Rolfing Can Relieve Pain and Improve Spine Health
December 11, 2022
The name of the game to feeling youthful in life is to maintain flexibility. Rolfing breaks down the connective tissue and helps return your body to a state of flexibility like you experienced when you were younger. The work is so deep, and not for the faint of heart, that it actually allows your bone structure to succumb to gravity once again instead of our muscles being gripped and bound up therefore altering our bone structure and posture. This type of body work helps restore our frame to how God intended it to be, balanced and finding ourselves free from pain.
By Annie Price, CHHC @ draxe.com
Whether you’re 20 years old or 80 years old, Rolfing can be beneficial for any body at any age. Rolfing, also known as structural integration, is a holistic system of bodywork that uses deep manipulation of the body’s soft tissue and movement education to realign and balance the body’s myofascial structure with the field of gravity. (1)
It’s used to improve posture, relieve chronic pain and reduce stress. Rolfing focuses on the fascia, which is a band or sheet of connective tissues in the body that forms beneath the skin to attach, stabilize, enclose and separate muscles and other internal organs. It’s truly a holistic process of structural change that’s meant to not only improve physical well-being, but even emotional wellness.
Rolfing has been gaining popularity in recent years, but it has a long history of happy patients dating back to the mid-20th century, when it was founded by a true health pioneer and the greatest of all rolfers, Dr. Ida P. Rolf. Proponents of Rolf Movement® Integration say it can increase mobility, ease breathing, relieve stress, boost energy and generally improve a person’s overall well-being. Rolfing also has a physiologic impact on the peripheral nervous system and on myofascial structures. (2)
My friend Dr. Oz has even been rolfed on his show and said, “Rolfing literally releases the joints.” If you or someone you know suffers from any kind of chronic bodily pain or restriction (maybe from an injury, poor form or even traumas) and seeks improved overall wellness, then I strongly encourage you to learn more about rolfing structural integration.
5 Health Benefits of Rolfing
What is Rolfing and why Rolf? Dr. Rolf herself summed up the overall benefits of Rolfing so well when she said:
Some individuals may perceive their losing fight with gravity as a sharp pain in their back, others as the unflattering contour of their body, others as constant fatigue, yet others as an unrelentingly threatening environment. Those over forty may call it old age. And yet all these signals may be pointing to a single problem so prominent in their own structure, as well as others, that it has been ignored: they are off balance, they are at war with gravity. This is the gospel of Rolfing: When the body gets working appropriately, the force of gravity can flow through. Then, spontaneously, the body heals itself. (3)
Here are five impressive health benefits of Rolfing:
1. Improves Athletic Ability
Rolfing for athletes focuses on changing their limiting physical behavior and educates them on how to use gravity in their favor. Rolfing can help athletes of all degrees gain improved physical ability by improving posture, lengthening constricted muscle fibers, relaxing areas of tension and improving ease of motion. By helping the muscles operate more efficiently, Rolfing increases the body’s ability to conserve energy and develop more economical and refined patterns of movement for athletic activities, as well as everyday activities. (4)
At Arizona State University, Owen Marcus conducted the first study on performance and Rolfing that documented the improved performance of elite runners as a result of being rolfed.