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What is Rolfing


Not everyone is familiar with Rolfing. If you heard the term for the first time, you might ask, “What is Rolfing?” Rolfing has only been practiced since the 1950s. A biochemist by the name of Dr. Ida Rolf developed a technique of manipulating the connective tissue of the body’s framework. If 10 people were to ask one who has been Rolfed, what is Rolfing, each person may have a slightly different understanding from the person he/she asked.

Commonalities to what is Rolfing are that the practitioner works to align the head, shoulders, torso, pelvis and extremities so that each part is in sync or in balance with the rest of the body and its center of gravity. The body can get out of balance because one or more parts are affected by the shortening of the connective fascia that holds all the muscles and their skeletal attachments together. What is Rolfing? It softens and breaks down the fibers so that all the muscles of the body can work in harmony and balance.

Someone with one hip higher than the other may ask “What is Rolfing going to do for me?” Over time the hip that is contracted may be able to be in alignment with the other hip, therefore allowing for a normal gait, and less back and hip pain. When one part of the body is out of balance, it can cause pain and in some cases malformations of the musculoskeletal system over time.

What is Rolfing? It can be painful, but in a good sort of way. Rolfing shouldn’t be uncomfortably painful, although you might feel some discomfort. If you do feel any real discomfort, let your practitioner know. He/she may not notice your facial expression when you have an “ouch,” so be sure to voice your discomfort. Many people report that it “hurts so good,” or “it feels so good when it quits hurting.” What is Rolfing? It is both relaxing and invigorating depending on the recipient.

What is Rolfing? It is a fairly slow process. There are usually a series of 10 visits; one each week. The visits are fairly long, lasting up to 1 and ¼ hours each. Once the treatment has been given each week, the client needs to work on keeping those muscles and connective tissue elastic, rather than letting them become stiff again with disuse. Exercise techniques and stretching exercises such as Yoga can help keep the body in balance until the next visit.

The practitioner may take photographs of the client prior to the first treatment and then afterward. More pictures may be taken at the end of the 10 week period to document the improvement that has taken place. What is Rolfing? It isn’t mandatory that the client finish the 10 week cycle of treatments, although it is encouraged. The client can stop at any time, and resume at any time. If the client is not satisfied with the practitioner, he/she can stop the treatments and find another Rolf practitioner without being financially bound to the previous practitioner. It is like changing doctors; if you find you don’t care for one, you can find another.

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