Ten Things You Need to Know about Rolfing
It’s called Rolfing after its founder, Dr Ida Rolf, a research biochemist from the Bronx who lived 1896-1979. We love Ida, but we struggle with the name too, sometimes. Telling people what we do for a living at parties is a world of pain.
Rolfing is a whole-body treatment that takes place over ten sessions that were designed by Ida Rolf in the 1970s. In ten sessions we work systematically through the whole body, addressing issues such as breathing, pelvic floor support and length and lift in mid-section.
Rolfing works on your connective tissue, or fascia. Rolfers believe that it’s fascia that keeps our body moulded into our usual posture, and it explains why trying to correct your posture (‘sit up straight!’) using muscular effort alone tends to be a short-lived enterprise.
We also believe that how you walk, stand and sit have an impact on your health over the long term. These patterns of movement are often learned at a very early age and bear the imprint of our personal, familial and cultural histories.
Rolfers also look at the effect of gravity on the body. The compressive effect of the gravitational field is our constant companion through life and shapes the way we learn to move as babies. But many of us act as though we’re losing the battle to hold our heads high. Rolfing can help you end the war and learn to make friends with gravity.
Rolfers use a medical model of the body: no chi, no prana. But many Rolfers are also yoga teachers and healers from other backgrounds, because they value Rolfing’s compassionate, creative, whole-body approach.
Similarly, many Rolfers have a background in dance or exercise science, because they recognise the impact that better alignment, improved support and greater flexibility have on improving performance in fitness activities such as running, cycling, weight-training, yoga and golf.