Rolf® Structural Integration is really a cooperative job between two people and if either person falls down on the job, it doesn’t work. The practitioner’s job is to evoke understanding and the client’s is to take responsibility. – Ida P. Rolf, PhD
Rolf® Structural Integration is a method of bodywork that utilizes manual therapy and movement education in every session. Rolfing uses Gravity as therapist to re-establish innate Health.
Rolfing is defined by principles, not by techniques. It’s a term that carries a service mark to protect the lifelong work of Ida P Rolf, PhD (1896-1979). Rolfing is a gentle, effective progression of manual therapy and movement education that facilitates Health by easing strains, hydrating tissue and normalizing function of connective tissue/fascia aka extracellular matrix. Rolfing can normalize movement habits.
Rolfing is a Somatic Practice, alongside Feldenkrais Method and Alexander Technique. These practices are uncommon in the Greater Cleveland area. As a result, people here are unaware of the opportunities provided by Rolfing and other somatic practices. All three somatic practices have been identified by the federal government as Complimentary and Alternative medicine.
Here is an article from the Journal of Complimentary and Alternative Medicine about Dr Rolf and her life’s work.
Commonly available health care in Greater Cleveland is Allopathic. This means treatment is focused on anatomical parts, symptoms only, and solutions are aimed to mask pain using drugs and surgeries. Often allopathic treatments don’t last, require many visits without change or positive result. Imagine your mechanic solving your car problems using this methodology. You might be told that your steering is out of alignment, so duck tape the steering wheel to the dashboard, add a supplement to the gas tank and ‘get used to your new normal’. You would run from that mechanic and tell your friends to avoid the shop, right?
Rolfing address the cause of symptoms, and invites clients to participate in their own health by responding to communication from the body between sessions, by changing habits slowly, and by encouraging clients to facilitate their innate health in daily life. Rolfing can be effective at solving the causes of pain, significantly improving quality of life.
Many people have heard or read that Rolfing is painful.
Rolfing offered by Cleveland Rolfing utilizes advanced techniques developed in continuing education courses through the Rolf Institute. Rolfing is defined by principles, not technique. Leah Rachocki uses gentle touch to evoke the innate health of every client through easy and frankly relaxing manipulation of soft tissue. It is may be worth noting that the people who claim Rolfing is painful have typically never been Rolfed.
Part of every session, Rolf Movement deepens a person’s capacity to maintain his or her own health. Together with a Rolfer, a person can develop simple movement cues to use in daily living in response to pain, stress, and to aid recovery. Rolfers are trained to treat, but not to diagnose or prescribe. Because our licensure demands continuing education, we return to the classroom throughout our long careers, ensuring Rolfers are among the most highly trained manual therapists available today. Rolfing is practiced on every continent, and in nearly every state in the US.
Rolf Structural Integration originates from the work of Andrew Taylor Still. Dr. Still was known as the ‘lightening bone setter’ who identified connective tissue as an important structure, and insisted that physicians recognize that the body’s structure and function are related. He knew the human body had innate wisdom that could provide healing. AT Still developed his work as an alternative to pharmacology and surgery, as he felt those methods caused more harm than the originating problem. His work became known as Osteopathy and is practiced around the world.
Today, Osteopaths in the US are similar to allopathic medical doctors, in that are trained to prescribe medicine and perform surgery – the very tools Dr. Still avoided. Science has certainly advanced western medicine and today we have many treatments available that are helpful in complex illness. These options were not available in Still’s time. European osteopaths adhere more closely to the wholism tradition of AT Still. French osteopath Jean Pierre Barral DO and his team developed Visceral Manipulation and now teach advanced Visceral and Cranial manipulation classes on every continent.
In the last 15 years, there has been a tremendous increase in research related to connective tissue, somatic therapies and ‘alternative’ healing technologies.
We have some journals you may examine, including the Journal of Bodywork Movement Therapies, Rolf Lines, and the wonderful online resource Rolf Research Library. The International Fascia Research Congress was established by the Fascia Research Society to encourage better research projects, and to connect researchers directly with clinicians. PubMed is a great tool to examine current and past research.
Rolfing works with the largest patterns in the body to return the system to a fluid state of ease and adaptability. Using science to ‘prove’ Rolfing will take some time, and will require scientists ask better questions to use a larger frame for their work. Most scientists do not receive Rolfing or other types of bodywork, few researchers are looking at this broad, principles-based approach to Healing.
Frankly, the only way to become familiar with Rolf Structural Integration is to hire a Rolfer for a series of sessions. Isn’t experience the best teacher?
Rolfing offers an opportunity to experience sustainable health. Reject the common pathway marketed as healthcare. To discover how healthy you can be, use Leah’s online schedule to arrange a series of sessions.