Rolfing and Massage by Patty Licensed Massage Therapist and Certified Rolfer offering Therapeutic Massage Therapy, Rolfing Structural Integration, Swedish Massage, Deep Tissue Massage, Myofascial Release, CranioSacral Therapy, Sports Massage, Prenatal Massage, Neuromuscular Therapy, Hotstone Massage, Wullstone Massage, Methode Physiodermie's Morph-Lympho Drainage, Reflexology, Aromatherapy, Hydrotherapy, Spa Body Treatments  
About Rolfing® Structural Integration >>
More than fifty years ago, Dr. Ida P. Rolf discovered that she could achieve remarkable changes in the body's posture and structure by manipulating the fascia, the fibrous connective tissue that surrounds every organ, muscle, nerve, bone and blood vessel in the body. She eventually named her method Structural Integration, creating a holistic system of bodywork and movement education that enhances posture and freedom of movement. Rolfing can resolve pain and discomfort from many different causes, including accidents, back pain, repetitive motion injury, trauma, and aging.
People seek Rolfing® as a way to ease pain and chronic tension and improve performance in their professional and daily activities. Athletes, dancers, children, business professionals, and people from all walks of life have benefited from Rolfing. Research has demonstrated that Rolfing creates a more efficient use of the muscles, allows the body to conserve energy, and creates more economical and refined patterns of movement. Research also shows that Rolfing significantly reduces chronic stress and creates lasting changes in the body structure.

Rolfing structural integration has the ability to dramatically alter a person's posture and structure. Athletes, dancers, children, business professionals, and people from all walks of life have benefited from Rolfing. People seek Rolfing as a way to ease pain and chronic stress, and improve performance in their professional and daily activities. Research has demonstrated that Rolfing creates a more efficient use of the muscles, allows the body to conserve energy, and creates more economical and refined patterns of movement. Research also shows that Rolfing significantly reduces chronic stress and changes in the body structure. For example, a study showed that Rolfing significantly reduced the spinal curvature of subjects with lordosis (sway back); it also showed that Rolfing enhances neurological functioning.

In addition to our skills as structural integrators, we are also educators, a point Dr. Rolf stressed frequently in her training classes. The role of teacher is something every Rolfer takes seriously. In each session, Rolfers seek to impart insights to clients to increase their awareness and understanding, to help the client make the work we do their own. Our job is to make ourselves obsolete, by empowering our clients to take charge of their own physical and emotional health.

“You can affect all functions of all the bodies by working through the myofascial system –but this is by dealing with the whole person.” -Ida Rolf
How does Rolfing® work? >>
Rolfing® Structural Integration uses soft tissue manipulation and movement education to regain normal healthy balance in the body. It is not a massage; a Rolfing practitioner applies hands-on techniques to release tension, strains, holdings and misplacements that have caused internal misalignments. To correct these distortions, a Rolfer uses mild, direct pressure to melt or release fascial holdings. Since fascia covers every organ, muscle and vessel in our body, it plays a massive role in our body's structure, support, mobility, and balance. When the fascial holdings are released, the muscles find a healthier level of tension.

It is currently believed that the slow, deep strokes of Rolfing stimulate intra-fascial mechanoreceptors (sensory neurons of the muscle nerve), which in turn trigger the nervous system to reduce the tension of the related muscles and fascia. Then the body is free to find a healthy balance.

Put another way, Rolfing allows the brain and nervous system to "re-boot" areas of the body that are receiving too much electrical stimulation (chronically tight or sore muscles). And once a healthy level of muscle contraction is established, the body's entire structure is free to express a pain-free from. Once the body is appropriately working as a whole, studies show it will use muscles more efficiently while actually conserving energy, improving performance, and promoting self-healing.

In each session, Rolfer's seek to impart insights to clients to increase their awareness and understanding of body structure and efficient movement, to help clients make the work their own. Ultimately, a Rolfer's job is to make themselves obsolete, by empowering the client to take charge of their own physical and emotional health.

