Rolfing Structural Integration, or Rolfing as it is more commonly known, was devised by Dr Ida P Rolf, as a holistic system of soft tissue manipulation and movement education. It is an approach to healing that deals with the way the body's structure affects its function.
Rolfing aims to realign the body by using deep pressure and stroking massage techniques to stretch shortened and tightened myofascia back into shape. With treatment, the myofascia becomes softer and more flexible, restoring its natural balance in relation to muscles, tendons and bones. With this change of myofascia, the practitioner evokes a more normal movement, enhancing a more natural flow of energy. Practitioners use their knuckles, knees, elbows, or fingers to create pressure that manipulates the myofascia, releasing deeply held tension. Patients are usually treated on a massage table and will be appropriately unclothed. Education is also an important part of the treatment, to increase the patient's awareness of body structure.
Research has demonstrated that Rolfing creates a more efficient use of the muscles, allows the body to conserve energy, and creates more economical and refined patterns of movement. It is a beneficial treatment for people who have a history of injury whereby the minor injuries are beginning to interfere with their everyday lives. Some problems for which it would be suitable are:
A full Rolfing course involves 10 sessions of 60 to 90 minutes each, however this can vary depending on what the client is after.