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What is ROLFING® Structural Integration?
Rolfing® refers to a system of Structural Integration and manual themainrapy developed by Dr Ida Rolf over 50 years of study. It is an original and scientifically proven system of body restructuring and movement education, which releases the body from lifelong patterns of tension and bracing, and allows the force of gravity to realign the body's segments.
The Rolfing series is designed to uncover a structural ease and balance that is unique to each client. Rolfing cannot accurately be described as therapy or as a returning of the body to a "natural" state from which it has deteriorated. Rather, it is a process of education in which a Rolfer seeks to help a client discover the most efficient means of using his or her body, given the uniqueness of the individual.
What is the difference between Rolfing and Massage?
Rolfing Structural Integration is not a form of massage
One of the most common misconceptions about Rolfing SI is that it is a nothing more than a type of very deep massage. There are many varieties of massage, which are particularly effective for loosening tight tissue, reducing stress, detoxing the body and an increased feeling of relaxation and well-being. Since these benefits are also a byproduct of Rolfing SI, the general public experiences confusion as to the precise difference between our work and the proliferation of effective touch modalities currently available.
Rolfing SI balances the body in gravity
Ray McCall, a Certified Advanced Rolfer in Boulder and former student of Dr. Rolf, once said that what Rolfers™ do can be summed up in three words: palpation, discrimination and integration.
- We palpate, or touch the tissue, feeling for imbalances in tissue texture, quality and temperature to determine where we need to work.
- We discriminate, or separate fascial layers that adhere and muscles that have been pulled out of position by strain or injury.
- Finally, we 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.
Rolfing SI reshapes and reorganizes
As Dr. Rolf used to say: "Anyone can take a body apart, very few know how 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.
Rolfing can teach you to help yourself function more effectively
In addition to our skill as structural integrators, Rolfers are also educators, a point Dr. Rolf stressed frequently in her training classes.
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 we do their own. Our job is to make ourselves obsolete, by empowering our clients to take charge of their own physical and emotional health. Influencing the structural evolution of man on a global level was Dr. Rolf's fondest dream.