Rolfing: Holistic Therapy and Pain Relief
I’m often asked by clients, “What is Rolfing therapy?”
Rolfing is posture and movement therapy for pain relief (neck and shoulder pain, lower back pain, scoliosis, sciatic nerve pain etc.). Receiving a Rolfing session is like having someone do yoga for you, with dramatic improvements in flexibility once you’re done.
Rolfing looks like a cross between physical therapy and massage. A Rolfing practitioner applies slow, deep stretching around joints, lengthening the shortened, bunched tissues and freeing up stuck, frozen tissues so that your body moves in the way it was meant to.
You’ll often see people define Rolfing as “deeper-than-deep-tissue massage,” but Rolfing actually works with an entirely different system in the body – fascia, or connective tissue.
Fascia is what holds your muscles and bones in place and gives your body shape, so Rolfing gently realigns your body by adjusting the tension in your fascia which indirectly pulls your bones back into place. It’s like having chiropractic therapy for your muscles.
The goal of Rolfing is to improve your posture and alignment, thus creating more efficient and pain-free movement. Over time, injuries, accidents, illnesses and poor body mechanics create muscular imbalances that cause slouching and crookedness, resulting in back and neck pain, shoulder pain, and other chronic pain conditions.
Such a great experience!! I went to Sukie for intense headaches and neck pain, and each time I saw her it was almost as if I never had them. She works intuitively and gently, yet really pays close attention to details such as posture and muscle tone. I would highly recommend her work to anyone looking to improve their body posture, function and feel better!
Dr. Marnie Hansen, Chiropractor
Rolfing is the study of form and function. The alignment of your body determines how it will move, just like the alignment of the tires on your car will determine how straight it travels down the road. If your leg is rotated out or your hip is hiked up, it affects your movement.
Similarly, the way you habitually move will affect your form, or posture. If you broke your leg in high school, for example, and had a cast on that immobilized your knee, you may have developed the habit of not bending that knee. Over time, the compensations in your body will contribute to a rotation of the femur (thigh bone) and one hip being higher than another.
Rolfing brings you back into alignment and frees up your joints to increase flexibility. Since you are no longer exerting extra energy to hold yourself up against the pull of gravity, people who experience Rolfing often report feeling lighter and more energetic in addition to having their pain disappear.
Rolfing is also an excellent treatment for athletes who want to improve athletic performance and prevent future injuries. Runners, rowers, equestrians, weight lifters and many other types of athletes have sought out the healing power of Rolfing to eliminate physical pain, increase flexibility and boost energy.