HOW ROLFING WORKS
A common misperception of Rolfing Structural Integration is that it is a type of deep tissue massage or simply a method of myofascial release. While there are certainly similarities between these modalities, Rolfing SI is fundamentally different in that its primary goal is to reorganize and balance the whole structure of the body in terms of its relationship to gravity.
Although many methods of massage can be very effective at loosening tight tissue, reducing stress, detoxing and relaxing the body, Rolfing SI is different in that it achieves these types of benefits as a by-product of the work rather than its primary objective.
Rolfing SI works with the fascia system which is the soft tissue component of the connective tissue system that permeates the human body.
Rolfing SI aims to release, balance, and reintegrate the fascia bindings of the body specifically to allow for ease, elasticity and fluidity of movement in gravity. By addressing these original restrictions of the body, long term and stable gains can be made in the overall ease and balance of the whole fascia web of the body. As the fascia bindings are released, the need for the body to compensate and tighten no longer exists. Consequently, symptoms of pain and discomfort are gone.
Dr. Rolf, the founder of Rolfing SI used to say: “Anyone can take a body apart, very few know how to put it back together.”
The true genius of the Rolfing SI method is its ability to reshape and reorganize the body according to clearly defined principles in a systematic and consistent manner and to integrate these changes so that balance is found in both movement and gravity.
ROLFING AND TENSEGRITY
The relationship of the bones and the fascia in the body can be described as a Tensegrity structure and may explain how fluid movement and function of the body is primarily achieved.
The bones of the body act as discrete compression resistant structures, and the fascia act as a continuous and inclusive web of tension that envelops the muscles, tendons, ligaments, bones, nerves, arteries, and veins. When the bones and fascia are in good condition, force is transmitted through the body with ease and vitality. However, when either the bones or the fascia become distressed, this will impact the entire system of the body via the continuous web of fascia. As the body compensates around the area of original distress, additional restrictions in the body will naturally arise.
From this standpoint, it is clear that we need optimal alignment of the bones and also optimal balance within the web of fascia in order to experience full mobility and ease of expression in the body. Each system is interdependent of the other, so it can be of great value to work both systems together.
To this end, Rolfing Structural Integration and the chiropractic method are ideally suited to complement each other in the pursuit of re-establishing fluid movement and optimal function back to the body.
In gravity the human body functions as a Tensegrity structure. The higher the degree of tensional integrity within the fascial webbing, the greater the flexibility, stability, resilience and vitality that will be realized.
The human body is a highly complex and very subtle system. Other therapies incorporated into my personal Rolfing practice are Visceral Manipulation and Neural Release as I have found these additional therapies to work very well in conjunction with Fascial Manipulation.