing position, every body segment’s center of gravity is organized above the segments below. In this state a person hardly needs any active muscle strength to stand upright because the anatomical integrity of the structure is aligned with gravity which provides supporting from the ground up. The tension forces in the body are in balance.

Who can Rolfing help?

Ida Rolf envisioned a world where people had more energy to invest into things that mattered. To this effect she wanted everyone to experience at least some of the benefits of Rolfing. However, most people need a better reason than this to try Rolfing. Usually it is acute or chronic pain and stress. The following people usually benefit the most from Rolfing:

  • people with chronic tension, one example being professions requiring single-sided body use
  • people with injuries or operations where posture compensations are needed to alleviate pain or where movement is restricted or limited
  • women after pregnancy and birth
  • performers such as actors, musicians, and dancers, wanting to expand their self-awareness and expression
  • athletes and sports enthusiasts wanting to train more effectively, increase their performance, avoid overuse, recover more quickly and with less side-effects after injury
  • anyone else who wishes to increase their body awareness and seeking long-term improvement in quality of well-being.


    The Classic 10-Session “Recipe”

    Rolfing is traditionally done over 10 unique sessions. The effects are best experienced by completing the series, although positive effects will most likely be felt after just one session.

    Sessions 1-3:

    Called the “sleeve” sessions, session 1-3 strive to loosen and balance surface layers of connective tissue.

    Specifically, the first session is devoted to enhancing the quality of breath with work on the arms, ribcage and diaphragm. Opening is also started along the upper leg, hamstrings, neck and spine.

    The second session helps give the body a stable foundation by balancing the foot and muscles of the lower leg.

    The third session typically involves a “side view” for an understanding of how the head, shoulder girdle, and hips are positionaly related to one another when standing under the influence of gravity. Then, the body is addressed within the context of this new vision.

    Person with session 1 through 3 areas highlighted
    Sessions 4-7:

    Sessions 4-7 are referred to as “core” sessions and examine terrain found between the bottom of the pelvis and top of the head. The idea of core also includes the deep tissue of the legs for its role in support.

    Session four begins this journey, its territory extends from the inside arch of the foot and up the leg, to the bottom of the pelvis.

    The fifth session is concerned with balancing surface and deep abdominal muscles to the curve of the back.

    Session six seeks to enlist more support and moment from the legs, pelvis and lower back, while the seventh session turns its sole attention to the neck and head.

    Person with session 4 through 7 areas highlighted
    Session 8-10:

    “Integration” is emphasized throughout the remaining three sessions, as session 8-10 provide an opportunity for the practitioner to blend previously established advancements, and ones yet to be made, into the body in a way that encourages smooth movement and natural coordination.

    During sessions eight and nine, the practitioner determines how best to achieve this integration, as the protocol is unique for each individual.

    The tenth and final session is also one of integration, but more importantly, serves to inspire a sense of order and balance. Once completed, the wisdom of the Rolfing Ten Series will drive and support the body with health for years to come.

     

     

    Person with session 8 through 10 areas highlighted

Related Articles: Rolfing in Austin: 10 Powerful Secrets from Rolfing

Kian Fallahi   |  Certified Rolfer  |  4412 Spicewood Springs Rd #402 |  Austin, TX  |  78759  |  Schedule a Session

 
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