Rolfing is a method created
and developed by Dr.Ida P. Rolf (Ph.D in Biochemistry), in the mid 1950s.
It was first called "Structural Integration" and later became
known by the name "Rolfing".
Rolfing aims to re-establish the
natural alignment and movement of the human body through focusing on and
manipulating (unlike massage) the fascia, the protective layer that surrounds
the muscles, bones and organs in the body. The
fascia gives muscles their shape and the body its structure.
A Rolfing treatment consists of ten sessions called the "ten series".
This is the basic treatment, if needed, it can be followed up by the "Advanced Series" of five sessions, or the "Tune-Up series". This can be a variable number of sessions depending on the treatment goal.
The ten basic sessions, usually begin with the muscles that regulate and facilitate breathing.
The ten basic sessions are progressive, gradually "unlocking" the body's fascia.
Each session builds upon the last one, following a pattern and working with the whole body.
At the beginning of the first session the client will complete a health questionnaire and discuss their goals and intentions with their practitioner, as applied to their unique situation and structure.
The practitioner will observe the client, how they stand, walk, sit and generally use their bodies.
A digital photograph image may be taken if the client is interested in seeing before and after results.
The specific goals of the session will be discussed.
The client will usually lie down on a massage table so the practitioner can work with their body.
The client will participate in the session often being asked to breathe into the area being worked on or to make small, specific movements.
During the session the client may experience a range of different sensations depending on the area and condition of the body. Sensations such as warmth, pleasure, relaxation, slight tension, momentary discomfort or sometimes pain may be felt.
The practitioner will apply the appropriate pressure, based on the clients’ needs and feedback.
After the basic ten series is complete, a client usually allows a period of time for the body to adapt and fully integrate before scheduling additional work.
The waiting period can be anywhere from one month to one year based on the client's unique experience.
After the waiting period the client can return for tune-up sessions or advanced sessions to further the process of integration.
In some instances practitioners will work with clients in ongoing sessions to achieve specific goals.
Rolfing is generally regarded as safe but pregnant women, people with skeletal, vascular disorders, any connective tissue disease, or anyone having doubt should consult a doctor before undertaking Rolfing sessions.
The term Rolfing has also been applied to a range of systems based on the teachings of Dr. Ida Pauline Rolf. The Rolf Institute, the Guild for Structural Integration, the Institute for Psycho-Structural Balancing, and Hellerwork Structural Integration.
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Rolfing practitioners have suggested its use for a wide variety of medical conditions. However, there are insufficient studies available at the moment to make its effectiveness as a therapy scientifically valid.
Current scientific studies have
reported improvements using Rolfing for conditions such as: low back pain
cerebral palsy chronic fatigue syndrome.
Reduction of stress
Alleviation of discomfort or pain
Greater flexibility of the body
A feeling of lightness
Fluidity of movement
Increased breathing capacity
Increased energy Greater self-confidence.
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