Rolfing is a method of body work designed to re-establish alignment and freedom of movement in the gravity field of the earth. This means improving posture and structure through releasing deep tensions, which are embedded within the connective tissue of the body.
Classical Rolfing consists of a series of 10 sessions. Each session works with different areas of the body and different layers of the connective tissue called ‘fascia’. Through the use of precise and subtle manual touch, restrictions are removed, a more balanced relationship of individual segments of the body to each other is restored (e.g. head to neck, neck to trunk, pelvis to legs, etc.) and fascial integrity is recovered.
The 10 Series
Each session has its own theme and corresponds to specific body areas. The sessions move from superficial to increasingly deep layers, respecting the body's capacity and rhythm for release. When working with areas of tension, the quality of touch will vary from subtle to more intense, but in a way which brings relief.
Each session prepares the body for the following one. Every session is also tailored to the individual needs and structure of the client. The focus of which areas need to be addressed, how long, in which way, etc. will shift accordingly.
Who is Rolfing For?
Rolfing is for anyone seeking to improve their posture, structure and freedom of movement. It is especially helpful for people who seek relief from chronic tensions and resultant pains, or for those recovering from injuries. It can also benefit people who seek improved embodiment, a sense of feeling at ease within themselves and their bodies.
Dancers, actors, singers and practitioners of yoga or martial arts regularly report benefiting from the improved coordination and overall functioning of the body Rolfing allows. Rolfing is often reported as enabling enhanced expression of clarity and creativity, efficiency and ease or grace and beauty of movement.
Rolfing tends to bring about changes not only in the body but can also be a process facilitating deep emotional change, impacting one's world view and approach to life.
All age groups can benefit from Rolfing sessions, although the 10-Series is generally not given before age 16-18. For younger children the sessions are shorter and more catered to working with symptoms.
Ida Rolf, the Founder
Dr. Ida P. Rolf (1895-1981), from New York, U.S.A. was the founder of the “Rolfing”, which she originally named Structural Integration.
Rolf held a Ph.D. in Biochemistry. During her research at the Rockefeller Institute, she discovered that fascia had plastic qualities, meaning that the chemical composition could be altered through a deep and precisely directed touch. Rolf also had a vital interest in Osteopathy and Yoga. Over the years she developed her structural work and refined it into a highly effective series of 10 sessions.
Costs and Logistics
The cost of a Rolfing session is £95. Each session lasts 90 minutes.
Sessions are usually scheduled once a week. As “The 10 Series” is a process and each session relates to and prepares for the next one, it is advisable not to have too long a gap between the sessions. Having said that, some people may need more time to integrate the information and changes from a session.
The first session is preceded by a take-in interview and detailed body reading. The interview is a space for the client to ask any questions about Rolfing, to express their needs, aims and expectations in terms of the work, and to discuss any medical conditions which could be relevant. The body reading takes place in standing and walking. The structural and coordinative organization of the body is observed and analysed, whilst also getting feedback from the way the client perceives themselves in their body and movement.
Sessions must be cancelled 24 hours in advance, otherwise 50 percent of the fee is charged.