The Rolfing Technique of Structural Integration
Rolfing® organizes the body to bring its major body segments towards a vertical alignment. When the body is well aligned, gravity supports and nurtures the structure. Movement becomes more graceful and efficient. Rolfing lengthens the structure by balancing the tensions throughout the myofascial system. Rolfing improves alignment at any stage in life.
Gravity, Posture and Health
As infants we struggle to stand and walk upright. We learn by trial and error how to balance ourselves on our feet. How well we find our balance with gravity determines our postural “set,” and that posture greatly affects our health and well-being throughout our lifetime.
The focus of Rolfing is to restore order and symmetry to the physical structure that was originally our birthright but lost. — Dr. Ida P. Rolf
Slouching actually requires more physical energy than standing and sitting erect because our muscles have to work to counteract the continuous downward pull of gravity. Poor posture also compresses our deep internal organs, causing them to function under stress. However, for most of us standing and sitting “straight” seems both “unnatural” and uncomfortable because old habits, injuries, and stresses have become “fixed” in our bodies muscular structure.
How does it work?
Structural Integration balances and aligns the body along a natural vertical axis by gradually stretching, lengthening and repositioning the fascia, restoring its normal length and flexibility. The practitioner utilizes deep, gentle pressure to free the fascial restrictions. Chemically it is the collagen in the fascia that enables it to change. The practitioner utilizes the appropriate pressure and combines the clients breath and movement to free the shortened tissue.
Does it last?
The changes catalyzed by Structural Integration are not only permanent, they are ongoing and progressive. The body continues to integrate the work long after the series is complete. Structural Integration creates the potential for new patterns of movement which reinforce further integration.