Rolfing® is a system soft tissue manipulation and movement education that looks to balance posture and make our bodies more comfortable under the force of gravity. This is primarily done by working with the connective tissue in your body, known as fascia. Research has demonstrated that Rolfing® creates more efficient use of the muscles, allows the body to conserve energy, and creates more economical and refined patterns of movement. Rolfing has also been shown to significantly reduce chronic stress, reduce spinal curvature in subjects with lordosis (sway back), and enhance neurological functioning. For anyone experiencing chronic pain, repetitive strain, nagging injuries or a desire to move more easily, Rolfing® can be a long-lasting approach that gets to the root of your discomfort.
What is Rolfing?
Just like the tires on your car start to wear out when your wheels are out of alignment, poor posture can lead to aches and pains in your body. Rolfing® Structural Integration is not unlike taking your body in for an alignment check.
Rolfing® generally entails a series of 10 sessions, that realign and retrain your body head to toe. We do this primarily by working with the connective tissue in your body, known as fascia. Fascia runs throughout our bodies, like a flexible matrix giving our cells, muscles, organs, etc. their shape. Rolfing sessions usually consist of long slow strokes that free up adhesions between or within structures (muscles, bones, organs, nerves). Often Rolfing sessions will also involve movement repatterning, in which the receiver learns to move in ways that continue to improve posture and comfort.
What to Expect:
Rolfing is done on a massage table, but there is more client movement than during a massage. Clients shift positions several times in a session to allow better access of the area being worked. For this reason the typical draping done with sheets during a massage is not done in a Rolfing session. Of course, clients are covered with a sheet and a blanket if they are chilled.
The most important thing regarding what to wear during is a session is that the client is comfortable. Some clients are comfortable in their underwear: underwear and bra for women and briefs or boxers for men. Other options are workout gear like shorts and exercise bra for women, bathing suits, or what would be worn to a yoga class (though the thick spandex, aka compression shorts, is one material that is very difficult to work though).
Leah McKellop is a Certified Rolfer™ trained in Rolfing Structural Integration® through the Rolf Institute in Boulder, CO. Prior to Rolfing®, Leah received a Bachelors of Science in Applied Psychology through New York University. She has been a yoga enthusiast and instructor since 2009. Leah continues to draw from each of her backgrounds, exploring the ever complex relationship between the health of our bodies and the health our our minds.