How does it work?
Rolfing is a form of active, deep-tissue massage. The idea is that by massaging your connective tissues while you perform slow, deliberate movements, your Rolfing practitioner (or ‘Rolfer’) will be able to unlock and re-align your muscles, thereby encouraging correct movement. It’s thought that the intense combination of movement and massage can re-programme your movement memory too, so that you move more freely and gracefully in the long term.
The “Basic Ten” is a series of ten sessions designed to counteract poor movement habits caused by injury, psychological problems or simply the pull of gravity. Each session will last around 60 to 90 minutes and focus on a different part of the body. Your ‘Rolfer’ will usually start with the muscles that improve your breathing before working round the rest of your body over the course of the ten sessions.
Once you’ve schooled your body through the Basic Ten, you can choose to graduate to the “Advanced Series”, which is another five sessions designed to refine your movements – like finishing school for good posture and range of movement.
Is it for me?
You don’t have to be an aspiring ballerina to benefit from fluid, graceful movement. Rolfing is thought to improve your posture and being lithe and limber means you’re less likely to injure yourself. If you’re a yoga bunny, you may find Rolfing can really benefit when it comes to perfecting your moves.
Like any deep tissue massage, Rolfing will boost your circulation and aid your lymphatic flow in taking out the toxin-trash. It’s also thought to be able to relieve muscular pain, ward off physical ageing and help with rehabilitation after an accident. Rolfing practitioners even claim to be able to remedy asymmetrical soft tissue - evening-out those wonky wrists or lopsided legs.
Good to know
Rolfing is also known as ‘structural integration’. The practice was developed by an American Bio-chemist called Dr. Ida Pauline Rolf in the 1950s. All Rolfers are trained in anatomy, manipulation and psychological preparation by the Rolf Institute in Colorado USA.