Rolfing® — The touch that invokes health

Dr. Rolf stresses, begin with health and support it through realignment of the body in the gravitational field. The result is ease of movement, greater flexibility, enhanced athletic performance, relief from aches and pains — better overall health and well-being.

Dr. Rolf stresses, begin with health and support it through realignment of the body in the gravitational field. The result is ease of movement, greater flexibility, enhanced athletic performance, relief from aches and pains — better overall health and well-being.

by Deanna Melnychuk — 

Dr. Ida P. Rolf, the founder of rolfing/structural integration said, “So many therapies are striking at the pattern of disease, instead of supporting the pattern of health. One of the things that you [as rolfers] must always emphasize is that you are not practitioners curing disease; you are practitioners invoking health.” (Feitis, 1978, p.202)

Dr. Rolf herself had many health problems (she was prediabetic with a curvature of the spine). She sought out various practitioners with different methods, but always felt their techniques were inadequate to deal with her difficulties. In her studies, she was influenced by the premise that structure creates and determines physiological function.

To offer a simple example, if one of your legs is shorter than the other (structure), you will limp (function). Even though she saw that a certain amount of manipulation of the fascia around joints brought some relief, she considered this kind of “local work” merely shifting the physical strain from one area of the body to another.

“When you force a locally misaligned area into line, you only shift the strain. The strain above and below that local area is still the same; it has shifted a little bit. There is no basic change in function. You go on using the body in the same way you always used it, and the strain goes right back to the same place.” (Feitis, 1978, p. 171)

Therefore, when Dr. Rolf developed the 10-session rolfing series, she introduced education into this program. Along with experiencing structural integration, the client learns new body awareness and efficient ways of sitting, standing and moving. This education helps them break old habits and establish new patterns.

In order to effect permanent change, Dr. Rolf was convinced that the entire body needed to be realigned and balanced within the gravitational field. Developed over 50 years, her work returns the body to balance through manipulation, repositioning the fascia and providing greater freedom to the muscles. Combine this modality with new patterns of moving and one can achieve even further balance.

Thus, Dr. Rolf stresses, begin with health and support it through realignment of the body in the gravitational field. The result is ease of movement, greater flexibility, enhanced athletic performance, relief from aches and pains — better overall health and well-being.

 

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 24, Number 5, October/November 2005.

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