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How Rolfing Massage Works

Rolfing massage is a technique devised by Dr. Ida Rolf, in the 1950s. Her technique has evolved over the years to improve the structure and function of the connective tissue of the body. This procedure manipulates the connective tissue that connects muscles to the skeletal attachments. Rolfing massage is carry outed to create balance everywhere in the body in relation to their center of gravity.

Our society has become more sedentary in our everyday lives. Many people work behind desks and their only exercise is what they get while typing on a keyboard or getting up for coffee and TV breaks. Over time the connective tissue (fascia) thickens and becomes less functional. Fascia is thick fibrous plates of connective tissue that protect and envelope muscles and joins them to connect with cartilage and bone. The thicker the plates become the less elastic they become. Over time posture is affected. Rolfing massage breaks down the thick fascia allowing for better posture and better range of motion of body parts.

Rolfing massage therapy is preformed over a series of visits lasting an hour to an hour and 15 minutes each time. The goal is to realign and restructure the connective tissue, thereby realigning the body in relation to its center of gravity. With each Rolfing massage the client is asked to perform certain exercises such as walking, bending the knees, flexing and extending joints before and after the treatment. The level of movement and function is noted before and after treatment each time.

With poor posture the body can come out of alignment. Consider this scenario: The curvature of the neck could be off just enough to cause the head to come out of alignment with the spinal column, which could result in severe headaches and neck and shoulder pain. Rolfing massage works to break down those tight bands of connective fascia that constrict and contract the muscles and their skeletal attachments. Over time there will be noticeable improvement.

Poor posture and poor alignment is learned over time. Our muscle fibers react to an injury and we might favor that injured part of the body. We might favor the injury long after the injury has healed because the fibers retain a long memory of the injury. Hence a permanent change in how we maintain our posture may gradually take place. It is the cooperation between practitioner and client to work to change the structure of the connective fascia to regain a more functional body alignment in relation to his/her center of gravity.

The body and mind work together to make Rolfing massage effective. Through the course of the treatment and beyond you will be relearning how to maintain balance in the body. The gradual outcome should be that you are able to carry your weight evenly without favoring one side over the other. Rolfing massage is not only for the limbs, but for every area of the body.

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