What is Rolfing Structural Integration?

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What is Rolfing® Structural Integration?

Rolfing® structural integration (SI) is a form of bodywork named after Dr. Ida Rolf, a biochemist who was influenced by osteopathy, physical therapy, and yoga.

The goal of Rolfing® SI is to improve health by bringing segments of the body (e.g. pelvis, legs) into proper alignment.

Rolfing® SI is based on the idea that fascia--the fibrous layers covering muscles--stiffens, shortens, and loses its elasticity after prolonged poor posture and mental and emotional stress.

Practitioners of Rolfing® SI, Rolfers™, use their elbows, fingers, and knuckles to stretch and open fascia to correct the habitual patterns of misalignment in the head, shoulders, abdomen, pelvis, and legs. This is believed to help open up breathing, improve digestion, balance the nervous system, and improve physical and emotional health.

The Rolf Institute® of Structural Integration is the only school that teaches Rolfing® Structural Integration and certifies Rolfers™.

Conditions Treated

  • Poor posture
  • Muscle tension and pain, especially in the neck, upper back, and low back
  • Other conditions caused by poor posture

What is a Typical Rolfing® Treatment Like?

A typical course of treatment is 10 weekly, 1 hour sessions, with each session focusing on a certain area of the body. The practitioner begins by examining your posture, and take photographs so that you can see the before and after changes.

You will be asked to sit or lie on a massage table or floor mat, and the practitioner will begin the Rolfing movements.

The practitioner usually asks you to breath in sync with the manipulations.

Is Rolfing® SI Uncomfortable?

Rolfing® SI usually does cause some discomfort and pain when the pressure is applied. Practitioners say this a "reaction pain" that may be necessary when releasing tissue adhesions and correcting habitually poor posture.

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