A Rolfing I Will Go…

Ever heard of Rolfing?  Structural integration?  Ida Rolf?

I never had either, until this summer.

As a matter of fact–if you know what Rolfing is and can tell me the context from which you know it, I’ll give you a prize.  A book–someone you actually want to read.  If it doesn’t cost too, too much.

But really, no one will know what it is.

Rolfing is the name given to the process of structural integration, by the woman who developed it.  A German, now dead, Ida Rolf.

What Rolfing does is take all the damage that gravity, injury, life and anything else you’ve done to yourself in pursuit of things like fun, fitness, adventure and survival and puts you back together.

Your body (under the skin) is held together by a thin webbing or bag-type membrane that allows you to use your muscles and bones, but also allows your body to compensate for injury, etc. by building up more of this membrane in certain places and less in others, creating bad posture, bad knees, backs, and everything else imaginable. 

Rolfing releases the build up of webbing or membrane between muscles and virtually allows your body to reorganize itelf within the now freed web.

For instance.  Carrying two small kids on my left hip for the last five years, pushing the jogging stroller and stress has caused my left shoulder to be higher than the right(this is the tip of the iceberg, kids).  I never even noticed this until I went to a Rolfer.

But three sessions into Rolfing (there are 10 to release enough webbing to rejuggle everything–or at least to get a start) my posture is completely different.  As this crud that’s sealing muscles together as they shouldn’t be is released, I can actually feel my body falling into open space.–reorienting.  It’s an amazing sensation.

Two friends of Bill’s and mine told us about this during the summer and I didn’t understand what they were talking about until I actually felt it.  The euphoric expressions on their faces told me they weren’t kidding–that I better look into this.  And now, you all must secure yourselves Rolfers immediately.  

And just to be clear.  I’m not off the deep end with Alternative medicine.  I like the idea of natural this and that, but really, the drugs I take for MS are the same ones they use for cancer patients–hard core chemicals.  I’m not a wacko granola person.  Wacko in general, perhaps, but I’m not opposed to research supported conventional medicines.

But this Rolfing is something not to be believed. 


6 thoughts on “A Rolfing I Will Go…

  1. I love this concept! I’ve had to go to a physical therapist twice for shoulder-elbow-wrist tendonitis resulting from carrying and sleeping with children. Now I have a trainer that I see twice a week and she’s showing me how certain parts of my body are building muscle to alleviate stress on my shoulder and elbow. She watches me like a hawk when I do certain exercises so that I don’t use the compensating muscles, thus deforming my posture more. And after 1 month – 8 sessions – I feel very different and so much stronger all-around. I’m going to ask her whether she’s heard of Rolf and report back…

  2. When I took ballroom dancing lessons with my now ex, our instructor mentioned the Rolfing technique when we were talking about how people improve posture and their dance posiiton. I didn’t quite get the whole concept then (or now), but if it’s working for you, go with it.

  3. Hey Jaye and Susan, you’re right in that it’s a confusing idea…until you have it done, you don’t really get it. Like I said, if not for my friends’ reactions to it (and one of them is pretty conservative and not at all alarmist or excitable) I’d never have given it a second thought! It hurts like hell at the time it’s being done, though.

  4. Hi. I’m interested inrolfing for wrist/thumb injury. I have been diagnosed with tendonitis which is characterised by wrist swelling which I cannot get rid of. do you have any experience of this? I’d be very grateful to find out more- Mary

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