"So many therapists are striking at the pattern of disease, instead of supporting the pattern of health. One of the things that you as Rolfers must always emphasize is that you are not practitioners curing disease: you are practitioners invoking health. Invocation is possible by an understanding of what the pattern is, the structural pattern of health. As you bring a man's structure to conform to that pattern of health you achieve health. You invoke health." - Ida Rolf Talks About Rolfing and Physical Reality Edited by Rosemary Feitis
What is fascia? >>
Fascia is the fibrous connective tissue that surrounds and inundates every organ, muscle, nerve, bone, and blood vessel in the body. The fascial system gives support and stability, yet allows for flexibility and motion. It is one complete system that extends uninterrupted from your head to your toes. The fascial system maintains the body in equilibrium through a delicate balance of tension and flexibility. It helps support the efficient alignment of your bones while being elastic enough to allow muscles and joints freedom of mobility. This soft tissue can become restricted due to psychogenic disease, overuse, trauma, inflammation, thickening, infectious agents, or inactivity, often resulting in pain, muscle tension and diminished blood flow.
What is the Rolfing® Ten Series? >>
The hallmark of Rolfing® Structural Integration is a standardized "recipe" known as the Ten Series, the goal of which is to systematically balance and optimize both the structure (shape) and function (movement) of the entire body over the course of ten Rolfing sessions. Each session focuses on freeing restrictions or holdings trapped in a particular region of the body. A practitioner also maintains a holistic view of the client's entire system during each session, ensuring that the transformational process evolves in a comfortable and harmonious way. The Ten Series can be divided into three distinct units.

Ten Series Session Breakdown:

· Sessions 1-3: Called the "sleeve" sessions, sessions one through three strive to loosen and balance surface layers of connective tissue.

· Sessions 4-7: Sessions four through seven are referred to as "core" sessions and examine terrain found between the bottom of the pelvis and the top of the head.

· Session 8-10: "Integration" is emphasized throughout the remaining three sessions, as eight, nine and ten provide an opportunity for the practitioner to blend previously established advancements, and those yet to be made, in a way that encourages smooth movement and natural coordination.

"After nine sessions of poking, prodding, debugging, releasing fixations, integration, uncorking, de-rotating, mashing, etc. you come back to work superficial fascia and integrate and stabilize the work via horizontals. This brings the work to completion and allows the client to hold onto the gains of the work continue in the process of transformation on their own and take the work into their daily life." - Jeff Maitland, PhD. Certified Advanced Rolfer and Rolfing Instructor
Who should consider Rolfing®? >>
According to Dr. Rolf, all bodies have some degree of disorder and compensation in their structure; therefore she believed that everyone should receive Rolfing®. In practice, people who seek out Rolfing tend to do so either to find relief from physical pain, or to pursue a more richly embodied spiritual path.

Those seeking relief from physical pain often have a history of injury or trauma and notice that the effects of their often minor injuries are beginning to interfere with their everyday lives. In many cases these individuals have tried traditional medical treatments or exercise to reduce or counteract the long-term effects of old injuries with varying degrees of success. These clients include former and current athletes, musicians, performers or those engaged in physically demanding jobs as well as those who choose not to accept the notion that the quality of their lives must suffer simply because they are aging. In fact, all adults of any age who suffer from any limiting physical discomfort can benefit from Rolfing as long as the pain is in the neuromuscular system and not a sign of a nervous disorder or a deeper pathology. For most of us, Rolfing combined with appropriate movement therapy and exercise offers a long-lasting solution for connective tissue problems.

Those who are on a spiritual path sometimes find that their physical limitations prevent them from attaining a higher level of spiritual or emotional peace. Frequently, many on this path assume that the body is something to be transcended rather than something to be honored and loved. For these individuals, Rolfing can serve as an educational resource that allows them a more intimate and comfortable relationship with their physical body, which in turn allows a greater ability to experience serenity. Interestingly enough, as the body transforms physically it transforms on other planes as well, so that, while Rolfing's primary focus is the muscular and connective tissue system, it frequently has an even more dramatic effect in seemingly unrelated areas such as the spiritual. Exactly how this happens is still a matter of much debate and speculation. However, the results of the work were of much greater importance than the how or why for Dr. Rolf. The genius of Rolfing is that it can affect so many people in so many ways.

