Profile of Rolfing results

What is Structural Integration?
Structural Integration, more commonly known as Rolfing®, is a process of organizing and lengthening the connective tissue (fascia) of the body so that it relates with ease in gravity. This allows more space for the muscles to move and the joints the freedom to function.

The newly acquired space and freedom in the tissue allows the body structures to function more efficiently with less stress. Many times by organizing the tissue in a more efficient manner many aches and pains that were in the body begin to subside resulting in pain relief.

How does Gravity Affect our Body?
Gravity can either be a positive or negative influence. If a body’s segments (neck, back, hips, knees, feet, etc.) are organized toward a more vertical line the body is able to work with gravity. This results in a “lift” or support to the body and minimal stress to the joints and other structures of the body. If the body segments are not aligned, gravity will pull on the unstable segments putting extra stress and strain to the joints, muscles, tendons etc. This constant pull of gravity can eventually cause a system to breakdown, possibly resulting in injury or chronic pain.

Sitting Postures

What is Connective Tissue?
The connective tissue (fascia) can be thought of as a matrix of communication and support for our body. Fascia interweaves throughout all of the body systems – the circulatory, nervous, musculo-skeletal, and organs. When the connective tissue is healthy, it is flexible, elastic, lengthens and is resilient to stress. The fascia can be affected negatively by poor body mechanics, repetitive strain/stress to tissue, trauma and injures.

If there is a significant amount of stress placed to the connective tissue it begins to thicken and does not lengthen as easily with movement. This can result in dehydration to the tissue, decreasing mobility of the joints and function of the muscle tissue. The body may respond by presenting with aches and pain, joint and muscle stiffness, restrictions in flexibility and movement and decreased daily function.

Benefits

  • Improved Posture
  • Decreased Intensity of Chronic Pain
  • Improved Flexibility
  • Increased Energy
  • Increased Ease of Movement
  • Improvement with Strength
  • Improvement with Balance
  • Increased Vital Capacity
  • Better Self Confidence
  • More Restful Sleep

Who Should Get Rolfed®?

Anyone who:

  • Has acute or chronic muscle or joint pain
  • Has injuries from sports, work or car accidents
  • Has chronic pain from old injuries or poor postural habits
  • Has chronic neck or back pain
  • Experiences frequent headaches
  • Is pregnant and wants to alleviate pain and improve space for baby
  • Has scar tissue adhesions
  • Who wants to improve postural awareness
  • Is seeking to achieve optimal health and wellness
  • Has had breast cancer surgery and needs to release adhesions or requires tissue expansion due to reconstruction

The 10 series is a series of 10 sessions that are a progression and extension from the last session received. The ultimate goal is to improve structural alignment of the body. Most sessions are approximately 1 hour in length and can be scheduled anywhere from 1-2 times per week to once per month. Sessions are generally done in undergarments so the practitioner is able to analyze and access various segments of the body during the treatment session. For a better visual understanding of how a client’s body changes, photographs can be taken prior to the first session and again at the end of the series. This can be helpful for clients who want to see how their body is changing visually with the process.

Prior to each session the practitioner will assess the client from the front, sides and back of the body. This helps them to determine how they need to progress with the session. The session begins with the practitioner using their hands, arms and elbows to lengthen the fascial tissue. The client will be asked to participate in each session through breathing or small movement patterns. At the end of the some sessions the practitioner may instruct the client on particular guides to help them in continuing to progress with the process. Their client is educated throughout the series on postural mechanics and changes that are occurring to their body.

After completing a ten series the body needs time to integrate the changes that have occurred to it. Changes can continue to occur for up to one year after a series has been completed. It is suggested to allow 6 months to a year to pass before receiving more work. There are exceptions to this that can be discussed with your practitioner.

Ida Rolf was the founder of Structural Integration which has become know as “Rolfing®”. She earned her Ph.D. in biochemistry in 1920. She worked at the Rockefeller Institute for 12 years during which time she began exploring Osteopathy, Chiropractic Medicine, Tantric Yoga, the Alexander Technique and Homeopathic Medicine. She wanted to help a friend who had a disability that medical treatment was not able to improve.

In the 1940’s she began to develop what became known as “The Recipe” of Structural Integration. She continued to refine The Recipe and found that if the fascia of the body was lengthened in a particular order, the effects where more favorable for acquiring better order to the body with long term results. The Recipe became known as “The 10 Series.”

Dr. Rolf’s technique is taught at two schools – The Guild For Structural Integration and The Rolf Institute.

Dr. Ida P. Rolf“When the body gets working appropriately, the force of gravity can flow through it. Then spontaneously, the body heals itself.”

Ida P. Rolf Ph.D.

rolfer, rolfing, structural integration, massage, reflexology, reflexologist, craniosacral, michigan, oxford, rochester hills, foundation training, pain relief, back pain, pain management
Dawn Szpiech, AT, ATC, PTA, MT, TBMM-CES

To learn more about Dawn visit her Bio page.