From birth to death our bodies are in constant transition. The soft tissues of our bodies, including muscle, bones, ligaments and fascial coverings change throughout our lives. Concurrently, there are age related developmental milestones that occur between birth and late adolescence.
As we develop motor skills and agility our structure forms. During this formative period our bodies are most malleable and open to change.
As we approach puberty, we become aware of how our bodies are similar and different from our peers. Preteen children often feel awkward, gangly and clumsy. They can be moody and self absorbed, uncomfortable in their own skins. It’s not uncommon that the body grows faster than the child can keep up with. As boys and girls develop into young men and women, secondary sex characteristics are sometimes a cause for embarrassment. Children often feel that they are changing too much or too little in contrast to their peers.
As appearance becomes more of an issue, tweens feel pressure to conform in order to fit in. In western culture, children often struggle with self acceptance and can feel alienated.
By age nine, a child’s body holds the remnants of falls, injuries, broken bones, heavy backpacks and long hours of sitting in classrooms and in front of digital devices. Patterns of pronation, knock knees, scoliosis, forward shoulders and kyphosis (rounded upper back) are already setting in.
Both our physical and emotional experiences shape us. Our bodies can become stuck in postures and movement patterns that are reflections of our past.
Rolfing can be a valuable tool in addressing these structural patterns that hinder our potential. A confident and strong body empowers us to become all that we can be. Balance within the structure empowers the spirit within.