"Comprehensive recognition of the human structure includes not only the physical person but also eventually the psychological personality – behavior, attitudes, and capacities." - Ida Rolf
Does Rolfing® hurt? >>
Several factors determine the level of comfort or discomfort during a Rolfing session. One is the degree of trauma in the system; other is how long fascial distortions have been in the client's body. Long-term distortions create more tenacious and widespread compensatory patterns, which may require more sustained pressure to release. Another factor is the degree of emotional charge associated with an area of injury or strain. A general guideline for the vast majority of Rolfing clients is that the intensity experienced is transitory, moving quickly form brief intensity to a decrease in sensation and finally to an easing of long-standing holdings which can prove both profound and transformative.

The perception of Rolfing as painful is often based on anecdotal accounts of sessions performed during Rolfing's infancy, when it was frequently linked to popular emotionally intense therapies in the late 1960's and early 70's. Part of this reputation can be attributed to an often-quoted complaint of Dr. Rolf during her training classes that her students failed to work deep enough. Apparently, many Rolfers assumed that what she meant was that they needed to work harder and deeper. However, we now realize that deep work is not necessarily synonymous with physical intensity.

"The art of Rolfing is to master a wide range of styles of touch and know when a lighter and more intense touch is required." - Paraphrasing Peter Schwind, Certified Advanced Rolfer from Munich, Germany

Continuous communication with the client and pacing the level of intensity are essential, profoundly effecting the client's reaction to the transitory discomfort when seriously restricted tissue is softened, discriminated and reintegrated.
Are there any side effects or conditions where Rolfing should be avoided? >>
It is of extreme importance to let your Rolfer know of any medical conditions you may have. Consult your physician first if you have high blood pressure, blood clots, cancer, a heart condition, a connective tissue disorder (such as lupus or scleroderma), are on blood thinners, are pregnant, or have a psychological disorder. Rolfing may not be recommended in these circumstances. Obviously, those with acute illnesses, infections or injuries should be cleared by a physician prior to having bodywork performed.
Does Rolfing® relieve stress? >>
When people come to Rolfers™, they frequently complain about their high level of stress and how it affects their everyday life. They are seeking some means of stress reduction. Often, they have explored allopathic means such as muscle relaxants, painkillers, liniments, balms and other topical treatments. When these treatments fail to achieve a satisfactory level of improvement, those still suffering seek other forms of relief such as exercise, meditation, yoga and visualization. They may also seek a myofascial and/or neuromuscular solution and start receiving regular massages or some other similar soft tissue therapy. In many cases, these therapies are good at providing transitory relief of the physical causes of chronic stress. Those seeking a more permanent solution to the problem are more likely to have success with Rolfing.

While Rolfing is not a method that focuses on stress reduction, the Rolfing method creates a higher level of integration in the body, balancing and educating the body and the psyche. As the body approaches balance, it is more comfortable in the gravitational field. As the body becomes more comfortable, physical and emotional; stresses diminish. All clients experience benefits from Rolfing, for most, they are less stressed and more at ease in their bodies.

"To stand upright is to work against gravity, and if this resistance to the pull of gravity is defined as the force of life, it can be said that those who expend the least amount of effort in holding a vertical posture have the greatest potential to direct their life energies toward some other activity." - From the book Zen Imagery Exercises by Shizuto Masunanga
Does Rolfing® have an emotional/psychological effect? >>
It is impossible to touch the physical body without touching the emotional body. All individuals develop compensatory patterns, ways of holding and defending against a variety of physical and emotional insults. During the Rolfing process, we offer options and new modes of physical expression. Resultant emotional changes are quite common. Finding alignment in the body can help foster alignment in other areas of life as well.

There is also a well-documented "cellular memory," a memory of experience stored in the tissue at a cellular level. Touching the body will sometimes allow the client to access these physical memories encoded in the fascial (or connective tissue) matrix. However, for most Rolfers, emotional catharsis is not pursued or intended. Rolfers are trained to ease a client through such an experience, but are not usually trained as therapists. It is important to remember that their expertise is integrating and balancing connective tissue.

When emotionally charged areas of the body have been identified by the client, or intuited by the practitioner, they are normally accessed slowly and with constant communication between the Rolfer and the client. In some cases repressed memories or experiences arise for which the client and the Rolfer had no advanced warning, and the goal of the Rolfer is to provide a safe container for the release and take the requisite time to integrate the experience into the physical and emotional body in a way that promotes maximum resolution and minimal trauma to the system. The emotional component, as attractive or dreaded as it may be, remains an ancillary aspect of the Rolfing process and not its primary intention.