Rolfing® — A holistic approach to health

A person who feels out of alignment probably will have aches and pains and will often turn to anti-inflammatory drugs, muscle relaxants and painkillers.

A person who feels out of alignment probably will have aches and pains and will often turn to anti-inflammatory drugs, muscle relaxants and painkillers.

by Deanna Melnychuk — 

What does rolfing do that other complementary therapies do not? Why is it considered holistic?

Rolfing is more than a feel-good or fix-it alternative therapy. When connective tissue has been injured through accidents or invaded and cut via surgery, its nature is to create more connective tissue in the damaged area. This is a good thing, as the new connective tissue supports and strengthens the areas which are threatened. However, this is a problem when the internal and/or external connective tissue becomes so thick that it inhibits movement or actually pulls bones out of alignment.

A person who feels out of alignment probably will have aches and pains and will often turn to anti-inflammatory drugs, muscle relaxants and painkillers. There are times when these work, simply masking the real problem, and other times when they do not work.

If pharmaceuticals do not work, or if you prefer not to take drugs, it may be time to consider Rolfing Structural Integration. Each session in a 10-session rolfing series lasts between 75 and 90 minutes. The first three sessions create a base or foundation for the body’s unwinding over the next four sessions. The last three sessions integrate the physical changes into a holistic realignment.

Using hands, fingers, elbows and arms, a rolfer stretches and lengthens connective tissue which has been shortened, thickened or dehydrated. Fortunately, connective tissue is very resilient and, with appropriate deep touch within the structured series, old restrictions and body patterns are released. Following this up with cues about how to walk, stand, sit and move, the rolfer guides you to a new place of health and body awareness. Your body, once it is out of pain and is more vertically aligned in gravity, quickly begins to heal itself.

After rolfing, you may experience fewer colds and flu symptoms. One client remarked that her PMS was gone, while another was amazed that his digestive system was now functioning regularly. Still another was able to stop using his asthma inhaler.

Rolfing is not guaranteed to fix problems like these, but when your body’s immune system is working at an optimal level, you may be surprised at what spontaneously heals itself. As one 75-year-old car accident client said, “I feel lighter — like I’m floating.”

The benefits of rolfing include changes in the body’s physical structure to encourage improved posture, more flexibility, wider range of motion, enhanced athletic performance and greater body efficiency and vitality. At the same time, a sense of well-being develops as old patterns drop away. Greater emotional balance and expanded awareness also can occur. Rolfing is a body-mind-spirit experience — a holistic approach to health.

 

Deanna Melnychuk, B.Sc., is a certified advanced rolfer and rolfing® movement practitioner, licensed massage therapist, Reiki Master, CranioSacral therapist and reflexologist. 602-404-8685.

Reprinted from AzNetNews, Volume 25, Number 1, February/March 2006.

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