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What is Rolfing?
Rolfing Structural Integration, more commonly known as "Rolfing" was developed over 50 years ago by Dr Ida P Rolf. It is a system of soft tissue manipulation and movement education concerned with the way the body's structure affects its function. Rolfing works to realign and balance the body so that the head, shoulders, chest, pelvis, and legs are in improved vertical alignment.
How Does Rolfing work?
The underlying principle of Rolfing is that injuries, poor movement habits and chronic muscle tension from stress cause the myofascia to stiffen. Myofascia is the strong, densely woven connective tissue spread throughout the whole body in a web from head to foot. The stiffening of the myofascia prevents free and easy movement.
Rolfing uses deep pressure and other massage techniques to stretch shortened and tightened myofascia. Rolfing practitioners use their fingers, knuckles, knees or elbows to work the myofacia making it softer and more flexible and restoring a natural balance between muscles, tendons and bones.
Rolfing practitioners also used "Rolf Movement Integration" which aims to help clients become aware of inhibiting movement patterns and teach them how to change these patterns.
Rolfing is generally done in ten one-hour sessions starting from the head and working down to the feet. Sessions are usually given weekly. Rolfing can be tailored to the unique needs of each client, adding further sessions if necessary.
Rolfing work is usually performed on a massage table and often involves being partially unclothed.
How Can Rolfing Help Back Pain?
As explained above, Rolfing works to undo tension and stiffening in the myofacsia and restore natural balance and body use. Rolfing practitioners advocate the release from the above techniques can relieve back pain caused by muscle tension and enable the back to properly align itself, promoting further back health.
When dealing with scoliosis, Rolfing focuses on de-rotating the connective tissue of the thorax and deals with the entire body to bring a certain level of balance and peace to the back.
Rolfing practitioners treat low back pain, including disk herniation generally by focusing on softening, releasing, and lengthening the muscle tissue and creating space between intervertebral disks.