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The Art of Massage Rolfing


Manipulating the connective fascia through myofascial massage, Rolfing is effective for relieving pain related to postural problems and other imbalances in the body. Massage Rolfing is done with the fingers, hands and elbows. Rolfing is done primarily on dry skin without the accompaniment of oils and lubricants. The only time an oil or moisturizer is used is if it is absolutely necessary to manipulate a certain area. Massage Rolfing is different than any other kind of massage. It balances the body parts to the individual’s center of gravity. When one has finished a session he/she may feel energized and suddenly feels his/her body, mind and spirit are at one with each other.

Many massage therapists, and chiropractors incorporate Rolfing into their practice to align the body. The goal is to break down the thick facial layers that become stiff and cause contractures and other malformations within the body. As treatment progresses, many clients gain some height as their body is brought back into alignment.

Massage Rolfing was developed by a biochemist by the name of Dr. Ida P. Rolf. She studied homeopathy and osteopathy, as well as Yoga and chiropractics. She traveled around North America practicing her specialty. Massage Rolfing became widely accepted in the 1970s and 1980s. The Rolf Institute was founded in 1971.

To become a massage Rolfing practitioner one must graduate from the Rolfing Institute in Bolder, Colorado. Rolfing training is a two year course; tuition is more than $10,000. A student living away from home will have living expenses on top of tuition. A student can apply for financial aid and federal grants to help with the expenses.

There is much to be said for massage Rolfing. Many doctors integrate Rolfing techniques into their practice. Patients that are treated with massage Rolfing report that they feel more at home in their bodies than they ever did before. They report to have more physical and emotional balance and flexibility. The mind and body comes into a state of balance.

Clients and professionals alike believe that there is a muscular and emotional connection with the practice of massage Rolfing. Many clients report there is an improvement to the shape of the body after the connective tissue has been broken down and the body realigned.

Massage Rolfing involves manipulation of the head, shoulders, thorax, hips, knees and ankles. The session lasts for on average 1 hour and 15 minutes, and there is one session a week for 10 weeks. Then if necessary the client would come back for another series of treatments for 10 weeks. Realignment should be permanent when the client works at maintaining the balance between his/her body parts and their center of gravity.

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