Benefits of Rolfing
What is Rolfing?
Rolfing is a hands-on bodywork system that manipulates fascia, improves structure and coordination, and improves energetic movement through the body. Rolfing organizes structure and coordination to the plumb line of gravity. All our movement, by basic physics, must relate to the Earth. As we are biological organisms hard wired to relate to such physics, improving our relationship to gravity will make our coordination more efficient. Rolfing definitely does this. As Rolfing organization progresses, people notice straighter posture, better coordination, better stamina, better awareness physically and emotionally of themselves and of others and often a clearer sense of purpose.
WHAT DO I GET OUT OF BEING “VERTICALLY ALIGNED
IN THE FIELD OF GRAVITY”?
Enduring beneficial physical change and positive psychological evolution.
Dr. Rolf originally conceived of her method not so much as a way to correct musculoskeletal problems (although this does happen as part of the process), but rather as a system of “somatic education”. It partakes more from those healing traditions whose aim is to support wellness and personal growth, and which achieves its effects more through restoring balance rather than eradicating a pathogen or surgical correction. There is an underlying faith in the bodyʼs ability to heal itself. It assumes a vision of a person as an integrated whole of body and mind.
It can bring relief from musculoskeletal pain “through bringing length and space into the body, and by relating the major segments of the body to each other and to the vertical, more than by working directly on pathology”. ʻGravity is the therapistʼ, Dr. Rolf would say, indicating that the relief of symptoms was due more to the realignment of the body so that gravity becomes an energizing rather than a depleting force.” [Sise, p.33] Rolfers understand not only that posture becomes structure, but that structure becomes identity. We can become locked into a particular conception of our self, our identity, because our physical structure becomes “locked” into a particular pattern. For example, Rolfing assumes a holistic vision of the person, that body and mind are not separate.
What are the Benefits of Rolfing?
As Rolfing organization progresses, people notice straighter posture, better coordination, better stamina, better physical and emotional awareness of themselves and of others and often a clearer sense of purpose.
Some Rolfing changes are noticed immediately, others are felt once rising from the table. Many changes are first appreciated in the time between sessions. After 10 series is completed most people notice ongoing change for a year or so.
The psychological growth Rolfing imparts
We all have heard of body language and that it is far more communicative than verbal interactions. It frequently is very unconscious. However, body language definitely is a presentation of psychological posturing. How we walk across the room is how we walk through our life. As a Rolfer releases chronically held tension patterns, the psychological foundation of such patterns is necessarily altered. One cannot be tense and relaxed at the same time. As soon as the chronic muscular tension pattern releases, the attachment to the associated psychological pattern is now open for revision. Rolf clients routinely have vivid memories of past events or realizations of things that require attention. Once such things come to mind, people make shifts very rapidly.
As physical coordination improves, people demonstrate to themselves better competency. With better competency comes better success and necessarily an improvement in self image. The limitation of chronic injury can shatter self-image.
Rolfing as somatic psychology. Rolfing for personal growth, to both support and bring about psychological change. Changes sense of Self. This explains why it would have a positive effect on processes of psychological growth and change, including recovery.
Some people come out of curiosity, because they are seeking personal growth. Indeed, it is one of the more mysterious aspects of the Rolfing process that many people find that Rolfing supports their efforts towards psychological and spiritual growth. Within the Rolfing community, it is speculated that such experiences can be accounted for in terms of an altered sense of self---people often over time report that they feel “clearer” or “more themselves” than they had before. Come and find out for yourself!
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