Rolfing FAQs

How does Rolfing® S.I. work?

Those who have a history of injury or trauma and notice that the effects of their often minor injuries are beginning to interfere with their everyday lives should consider Rolfing SI. In many cases, these individuals have tried traditional medical treatments or exercise to reduce or counteract the long-term effects of old injuries with varying degrees of success. This group might include former and current athletes, musicians, performers or those engaged in physically demanding jobs, and those who choose not to accept the notion that the quality of their lives must suffer simply because they are aging. In fact, all adults of any age who suffer from any limiting physical discomfort can absolutely benefit from Rolfing® S.I.

Even if someone has not experienced injury and/or trauma, Rolfing® S.I. may offer benefits to enhance overall body conditioning and functionality. Whether you are athletic, perform tasks with repetitive-motion in daily activity, or are just looking to feel more "at home" in your body, Rolfing sessions may restore flexibility, increase balance, revitalize energy and leave you feeling more comfortable in your body.

Who should consider Rolfing® S.I.?

Rolfing Structural Integration strives to align and balance the body’s components until the entire system is a smoothly functioning, coordinated whole. Rolfing® S.I. addresses the body’s internal system of flexible support, otherwise known as fascia. These connective tissues surround every muscle fiber, encase all joints and even have a role in the nervous system.

To correct internal misalignments, a Rolfer uses mild, direct pressure to melt or release facial holdings and allow the body to find health through the re-establishment of balance. Rolfing® S.I. allows the brain and nervous system to “re-boot” areas of the body that are receiving too much electrical stimulation (chronically tight or sore muscles). Once a healthy level of muscle contraction is established, the person’s entire structure is free to express a pain-free form.

What is the difference between massage and Rolfing® S.I.?

One of the most common misconceptions about Rolfing® S.I. is that it is a nothing more than a type of very deep massage. There are many varieties of massage, which can be particularly effective for loosening tight tissue, reducing stress, detoxing the body and evoking an increased feeling of relaxation and well-being. Since these benefits are also a byproduct of Rolfing® S.I., the general public experience confusion as to the precise difference between our work and the proliferation of effective touch modalities currently available.

Rolfers palpate, or touch the tissue, feeling for imbalances in tissue texture, quality and temperature to determine where they need to work. They discriminate, or separate fascial layers that adhere and muscles that have been pulled out of position by strain or injury. Finally, Rolfers integrate the body, relating its segments in an improved relationship, bringing physical balance in the gravitational field. Other soft-tissue manipulation methods, including massage, are quite good at the first two, but do not balance the body in gravity. As Dr. Rolf used to say: "It is easy to take a body apart, but it takes skill and understanding to put it back together." The true genius of her method is the art and science of reshaping and reorganizing human structure according to clearly defined principles in a systematic and consistent manner for long term results.

In addition, Rolfers are also educators. The role of teacher is something every Rolfer takes seriously. In each session, Rolfers seek to impart insights to clients to increase their awareness and understanding, to help the client make the work their own. A Rolfer's job is to empower their clients to take charge of their own physical and emotional health.

Does Rolfing® S.I. Hurt?

When some people think of Rolfing® S.I., one of the first words that comes to their mind is "pain". Often, this perception is based on anecdotal accounts of sessions performed during Rolfing® S.I.'s infancy, when it tended to be a less subtle and more intense discipline, frequently linked to popular emotionally intense types of therapies in the late 1960's and early 70's. Part of this reputation can be attributed to an often-quoted complaint of Dr. Rolf during her training classes that her students failed to work deep enough. Apparently, many assumed that what she meant was that they needed to work harder and deeper. However, we now realize that deep work is not necessarily synonymous with physical intensity.

Practitioners of Rolfing® S.I. vary in the amount of pressure they feel is appropriate to affect the necessary level of change. It is recommended that the potential Rolfing client speak to his or her Rolfer about this issue in order to make certain that both parties are in consistent communication regarding the intensity and pressure of the work. Continuous communication with the client and pacing the level of intensity are essential, profoundly affecting the client's reaction to the transitory discomfort when seriously restricted tissue is softened, differentiated and reintegrated.

Rolfing ®
BoulderBodyworks Comprehensive Manual Therapy
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