A rather painful form of very deep massage which involves the masseuse (or "rolfer") actually pushing organs around in order to reach those hard-to-reach muscles, tendons, and connective tissue (fascia). Although still an alternative medical procedure, rolfing is gaining popularity, even in the fields of physical therapy and psychology. The technique, which is more scientifically known as Structural Integration, was developed by Ida P. Rolf. I'm sure there's a joke in that name somewhere.

RolfingĀ® Structural Integration was developed by Dr. Ida P. Rolf who began her research in the field over 50 years ago. The goal was to create a holistic method of soft tissue manipulation and movement that would orangize the whole body in gravity. Dr. Rolf discovered that she could eventually effect major changes in posture and structure by manipulating the body's myofascial system. In addition, rolfing has proved to be effective on reducing chronic pain, relieving chronic stress, enhancing neurological functions, and improving the body's performance.Studies have shown that Rolfing allows for a more efficient use of muscles which in turn conserves energy and allows for more refined movement patterns.

Basic Principles of Rolfing

Principles of Intervention - A series of ten rolfing sessions that Dr. Rolf developed.

Gentle Techniques - As Rolfers work deep within the myofascial tissue structure, some people can experience discomfort. Rolfers have developed a large range of techniques that tend to produce results with with less discomfort.

Joint Mobilization Techniques - The Rolf Institute has created a range of soft tissue techniques to release articular motion restrictions that impede whole body organization.

The Personal Experience - Since Rolfing is a holistic technique, it is recognized that changes in structure will impact the whole person, physically, emotionally, and energetically. The Rolf Institute recognizes that ultimately, it is the person's own experience of the work that is of primary importance.

The Integration of Structure and Function - In Rolfing Movement Integration, the Rolfer helps clients become aware of inhibiting movement patterns and gives them the means to change them; and in Rolfing Structural Integration, the Rolfer releases these patterns through manipulation as they manifest in the client's structure. Rolfing is as concerned with how people experience and use their bodies as with their structural organization in gravity.

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