BOB CRAVEN ROLFING
Rolfing is a form of deep manual work on the body to improve balance and flexibility and eliminate the physical trauma of misuse, tension, injuries and the general stress of life to which we are all subject.
The woman who invented this technique, Ida P. Rolf, was a doctor of biochemistry who was especially interested in the connective tissue system of the human body. Connective tissue, known technically as fascia, is the material that literally holds us.. together. It attaches bone to muscle, wraps organs in position, and provides the framework for all of our nerve fibers, blood vessels, and every other part of our anatomy. Dr. Rolf discovered that this is the tissue most affected by injury, prolonged misuse, disease and just plain old stress. She also found that the judicious application of pressure can deeply affect the quality of this tissue—changing it from tight and hard to flexible and resilient. Amazing benefits follow.
This is nicely illustrated by the accompanying illustration that is the trademark of Rolfing. It is two pictures of a little boy—before Rolfing and after a 10-session series of the work. The profundity of that type of change is our goal.
As Dr. Rolf observed: “When I talk about the upright placement of the head on the neck, I am also talking about using the evolutionary possibilities of human structure. Only by getting verticality in the body do you explore these possibilities. The minute you lose verticality, that minute you have lost the something plus that is available to humans.”
On a more mundane level there are other benefits:
Relief of chronic pain, as tight, nerve-squeezing muscles are relaxed—as in sciatica.
More open breathing. Many folks have very tight rib cages, the lungs can’t expand fully.
A greater sense of balance as feet and legs get straighter.
A feeling of attunement with the environment. Possibly a little airy-fairy, but a little is OK.
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