Rolfing: A Modern Type of Stress Relief
Rolfing is a physical technique that involves the manipulation of a body’s soft tissues. Another term for this technique is structural integration. Rolfing organizes the relationships of soft tissues to each other in order to bring about a harmonious body structure and freer movement patterns. This is said to enhance a person’s well-being. It is currently being used in many circles of alternative medicine and is thought to be an excellent process for helping a person relieve stress and move more freely.
Ida Pauline Rolf is the woman responsible for creating this technique, which has been rightly named after her. In the 1950’s Rolf used her knowledge in biochemistry to develop a method which involves a body’s structural realignment in relation to gravity. She called this process Structural Integration of the Human Body. Ever since the 1970’s, Rolfing has been used as a technique to realign the body and create a more harmonious state of well-being.
The process of Rolfing involves touching the skin of a person in order to find any imbalances in the tissue structure of a body and to separate what Ida Rolf called fascial layers that adhere and muscles that have been pulled out of position due to strain or energy. Rolfing is a massage-like technique that works to alleviate these tissues of any stress that may have caused them harm. Also, according to Rolfing, all parts of the body aligned, including ankles, pelvis, hips, knees, shoulders, etc. It is only in this way that the body will be balanced with gravity and thus in a state of deep relaxation and happiness. When a body is aligned, gravity is supposed to enhance a person’s personal energy and bring about happiness and health.
Learning these techniques is hard to do, and a certified Rolfing therapist spends a few years studying the technique, which costs about $10,000. There is only one school, in Colorado, which teaches this technique, although there a couple other schools that teach similar techniques called structural integration rather than Rolfing. Although they are different in name, the techniques are generally the same.
There is some skepticism given to Rolfing, though therapists using the technique have found it to be successful and many clients have said to be relaxed and happy when they leave a Rolfing session. Using tissue therapy and the natural force of gravity, Rolfing is continuing to grow and is becoming a more commonly used technique throughout the world.
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