Equine Rolfing Structural Integration has gained a lot of popularity in recent years. My only experience in working on animals is with my 20 pound dog Rio while sitting on my couch at home. She loves hip work.
Working on Rio has taught me about the non-verbal signals all animals (including humans) give when receiving work. When you can’t verbally communicate these signals become paramount. While my dog may just walk away when she’s irritated with the work, imagine what a horse could do if they don’t feel comfortable! Seems like it would be a powerful experience to work with a horse in this way. Check out the video:
Well, in this era of tablets and smartphones we have so many more postures to choose from on a typical work day. Of course proper posture in a dynamic way is much harder to learn, but once you get it it can save you from chronic problems.
This video describes how, using Structural Integration, we can help restore balance to a rib that is out of place.
Rolfing is like a massage on steroids, in a good way.
This NIH study shows some correlation between myofascial therapy used in conjunction with traditional treatment methods for an ankle sprain.
“Integration” – Ah yes, the final piece to the picture. This part of the series is about organize the whole is a way specific to the client. This is where the artistry of the ten series lies. What does this body need? How do we get all these pieces to come together to form a more complete whole? Here’s what these two have to say about it…
In sessions 4-7 we addressed “the core.” “The core” in this case is similar to an apple – where it is the deepest layers of the body – not just abdominal muscles.
When you experience chronic pain (from an accident, overuse, poor posture, etc.), you may elect to take, or be advised to take, painkillers.
Athletes put their bodies through rigorous, repetitive motions that can pull the web of fascia out of alignment causing joints (knees, ankles, back, neck, shoulders) to gradually tighten and build up scar tissue. This increased tension and strain can lead to pain, stiffness, tendonitis, lack of flexibility, increased injury and deceased performance. Rolfing® combats these effects by releasing the fascia surrounding tight muscles, lengthening tight tendons, breaking down scar tissue and increasing flexibility and range of motion.
You’ve been seeing me for Rolfing sessions and we’ve gotten rid of your pain, so you’re done seeing me right? Well, maybe not. Just because you’re not feeling any pain currently doesn’t mean that your body is functioning in a healthy way.
A montage of a client being worked on set to music. It gives a good feel for what is happening in a typical session.
CTS is a common problem for people who work on computers or do other repetitive motions all day with their hands.
My personal data point is that rolfing absolutely cured my foot pain, and that was after many years of trying everything conventional medicine had to offer. (Yes, I had custom orthotics made. Twice.) I do think rolfing is absolutely worth a try if you have chronic foot pain, particularly if you’re getting no relief from conventional medicine.
In the 1960s, Dr. Ida P. Rolf said, “If you can imagine how it feels to live in a fluid, light, balanced body, free of pain, stiffness and chronic stress, at ease with yourself and Earth’s gravitational field, then you will understand the goals of Rolfing Structural Integration.”
“In the first session, my Rolfer worked on the upper part of my arms. The contact was slow and specific. The therapist went to the exact places that were stuck, and then the looseness went into my hands. I could feel my arms slowly changing. I could breathe easier and my range of motion was different.” Sheldon continued with Rolfing, which became a life-changing experience for him.
“When I describe a specific position in the high jump, my Rolfer will work on and discuss key areas that can improve my body mechanics. The insights I gain from the Rolfing work help me picture where I might be able to extract a little more power and length in the act of high jumping. I notice that I feel more stable and long throughout my body after the sessions.”
Around Monday or so, I was feeling a bit down about the Rolfing I’m going through; not because of our Rolfer, but I felt like I was failing my homework assignment: to pay attention to my feet.
“Fascia is the organ of form”, this qoute is from the founder of Structural Integration, Ida Rolf, Ph.D. She believed in fascia’s ability to determine the body’s structure well before this was a commonly hel belief.
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“Are you sure my spine is aligned?” I always ask once he puts me into this position. “Because this doesn’t feel natural to me. I feel like I’m about to fall forward.” He then laughs and tells me that eventually, once he’s worked over the fascia in my body, this position will feel less awkward.