What Is Rolf S.I.?
Rolf Structural Integration is a type of bodywork that goes deeper than massage and wider than chiropractic care. This technique may help treat injuries, pain, bad posture or muscle tension. It focuses on reworking the fascia, the connective tissue that wraps around every muscle and organ by turning stiff fascia into soft, we can reduce pain.
How Does Rolf S.I. Work?
The tools of the trade are fingers, hands, and elbows. Rolf Structural Integration includes palpitations and pressure to help release constricted fascia. Unlike massage, which often focuses on relaxation and relief of muscle discomfort, Rolf Structural Integration is aimed at improving body alignment and overall better functioning.
Rolf S.I. Relieves Tight Fascia
Fascia plays a large role in movement, especially in the transmission of energy. Our fascia is a “organ of form” and is believed to be malleable and shapeable through connective tissue treatment. We want to stretch our fascia to give it enough “fluid”, so it displays a higher level of tensile strength, and enables the freedom in our muscles and joints.
Hydrate your Fascia
Fascia Researcher Robert Schleip, PhD, tells us that whole body stretches like this help keep your fascia hydrated and healthy. We tend to confine our full body stretching to the yoga studio. But because human lifestyles have become so sedentary, our bodies crave those full body stretches much more frequently than a few times a week.
Benefits of Rolf Structural Integration
If you want more flexibility, less back pain and be able to breathe with more ease then Rolf Structural Integration has great benefits for you. This kind of therapy promotes mobility, enhances breathing, improves posture, leads to greater balance and stability, increased energy, can alleviate pain and improves body perception and just makes us feel happier in our body.
The Ten Session Protocol
The best way to benefit from Rolf Structural Integration is with a ten session protocol. Each session builds upon the previous one, increasing the benefit of the bodywork with each passing week. We also offer maintenance sessions for those who have completed the ten session series.
After much testing and refinement, the creator of Rolf Structural Integration, Dr. Ida Rolf, determined that the modality worked best when applied as a ten session protocol. Ideally, these sessions would take place once a week or every other week for ten weeks.
We believe that ten sessions (known as the “Basic Series”) is the amount needed to fully reset the fascia of your body. Each session builds upon the previous session, beautifully dovetailing with the progress we’ve already made. Just remember that it took a lifetime for your fascia to harden and constrict. A single session will start the change – and you may even feel significantly better – but your fascia will want to go right back to its previous state. The weekly sessions essentially re-train your fascia to be supple and soft again. We are also able to get deeper with each session, helping to exponentially improve your results.
This is why we ask that all new clients commit to the Basic Series. We do not support half-solutions or temporary results. We want to change your life forever and permanently take away your pain.
We offer ongoing maintenance sessions to clients who have completed the Basic Series. Though your body will feel like new, you must keep in mind that your fascia could harden and constrict again if given enough time. The same triggers that hardened it in the first place will do the same thing.
WHAT TO EXPECT FOR YOUR FIRST ROLF S.I. SESSION
The Process of a Rolf Structural Integration Session
STEP 1: DISCUSSION AND OBSERVATION
When you come into your first appointment at our office, we will spend extra time discussing the symptoms you feel and what you want to get out of your Rolf Structural Integration sessions. Oftentimes, your body will speak louder than your words. After the initial interview, we will carefully observe your posture. We may ask you to sit, stand, and hold different positions. This might feel kind of silly, but it’s important. We are looking for postural asymmetries, which may be causing your pain. We also want to see how well your muscles move to determine if you have any mobility restrictions.
After our observations are complete, we will have a game plan for your session!
STEP 2: BE PREPARED
Clients are asked to wear comfortable running shorts or knicker tights and a sports bra for women. Unlike massage, the client does not need to fully undress. After the observation phase, we will ask you to lie or sit on the massage table while we work to find movement patterns that lead to tensions and asymmetry in the body. However, it is not necessarily the practitioner’s job to establish the most comfortable movement patterns for the client. Rather, it is about moving more economically – with better balance and efficiency with regard to gravity.
STEP 3: BODYWORK BEGINS
The main phase of a Rolf Structural Integration session is pressing and holding on the areas of the body where the fascia is tightest and hardest. Unlike massage, we do not knead muscles or use oils. Instead, we use fingers, palms, and even elbows to find tight pockets of fascia and to press those areas until the fascia softens and releases. Some mild discomfort is expected during the process, as we are releasing years’ worth of hardened, thickened fascia. However, many clients enjoy the process, and very few report pain during the session. We can make noticeable changes in a client’s fascia even in the first appointment.