"Gravity cannot be defeated or avoided. What we can do is change our relationship to gravity. The goal of Rolfing through the sensitive manipulation of the fascia, is to bring the body closer to its center line"
Darrell Sanchez et Vivian Gettliffe
Imagine living in a flexible and balanced body that is free of pain, stiffness and chronic stress
Imagine your body at ease with itself and able to adapt to life’s physical, mental and emotional challenges
Rolfing is a body therapy based on fascia manipulation, movement and perception work designed to help the human structure to realign on its axis in harmony with gravity.
Rolfing is also called Structural integration and was elaborated by Ida P. Rolf who had this amazing vision of the importance of fascia for our overall wellbeing.
As we move through life our body needs to compensate for injuries, physical or emotional traumas, work or sport habits …and loses its alignment. The soft tissues lose their elasticity, the muscles need to compensate and create tension and pain. With time, our bodies freeze in postures that prevent us from standing, moving, sitting, or even resting comfortably or efficiently.
Rolfing changes the spatial relations among body-parts and so allows gravity to effortlessly align and uplift the structure.. The new sensation of space in the joints and length in one body will allow a different quality of movement and presence.
Rolfing is a holistic technique that impacts the whole person, physically, emotionally and energetically. People who receive Rolfing can expect a wide variety of lasting benefits including relief from chronic pain, greater range of motion, a feeling of lightness and energy, and an increased level of self-confidence.
How does it works ?
Rolfing is a process and accomplishes its results through a series of ten to twelve (or more or less) sessions designed to open and balance the whole body. Each session addresses specific areas of the body and builds upon the last until complete integration of the structure is achieved. The average spacing between sessions is one to two weeks.
During a typical Rolfing session your therapist will start by evaluating your structure by looking at you in standing, walking and sitting. To a Rolfer’s eye, slouched shoulders, a forward leaning neck, hyperextended knees or bowed legs,...all reveal a fascia that has thickened or shortened.
The session then continues on the massage table where your therapist will use his/her hands and elbows with various type of pressure to specific parts of the body to start freeing the tissue that need it the most.
Each session lasts about 1h30. It is spread between the assessment of how the work is integrating between sessions, the work on the tissues and some movement education to make you more aware of your habits and how to move in a new way so the nervous system can integrate the new information.
The fascia is the central “tool” of Structural Integration according to Dr Ida Rolf. Her discovery of the key significance of the fascia for human wellbeing dates back to the middle of the 20th century. Fascia (lat. fascia meaning band, bundle) is the soft part of the connective tissue, which runs through the human body as a surrounding, continuous mesh.
Recent research suggests that the fascia is also one of our most important organs of self-perception (proprioception), as it is endowed with many sensory receptors. These receptors also play an important role in the perception of pain. Due to their many receptors and nerve endings, muscles and the fascia can also be viewed as part of our “sensory organs”. They provide information about our movements and our posture, and contribute to the way we express ourselves, sense and feel with our body.
With its many and varied qualities of touch, Structural Integration uses and fosters the fascia’s plasticity and gliding properties. Using very specific forms of touch, it is able to rebalance tensions in the fascia. Everyday stress and strain, injuries or surgical procedures can affect this tension and lastingly impair the fascia. This leads to structural problems in the body and to poor posture.
For whom ?
Anyone can benefit from Rolfing, from children to elderly people.
Since Rolfing® was developed over fifty years ago, people of all ages and from all walks of life have benefited from it :
Neck, pain, back tensions
chronic pain conditions
high stress levels
recovery from surgery
find back to one’s body sensation after pregnancy or helping with tensions during pregnancy
What benefit can you expect ?
Enhanced ease of breathing
Increase in Energy
Increased sense of wellbeing
Management of acute and chronic pain
Improved range of Movement
Dr Ida Rolf
Ida P. Rolf, born in NY, USA obtained her doctorate in Biochemistry at Columbia University in 1920 before working 12 years at the Rockefeller Institute. In 1927 she studied mathematics and nuclear physics at the EPFL in Zurich and homeopathy in Geneva. She returned to the USA in 1930 and spent the next 10 years exploring yoga, chiropractic, osteopathy, Alexander's technique. She was also invited by Fritz Perls (founder of Gestalt therapy) to the Institute of Esalen, a major center for research on consciousness at that time.
Dr. Rolf integrated these various learning experiences with the desire to find a more effective approach to cases that conventional medical treatments seemed unable to help. She spent more than 20 years developing this method of understanding the body, which she called Structural Integration. Her work continues through the Dr Ida Rolf Institute (USA) and internationally through the European Rolfing Association based in Munich, its various European locations, and also in Brazil and Australia.