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What is the Rolfing Massage Therapy and How It Works

Rolfing Massage Therapy
One of the more popular forms of therapeutic massage, the Rolfing massage has been around for quite sometime now. The following article will tell you more about the same and the techniques that it involves.
HolisticZine Staff
Last Updated: Mar 26, 2018
With more and more importance being given to alternative medicines in recent times, there are a lot of techniques that have come up to replace the already existing ones. One such technique is the Rolfing massage therapy. The way this therapy works is that it places importance on the stimulation of the connective tissues of the body. It is used mainly when dealing with pain related to the cervix, rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, Achilles tendonitis, temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ) and reflex sympathetic dystrophy (RSD).
What is Rolfing Massage Therapy?
backache
This massage technique was generated by Dr. Ida Rolf, a biochemist. It is also known as the Rolfing Structural Integration. This therapy brings about vertical alignment of certain organs of the body, namely - the pelvis, head, shoulders, legs, and thorax. The therapy lengthens the body's trunk and lifts the head and chest. So, the person needs to use less energy and can use his muscle power more efficiently. At the end of the Rolfing therapy, the person's body is gravitationally rebalanced.
How Rolfing Works
rolfing massage
The Rolfing massage technique unblocks the bound tissues in the body, which become so after going through scarring and injuries. Once these blocked knots are smoothed over, the effect is that the muscles and bones, (which were bent because of the knot) can now correct, realign and balance themselves, in accordance with gravity.
Process
rolfing massage therapy
Let us explain this in more detail. Every action has an equal and opposite reaction? Correct? Similarly, the body also has the same theme going for itself. When one muscle contracts, the opposite muscle lengthens. For example, if I bend my knee, then the calf muscles will lengthen. This is how the balance and alignment of the body is maintained and that is actually how it should work. But many times, there are unnatural actions which take place in the muscular unity of the system. For example, if a person bends while walking and continues to do that then he will develop a hump after a certain passage of time. This is because it is working against the gravity and overtime will go out of alignment with the body. So the muscles of the back will not be given a chance to relax, will shorten and lose flexibility. The body will then get a signal that this is the correct posture to follow, which can then lead to muscular dysfunction and loss of energy. This will therefore affect overall health. That is the reason why this therapy is given so much importance.

This therapy also works on the 'hot spots' of the body and treats them. Hot spots are the places in which the physical and mental traumas of the body are situated. This technique will identify these places and then realign the muscles in that area to bring about the correct posture.
The Different Styles of the Therapy
There are 3 stages to how this therapy is carried out.

Palpation
In this stage, a professional Rolfer will examine the patient's fascia tissues, the imbalance in the texture of the tissues, the temperature and quality and will thus form a picture of where the therapy should be administered.

Discrimination
In this stage, the Rolfer will separate the fascia layers which have been strained, injured or scarred and therefore have been pulled out of position.

Integration
This is the final stage where the therapist will realign the body and bring it into balance again according to the gravitational field.

For best results, the therapist will carry out 10 sessions of this massage therapy.
A point to remember though, it is recommended that you opt to undergo this therapy from a certified Rolfing masseur/masseuse only. Many patients who have been suffering from chronic pain have reported feeling instant relief after going through the Rolfing massage therapy. This therapy also generates feelings of rejuvenation, improved posture, coordination, regeneration of core strength, a general feeling of lightness, improved breathing and overall physical harmony. With the therapy offering all that, would you really want to give it a miss?