- Pain and Stress Relief
- Creating Bodies
- Enhance Fitness
- Long Term Benefits
- Optimize Performance
- Cultivate Awareness
- Holistic Balance
Structural Integration, also known as Rolfing, can facilitate and reinforce balanced patterns of growth, development, and movement of the body's physical structure. These patterns can range from the needs of day-old infants fresh from the oceanic womb, to adolescents and young adults caught balancing the needs of a growing body against the time commitments and challenges of learning new skills, absorbing new information, and facing the demands of athletic competition.
There are two ways to live your life; one is though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.
Following are examples of the various stages of development from infancy through young adulthood in which Structural Integration (Rolfing) can help support the young body's quest to grow, develop, and evolve into an expression of its fullest potential, while maintaining comfort and ease as a vehicle for the journey of the soul:
Even within the secure environment of its mother's womb, an infant's structure is affected by gravity, spatial limitations, nutrition, stress, emotions, environmental pressures, and its mother's physical habits. These influences, along with the stresses experienced in the birthing process, can affect an infant's somatic structure. Tight shoulder or hip joints, spinal misalignments and asymmetrical tightness, along with cranial, pelvic, and rib imbalances are often seen with newborn infants. The good news is since an infant's body is so fluid; these imbalances can be addressed with the most minimal amount of intrusion and pressure on the infant's body. Once these imbalances are corrected, the infant's body has a balanced foundation from which to grow from
- Colic: Colic is often the result of stresses imposed on the infant's body as it transitions from the fetal position, within the fluid and protected environment of the womb, to a more open and elongated posture within its exposure to the atmospheric environment and its challenges to the senses, breathing, eating, movement, and experiences of isolation.
- We find Structural Integration can often be effective in relieving the symptoms of colic by gently opening those areas of the body which are still tight and imbalanced such as the abdomen, upper legs, hips, pelvis, diaphragm, spine, ribs, and shoulders.
As infants evolve to toddlers, the body grows exponentially in its ability to perform more complex actions such as talking, walking, climbing, grasping, etc. The ability to perform these more complex muscular tasks occurs as the body is growing at a phenomenal rate. It is also during this period that many falls, accidents, and traumas occur, along with imbalanced patterns of movement that have a fundamental affect on the growing body's structure.
These patterns of structural imbalance which are set at this age become integral to the foundational structure of the body, and are often the most difficult to change or correct during adulthood. Structural Integration (Rolfing) can help balance a toddler's structure and posture in order to establish healthy growth patterns into childhood and beyond.
Children and Adolescents
As the body continues to physically grow into the childhood and adolescent stages of development, it has the difficult challenge of integrating more complex tasks and movement patterns into its somatic structure. Examples of these more complex activities can be seen in sports, dance, music, martial arts, various forms of play and leisure, hobbies, and the often awkward and difficult challenges experienced as one matures towards adulthood.
This is a period where "growing pains" can signal shortness in the myofascial tissue as the body's soft tissue matrix tries to keep pace with the rapid growth of the skeletal system. Because children and adolescents have so much vitality; injuries, imbalances, and tightness in the myofascial structure are often overlooked at the expense of negatively affecting the body's structure in the long term.
Injuries at this stage in life can become hidden deep inside the rapidly growing structure with only the appearance of "minor symptoms" such as discomfort, inflexibility, and the lack of mobility and coordination. The imbalances can then lead to the body growing and maturing around these patterns of injury, only to have these deeply seated injuries appear much later in life and with more severity, since they have had time to integrate deeper into the body's structure.
Structural Integration (Rolfing) will improve a child or adolescent's coordination and performance in sports, dance, martial arts, etc., but much more importantly, Structural Integration helps to reinforce patterns of ease in a balanced structure which can last a lifetime.
- Aberrant patterns in the growth of the spine such as scoliosis often occur as the child or adolescent is about to enter or is in the midst of a major growth spurt. Structural Integration (Rolfing) can have a major impact in helping the body correct the aberrant patterns through opening and balancing the body's entire soft tissue network.
- Because the spine is not in isolation from the rest of the body, the patterns which create scoliosis in the spine can often be influenced and reinforced from other regions of the body such as the imbalances found in the pelvis, legs, ribs, and shoulders. In order to make lasting changes hold with the spine, it is important to open and balance these other regions of the body, as well as work to balance and strengthen the entire somatic structure for overall stability and ease of movement.
- We have found Structural Integration (Rolfing) to be a very powerful corrective and educational process in working with scoliosis clients, especially when our work is started in young children before adolescent hormones take effect. However, Structural Integration is even more effective when we collaborate with other medical and bodywork disciplines in order to provide an overall integral approach to healing the body. This includes incorporating diet, supplements, stretches, spinal stimulation, repatterning exercises, soft body braces and chiropractic adjustments to accelerate and optimize the changes required to balance the spine.
- With this type of extensive program, we have participated and witnessed our client's spines unwind, and return much closer to the "normal" range of curvature, while they become more healthy, vital, and confident with their bodies.
Generally, as one passes through the boundaries of adolescence into adulthood, there occur major changes in lifestyles which impact a person's health and well being. Although graduation from high school, trade school, or college signals a completion of a major chapter in one's growth and development, it also usually marks the beginning of a new more challenging lifestyle, and therefore, new demands on the body's structure.
At this stage in life, the body has completed most of its growth. The bones have become more calcified, and usually one "fills out his or her frame" by adding on some weight. During this transitional period, new priorities are established, and many of the activities practiced since childhood (i.e., sports, exercise, dance, martial arts, play, etc.) take a lower precedence.
Structural Integration (Rolfing) can support this major life transition by helping to establish the lasting patterns of balance, flexibility, openness, mobility, and strength in a body's structure. These structural patterns, along with cultivating positive habits in diet, sleep, exercise, and stretching, can launch a person into a very healthy and productive adulthood.