There is an optimal organization and order in every body.
All of the parts of our bodies develop in appropriate relationship to each other when we are embryos. These relationships are still present in the adult. (all together now ….“The leg bone’s connected to the thigh bone, the thigh bone’s connected to the hip bone, …”) When the relationships are disturbed due to injury, habits, cultural expectations, etc., then aches or pains, worn out joints, stiffness, poor posture and fatigue result. The purpose of Rolfing is to reestablish these primal anatomical and functional relationships. When this happens, many aches and pains disappear as balance, ease and efficiency return to our movements.
Rolfing® can create a dramatic improvement in posture, (appropriate anatomical relationships). We don’t, however, stand around like trees. We are the only creatures on earth who are vertical while moving. Rolfing®facilitates more than good posture. It is just as important that we can carry our balanced and supported bodies into our activities and movements with grace, fluidity and efficiency.
Most of Sarah’s work involves resolving old injuries and their compensations. A broken leg or sprained ankle as a child can lead to lack of support and inefficient movement resulting in back pain as an adult. Through highly skilled manipulations, her work reestablishes anatomically normal alignment and bio-mechanically efficient movement patterns. In so doing, the major segments of the body – head, neck, shoulders, chest, pelvis, legs, ankles, and feet are brought towards their optimal organization.
Many of Sarah’s clients come to her after receiving some sort of manual therapy (physical therapy, chiropractic, etc.) which was effective for a short time but didn’t last. (“I felt great until I walked to my car”). A useful analogy is – if the drywall is cracking on the 3rd floor of your house, you can patch the drywall. If it keeps cracking, you need to patch the drywall and look at the whole structure all the way to its foundation. This is what she does.
Fundamentally, Rolfing consists of some simple ideas about human structure:
- Most human beings are significantly out of alignment;
- The human body is so changeable that its alignment can be brought into balance at practically any time of life. (If it can change to adapt to injury it can change to adapt to Health.)
When the body’s inherent order and organization are reestablished, its own self-healing and self-regulating capabilities are dramatically enhanced.
MOST OF US ARE OUT OF ALIGNMENT
All injury is inherently shocking and disturbs the body’s order and coherence. In response to injury the body contracts, it seizes up. This retreat from harm is a well known biological fact present in all living creatures and plants.The consequences of injury and our largely unconscious response to it are embedded in the body as an historical record of Compensation. Our memory and our response to injury are not only locked in our flesh and bones, but also in our nervous systems.
Rolfing releases the physical memory of trauma, the holding and compensation within the tissues, allowing reestablishment of the original relationships. The nervous system will also start to normalize as the present time truth of well being begins to replace the anxiety of past defenses and coping strategies.
Our bodies are a record of our life’s traumas, of how we posture ourselves, and even of our births. Trauma is a fact of life. It does not have to be a life sentence.
THE BODY IS SO CHANGEABLE THAT IT CAN COME INTO BALANCE AT ANY TIME IN LIFE
Fascia / connective tissue (the myofascial system) is the most abundant tissue in the body. It lies as big sheets just under the skin, covers the bones, supports the organs in bags, surrounds muscles defining the different muscle groups and connects all physical structures together by ligaments and tendons. Dr. Rolf called fascia the “organ of form” because of its connectivity.
“Fascia is everywhere in your body.
If your could dissolve all of you but your fascia,
you would still look just like you.”
Problems in the myofascial system manifest themselves as chronic aches and pains, as inefficient and unflattering posture, as rigid and awkward movements, as a sense of effort, strain and fatigue, and many of the abnormal debilitating conditions in the body which are attributed to aging. Many if not all chronic everyday aches and pains are manifestations of disorganization in the myofascial system. This system reacts to injury, habits and the strain of misalignment by shortening, thickening, twisting, binding and creating adhesions between the layers of fascia.
Many of life’s patterns are held by this web of connection. In response to injury, facia forms internal bandaging. As we heal from an injury (say a sprained ankle) we limit use of the area and limp along while we heal. These compensations to injury limit our ability to move with ease. Due to our connective tissue web this kind of strain in one part of the body affects other structures farther away. Once we “heal” we may not regain our full easy function and we realize that we, “just haven’t felt right since the accident”. Your low back pain may actually be a result of an old ankle injury.
The myofascial system changes dramatically if it is contacted with respect and knowledge. Because of its highly adaptive and pliable nature restrictions and compensatory patterning can be released at any time of life.
Rolfing® guides the body back to order by releasing old compensations and patterns while assisting the body in relearning efficient function which, although known, has been lost or forgotten. As restrictions are released, movement becomes more coordinated and refined. The body feels light, roomy and at ease. Flexibility, range of motion and joint stability are all favorably enhanced. You’ll feel more open, relaxed and strong. You’ll be more easily able to handle stress of all kinds.
Through awareness and simple exercises the reorganization of Rolfing®work done on the table can be carried into your daily life and work situations so that the benefits of Rolfing® become your new habits. By relearning to move with balance and efficiency, dynamic function will become your expression of the body’s ability to move with grace and ease.
WHEN THE BODY'S INHERENT ORDER AND SELF-ORGANIZATION ARE REESTABLISHED, THE BODY'S OWN SELF HEALING AND SELF-REGULATING CAPABILITIES ARE DRAMATICALLY ENHANCED.
Dr. Rolf was adamant in stating that to improve the human being, one needs to have a vertical, well balanced, freely expressive and adaptable body. A favorite quote of hers:
“When the body gets appropriately aligned, .. the energy can flow through and spontaneously the body heals itself.”
All of our parts develop in the womb with optimal relationships and organization. When this is disturbed, many maladies may develop. Supporting and helping the body’s self organizing force to find expression can have profound whole body effects.