What We Do
Rolfing® Structural Integration
Rolfing Structural Integration is a therapeutic approach that seeks to help you feel more alive, connected, aligned and pain free by taking into account how you live, move, think and perceive your world. Rolfers originally believed that their hands were able to change the connective tissue of the body but after years of research it has become clear that manual therapists cannot directly, physically affect the connective tissue. Those of us who claim to directly change fascia are working with an outdated (and scientifically disproven) explanatory model. Instead, it appears that our effects are mediated through an individuals nervous system (brain, spinal cord and peripheral nerves) making any change a dance between practitioner and client. Our hands, words and movement suggestions are received by the infinitely complex individual. Whenever we touch a person we are first touching the skin - the skin is like the surface of the brain (only three nerve cells from the brain)! Our contact is communication that tells our clients that there are new options for movement, perception and coordination.
We provide a safe environment, free from the stresses of everyday life where your well-being and health are our primary focus for 75-minutes. We strive to be your trusted partner on your path to feeling integrated, whole and at-home in your body.
After six decades of research and development, Rolfers now use a combination of sophisticated touch and movement education aimed at repatterning the nervous system to remind the body of its natural state of ease and efficiency. Rolfers use an integral approach to the whole human being recognizing that one cannot touch one part of a person without touching the whole person. One can think of the hands-on work as nourishment for the brain and spinal cord that helps alleviate protective patterns of contraction and movement. Clients often report feeling lighter, longer, and more connected with their bodies.
Rolfing at its heart is a process of becoming more mindful of one's body and lived experience. The hands-on work is like going on a guided tour of one's own body and helps connect clients with one's "felt sense" or the awareness of one's ever-changing sensory, energetic, and emotional landscape (as described by Peter Levine Ph.D.).
a typical session
Each session begins with a verbal check-in. We want to hear how you are experiencing your body. We’ll inquire about how you have felt since our last session, on how the work settled into your system and how your awareness has changed.
We then match what we’ve heard from you with what we see in a biomechanical assessment. We’ll have you sit, stand and walk while we observe how you move through space, how you perceive that movement (i.e. proprioception), and whether there are areas that need specific attention.
Next, we match what we’ve heard and seen with what we feel in the tissue. Each session is typically comprised of 40-50 minutes of hands-on table work. We use a sophisticated, listening touch and apply gentle pressure in specific areas in order to speak to your nervous system while asking for slow, mindful movements. The last few minutes are spent helping you integrate the structural changes that have occurred throughout the session.
Lastly, we will have you sit, stand and walk in a final biomechanical assessment. We will make sure that you feel grounded and integrated before you leave our office. An important part of each session is making sure that you have practical tools to help you explore and integrate the changes we evoked on the table, in your everyday life.
Our sessions range from 60-90 minutes in duration.
The goals of Rolfing are initially and most effectively addressed through a series of 8-12 sessions. Dr. Rolf used to think of the process as one session divided into 8-12 pieces. Each session completes the work of the previous and prepares the body for the next. This allows time to explore areas of the body that have trouble releasing, where you might feel “stuck” or lack awareness.
The introductory sessions (1-3) help you learn to connect to your breath, your feet and your lateral line, preparing you for the changes that occur in the core sessions. The core sessions (4-7) address the source(s) of primary structural and movement patterns. The integrative sessions (8-10) assimilate the changes that have occurred and help you carry these changes into optimal and efficient function.
It is not necessary to commit to multiple sessions. Whether you come in for one session or for the full series you will leave with a new level of awareness, efficiency of movement and performance. However, a series of sessions allows us to explore your patterns more effectively, equip you with tools to prevent similar challenges from arising in the future and evoke the greatest change.
POst 10-series sessions
After the initial series of sessions, you may decide to return for “tune-up” sessions at a frequency relative to your needs.
It is common for clients to return for 3-5 sessions per year. Athletes or laborers who put extra demand on their structure, or those who are experiencing chronic challenges may benefit from more frequent sessions. Some people utilize Rolfing as part of their regular therapeutic maintenance plan. We adjust our approach based on your goals.
rolf movement integration
Rolf Movement Integration focuses on developing perception and coordination, balance and support for action, on learning to move gracefully and efficiently, and on evoking an open and responsive body in which inner strength and centered-ness can emerge instead of outer tension and armoring. The results are increased grace, ease, and efficiency of movement; a more powerful sense of self; and often the relief of physical stress caused by gravity-resistant movement patterns.
Rolfing is the name for the body of work that Dr. Ida P. Rolf originally developed and named Postural Release. It is now known internationally as the original form of Structural Integration. (Only graduates of the Rolf Institute of Structural Integration can legally call their work Rolfing or use the term Rolfer™. )
It was Ida Rolf’s unique insights into the nature of connective tissue and the relationship of the human body with the gravitational field of the earth that set Rolfing apart from other bodywork. Through hands-on manipulation she found that the human body could be oriented around a vertical line, which she called The Line. If the physical body oriented more efficiently around the line, she postulated that gravity reinforced and improved, rather than degraded the health and vitality of the person as a whole. She also supposed that the elastic properties of connective tissue allowed easy manipulation and that the body is literally suspended in a web of connective tissue.
Rolfing® designates the Rolf Institute's brand of structural integration, the discipline developed by the late Ida P. Rolf, Ph.D. While the Rolf Institute is Dr. Rolf's original school of structural integration, it is now one of many schools of structural integration; and Rolfing structural integration designates the practice of structural integration by graduate members of Rolf Institute, who are licensed to use its service marks.