Ida Thought So: The Blog of London Rolfing
Some people are scared to try Rolfing because they heard that it’s painful. But is it? We need to talk about Rolfing, and why old myths die hard.
One of my excellent colleagues has been in the Sunday Times recently. Well done Nico! But let’s leave the salacious and sensationalist journalism out of it.
If Rolfing’s taught me one thing, it’s that change, even against the odds, is possible. For some reason, that theme feels very resonant today.
'After an hour and a half, I felt spookily calm. I walked out smiling, and about two inches taller.' Read more about what happened when Janet Street-Porter tried Rolfing with Naomi for the first time, in the Daily Mail...
New Year is a time for new beginning. But where to begin? The composer John Cage wrote: ‘Begin anywhere’. If you’re feeling a little the worse for wear this New Year’s Day, it’s fine to begin from where you are. Happy New Year!
For that person in your life who has exhausted all your gift-giving options, a single session of Rolfing in London or Luton might be just the ticket. This year, I’m offering Rolfing gift sessions to purchase for a friend or a loved one. Or, y’know, for yourself, if someone is asking you what you would like this Christmas.
2016 has been a dumbfounding year. In a world of ‘fake news’, what we need is more and better information for our minds and our bodies. In a second hour of Rolfing, we work on the feet to improve the transmission of good information from feet to head. Warning: TIGERS!
Age is definitely not a number. And while wrinkles may be a sign of advancing years, it’s the signs of ‘structural ageing’ that create the real problems.
We all have different ways of orienting ourselves to the ground and the sky. If you’ve met me, you’ll know that I’m a small, speccy kind of woman and may imagine that I was a correspondingly small, speccy, studious kind of child not much given to athletic prowess. The day that my sports teacher suddenly introduced volleyball into our games session was not a day of glory for me.
A few weeks ago I handed over three bound copies of my doctoral thesis to an administrator at the University of Sussex. It’s done. To all of my clients who patiently put up with me in those final weeks of thesis writing: thank you. I am now back at full strength, offering my full range of appointment times (typically Monday-Saturday in London, and Sundays in Luton), and beginning to make exciting plans for the future of London Rolfing.
Occasionally, when I’m travelling, I hear an announcement asking whether there is a nurse or doctor among the passengers, able to help someone in medical distress. Cue my partner, elbowing me in the side, suggesting facetiously that I boldly step up to offer some ‘Emergency Rolfing’.
A rose is a rose is a rose, as Gertrude Stein once wrote, but that doesn’t mean all roses are identical: finding the spirit of the session within the protocol of the session is different with every client.
This week, in hot UK Rolfing news, we received unexpected airtime on the Jeremy Vine Show on BBC Radio 2, and a ringing endorsement from a caller to the programme who had received Rolfing sessions to help her with sciatica.
We need to think (again) about pain. Steve Haines’ new book, Pain is Really Strange, digests the latest findings in pain research, with surprising implications for how we manage long-term pain conditions. Chronic pain, it turns out, is really strange: it’s an unreliable indicator of tissue damage, and can result from sensitisation at the site of a previous injury. In most cases, Haines contends, it is a ‘mistake, a fault in the [body’s] alarm systems’.
Today – 19 May – is Ida Rolf’s birthday. Born in 1896 in the Bronx, Ida Rolf is the inventor of Rolfing and the founder of two schools, the Rolf Institute and the Guild for Structural Integration. Her legacy is profound. So let’s raise a toast to Ida on her birthday.
Got a body? Going to the beach? Then let’s go, and to hell with Protein World and their notoriously offensive ‘are you beach body ready?’ advert.
From April 2015, London Rolfing has an exciting new home at Lumen URC at 88 Tavistock Place, in Bloomsbury.
Consciously Uncoupling the Sense from the Nonsense: Rolfing, Gwyneth and an Open Letter to Chris Peters of Sense About Science
An open letter to Sense About Science, who’ve asked the UK Rolfing community to defend the claims we make for our work in the wake of the article that appeared on Gwyneth Paltrow’s lifestyle website, Goop.
The Guardian article on Rolfing brought sneers from the Internet trolls. In this post I address the criticisms and explain why Rolfing is not pseudo-science.
Can Rolfing help you become a better runner and recover more quickly from running injuries? Absolutely. When it comes to running, Rolfing has taught me a number of things. More than anything else, it has taught me to pay close attention to the way I move and hold my body, to notice my patterns of tension and to begin to analyse my own running style.
‘One discovers by breathing that one had stopped breathing. One only discovers one’s stopped breath when one takes the next breath’ (Hélène Cixous).
Life begins on an inhalation. The Rolfing ten series underscores the importance of breathing by making it our theme of enquiry during the first hour of work.
The London Rolfing Clinic opens September 2014 at the beautiful Atelier Tammam in Bloomsbury. An elegant and spacious venue, the Atelier is a short walk away from King’s Cross, St Pancras and Euston Stations, and offers an ideal setting in which to receive the Rolfing ten series.
Rolfing can help you look slimmer as well as create the best conditions for your body to lose weight naturally. But more importantly than either of these, Rolfing can help you feel better in the body you’re in.
There’s no question that Rolfers are very concerned with posture. But for a certain generation, the P-word gives way to the D-word: deportment. And that leads us into murkier waters.
There are also big differences between the training requirements for Rolfers and massage therapists.
So let’s continue by considering the differences between massage and Rolfing in more detail.
As a community, Rolfers still have to work against the perception that Rolfing is ‘a kind of massage’ (and an expensive one, at that). It isn’t.