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What is Rolfing Structural Integration?

Rolfing Structural Integration, named after its creator, Dr. Ida P. Rolf, is a type of bodywork that reorganizes the connective tissues, called fascia, which permeate the whole body.

Dr Rolf realized more than fifty years ago that the body is essentially a system of interconnected tissue networks rather than a series of separate parts. They cover, help and penetrate all muscles, bones, nerves and organs. Rolfing Structural Integration works to detach, realign and stabilize the entire body on this web-like network of connective tissues, thus theoretically mitigating stress, minimizing compensation and alleviating pain. Rolfing SI helps to restore strength, reinvigorate your energy and make your body feel more comfortable.

Essentially, the Rolfing process enables the body to regain the natural integrity of its form, thus enhancing postural efficiency and your freedom of movement.

What are the benefits?

Rolfing Structural Integration has the ability to change the behavior and function of an individual dramatically. Rolfing SI is capable of solving stress, reducing tension and alleviating pain. Rolfing SI helps to restore flexibility, reinvigorate your motivation and make your body feel more comfortable. The work’s brilliance rests on Dr. Rolf’s intuition that the body is more relaxed and works most efficiently when gravity regulates its structure.

Rolfing SI has helped athletes, musicians, girls, business professionals and people from all walks of life. People seek Rolfing SI as a way to alleviate pain and chronic stress and improve performance in their professional and daily activities. More than 1 million people are known to have earned jobs at Rolfing.

Research has shown that Rolfing SI allows more effective use of the muscles, helps the body to conserve energy, and provides more economical and refined movement patterns. Research also shows that Rolfing SI decreases chronic stress dramatically, and improvements in body structure. A study showed, for example, that Rolfing SI significantly reduced the spinal curvature of subjects with lordosis (swing back); it also showed that Rolfing SI enhances neurological function.

The word “Rolfing” is the nickname given to this job by many clients and practicers. Today, it is a service label licensed in 38 countries.

7 things you should know about Rolfing if you have chronic pain

1. Rolfing should never be painful.

Rolfing is often deep and sometimes painful and unpleasant, but Rock claims pain is never intended to be. “Rolfing should never be more uncomfortable than the chronic pain you’re already in,” she explains.

2. Rolfing isn’t a quick fix.

A good rule of thumb, she says, is to give yourself one month of weekly sessions for every year of pain. Though Rock says with every session you will see improvements.

It’s also likely that you ‘re going to need to make ongoing lifestyle changes to assist in maintaining and furthering the changes from Rolfing. “This may include ergonomics, footwear, pillows, yoga, nutrition, etc.,” explains Rock.

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    3. Rolfing may help chronic pain.

    In their activities the Oregon Health & Science University School of Medicine, Comprehensive Pain Center has integrated alternative and complementary treatments, including Rolfing.

    There were however limited research on the effectiveness of Rolfing. Two small studies in 2014 and 2015 have shown that Rolfing can, at least in the short term, reduce pain rates for people with fibromyalgia and lower back pain.

    4. Rolfing addresses structural (think postural) and functional (think movement) aspects of chronic pain.

    Rolfing can be effective if your pain rates are caused by excessive rigidity, discomfort from injury or surgery, holding postures that impede fluid motion, or repetitive motion.

    5. Rolfing may reveal other places of pain.

    If you’ve been struggling with chronic pain, chances are that’s the place most of your attention is concentrated on.

    With Rolfing though, Stolzoff says you’re going to discover other areas in your body that might play a role in your pain. Having this detail in your overall treatment plan can be helpful.

    6. Rolfing may uncover deeply held emotions.

    Rock says to be mindful that you may have surface feelings, on and off the table, as your muscles retain and release muscle memory. “This is frequently part of the healing process, so as strange as it may seem, it’s actually helpful,” she explains.

    7. Rolfing requires a skilled practitioner.

    Rolfing needs to be done by a licensed and professional practitioner, particularly for chronic pain. Rock suggests you find a Rolfer you’re communicating with because it’s a very personal process.

    And the best part, right? Trying Rolfing there is virtually no risk and there is no side-effect to it.

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