According to the Center for Disease Control,
- Over 15 % of children in the US are born with developmental challenges
- One in seven children have cerebral palsy, ADHD, autism spectrum disorder, fetal alcohol syndrome, downs syndrome or other genetic challenges.
Parents of special needs children are extraordinary caregivers. In addition to traditional occupational, physical and speech therapy, they seek out complimentary practices to support their child’s development. Rolfing is one of the exciting alternative approaches that is rapidly gaining recognition for facilitating the healthy growth of children with developmental challenges.
Rolfing improves posture: Rolfers are experts in balancing the tensions in the fascia (connective tissue) to establish better organization in the structure. Posture in sitting, standing and activities improves.
Rolfing enhances postural control: Postural control, the ability to maintain stability and vertical alignment in different activities is an important part of development. Shortenings and asymmetry in the structure prevent the child from obtaining vertical alignment and make postural control a battle. Rolfing removes the shortening, restores the alignment and improves postural control.
Rolfing increases mobility: Loss of mobility = excessive tension and shortening within the fascial network. Rolfing releases the chronic shortening and restores mobility.
Rolfing aids coordination: Rolfing creates a more optimal pattern of alignment in the structure. As posture improves, movements become freer and more fluid.
Rolfing improves biomechanics: For a body to move efficiently, the structure must be organized. When a body is well ordered in the gravitational field it works efficiently and requires minimal effort in stillness and in movement. Consider a tree that is vertical – it requires little to keep it upright. One that is leaning over needs a lot more support from the roots to stay upright. A balanced body can move with freedom and grace.
Rolfing affects sensory processing: How children process and respond to their environment is greatly affected by the balance within their own structure and nervous system. Rolfing removes impediments to movement and creates order within the structure. These improvements help children to better organize incoming stimulus and develop healthy responses.
Rolfing has a calming effect on the nervous system: Each child holds their history within their structure. Difficult experience is recorded in the tissue. Rolfing helps regulate the nervous system by releasing the areas of chronic holding and tension.