Good posture and alignment has never been easy to maintain, but the digital age has made these issues worse than ever as we hunch over laptops and phones, our necks craned toward our devices.
Enter Rolfing, a holistic form of bodywork that manipulates soft connective tissue in the body to improve a person’s posture, alignment, and relieve chronic pain. Rolfing expert Brian Kirsch of Studio4Bodywork swears by this technique for both adults and children. Read on to find out exactly why Rolfing is so effective, and how it can change your life.
What is Rolfing?
Rolfing, also known as structural integration, is a holistic form of bodywork that focuses on improving posture, alignment, flexibility, and overall ease of the body. It is a deep manipulation of the body’s soft connective tissue within the gravitational field. Rolfing can improve a person’s overall posture, relieve chronic pain, and reduce stress on the body.
Rolfing was named after its creator Ida P. Rolf, a biochemist from New York City. She developed the “ten series” treatment, which is systematically designed to address the entire body and connect every major fascial plane/muscle group. This helps to ensure the body is in full alignment.
Why is Rolfing gaining more popularity these days?
Rolfing is gaining more popularity today because of a healthier, more holistically conscious world. It has also become popular through social media.Many people are looking for a safer and healthier alternative to taking pills and a long-term approach that will change their lives.
How does Rolfing differ from osteopathy?
Rolfing differs from osteopathy because it has a more holistic and integrative approach. Rolfing treats the body systematically rather symptomatically. It also addresses the entire postural pattern at once rather than trying to fix the specific issue like Osteopathy.
How does Rolfing differ from massage therapy?
Rolfing differs from a deep tissue massage in that practitioners are trained to create overall ease and balance throughout the entire body, while massage therapy focuses on specific areas that have been experiencing tension.
As the body becomes more aligned, chronic strain patterns are alleviated and pain and stress decreases.
Generally, who are your clients and what are they looking for?
I typically see a wide array of clients. Overall a fairly balanced ratio of male and females who range from 15 to 80 years old. The most common cases that I treat are chronic short to long term pain or injuries, those who want to improve their posture, alignment, flexibility, athletic performance and overall general health.
Ric and I have recently started our Rolfing 10-series and what we can tell you is that our cells have experienced deep awakenings. The mysterious connections between fascia, consciousness and healing is REAL. We have not found Rolfing painful ourselves although some people do find it can be uncomfortable at times. After each session, we feel lighter, calmer and free.
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What results can people expect after their 10-session series?
After completing a 10-series treatment clients have noted the following benefits:
- Ease and looseness in their bodies
- Improved alignment
- Greater sense of freedom in their entire body.
One of my greatest success stories of a client of mine who suffered from a bad fall a few years before he came to see me. He severely compressed his spine and was literally standing crooked as a result of the muscle inflammation surrounding his spine. While putting him through a 10-series, he began to see incremental improvements after each session. Most notably after his fourth sessionm, which addressed his medial hamstrings (adductors), and pelvic girdle. His structure drastically shifted back to center. From that session on, he and I watched the profound results of Rolfing take place in front of our own eyes. This was such a powerful moment in my career.
Is there any maintenance involved after a 10-session Rolfing series is complete?
Yes. Typically I recommend clients come back once a month or once every two months for maintenance work. It all depends on how well the client has progressed. Maintenance work is also referred to as a “tune up”. I will address the areas of the body that still need more assistance; specifically related to their own injuries.
Can children have Rolfing sessions? If so, how can they benefit children?
Yes, absolutely! The benefits of children receiving Rolfing include the following:
- Accelerated growth
- Improved alignment
- Overall development and long-term structural health.
Where are you located and how can we find out more about your practice?
I am located in Birmingham, Michigan and my practice is called Studio Bodywork.