“This is the gospel of Rolfing:
When the body gets working appropriately,
the force of gravity can flow through.
Then, spontaneously, the body heals itself.”
~ Ida P. Rolf
What is Rolfing?
Named after its founder, Dr. Ida P. Rolf, Rolfing Structural Integration is a form of bodywork that reorganizes the connective tissues, called fascia, that permeate the entire body.
More than fifty years ago, Dr. Rolf recognized that the body is inherently a system of seamless networks of tissues rather than a collection of separate parts. These connective tissues surround, support and penetrate all of the muscles, bones, nerves and organs. Rolfing Structural Integration works on this web-like complex of connective tissues to release, realign and balance the whole body, thus potentially resolving discomfort, reducing compensations and alleviating pain. Rolfing SI aims to restore flexibility, revitalize your energy and leave you feeling more comfortable in your body.
Essentially, the Rolfing process enables the body to regain the natural integrity of its form, thus enhancing postural efficiency and your freedom of movement.
Rolfing is a hands on process based on a recipe called the 10 series which re-educates the body’s tissues through touch and movement. These tissues include muscles, tendons, ligaments and fascia, which is a thin layer of tissue that holds the body together.
Rolfing® and Yoga
Since Rolfing’s inception it has been informed by ideas that originated in the practice of yoga. Dr Rolf’s own yoga practice had a profound impact on her understanding of the body. Over the years as the popularity of yoga has increased many practitioners find Rolfing to be an effective way to support and augment their yoga practices. I was a yoga practitioner before I got into Rolfing and in just 10 sessions I found a very direct relationship to freedom in a way that may have taken me 10 years to experience in my yoga practice. They are truly a great compliment to one another
Like Yoga, Rolfing works on re-aligning the body to improve posture. Through touch, breath and movement we are able to release deep patterns of tension and bring the body back into its natural state of balance and alignment. Unlike many forms of bodywork Rolfing addresses the fundamental cause of the body’s imbalance and provides long-lasting, and even permanent, benefits. Rolfing uses pressure, lifting, and spreading motions to manipulate the fascia web. The type of pressure that’s used is not a “poking” feeling, nor is it necessarily deep, but is instead a gentle urging of the connective tissue to the point of release.
What are the Benefits?
Rolfing Structural Integration has the ability to dramatically alter a person’s posture and structure. Rolfing SI can potentially resolve discomfort, release tension and alleviate pain. Rolfing SI aims to restore flexibility, revitalize your energy and leave you feeling more comfortable in your body. The genius of the work rests on Dr. Rolf’s insight that the body is more at ease and functions most effectively when its structure is balanced in gravity.
Athletes, dancers, children, business professionals, and people from all walks of life have benefited from Rolfing SI. People seek Rolfing SI as a way to ease pain and chronic stress, and improve performance in their professional and daily activities. It’s estimated that more than 1 million people have received Rolfing work.
Research has demonstrated that Rolfing SI creates a more efficient use of the muscles, allows the body to conserve energy, and creates more economical and refined patterns of movement. Research also shows that Rolfing SI significantly reduces chronic stress and changes in the body structure. For example, a study showed that Rolfing SI significantly reduced the spinal curvature of subjects with lordosis (sway back); it also showed that Rolfing SI enhances neurological functioning.
Is Rolfing Painful?
Rolfing is a gentle, safe and effective bodywork that can help people get “unstuck” in a hands-on, attentive, loving and conscious way. It is supportive, direct and educational. Rolfing sometimes has a false reputation for being painful or uncomfortable. Any discomfort, however is merely the manifestation of the body’s resistance to positive change. Heightened awareness of one’s comfort replaces the body’s old holding patterns and the chronic uneasiness of the old imbalance. It is many clients experience that they become pain-free after years of chronic discomfort.
What is the Progression of Sessions?
Session 1 – Frees the tissue surrounding the rib cage and lengthens the chest and lower back. Result: Feeling of lightness, connection and well being, more upright posture and fuller, deeper breathing.
Session 2 – Focuses on the body’s foundation, the lower legs and feet.
Result: A sense of being firmly grounded and in touch with reality.
Session 3 – Lengthens the sides of the body and frees the shoulders. Result: Breathing expansion and more immediately available energy.
Session 4,5,6 – Adjusts and lengthens the centerline that runs vertically through the body. Result: Walking takes a fraction of the energy typically expended, improving balance and freedom of movement.
Session 7 – Releases the muscles of the neck, face and head. Result: A more softened relaxed appearance in the face with increased self-reliance and personal power.
Sessions 8,9,10 – Integrates the whole body in a new and more efficient manner. Result: Energy and vitality increase as the body’s structure becomes more aligned and balanced in gravity.
How Do I Begin?
You can begin with one session which would model the first session of the series to see how you like the work or just commit to the whole ten sessions. Getting the 10 sessions is highly recommended as it provides a ground of support for deeper change to occur but you can also benefit from individual sessions. If you decide to commit to going through the entire 10 series, the most beneficial way is to schedule 1 session per week. Each session is anywhere from 1-1.15 hours. It is also okay to spread them 2 or 3 weeks apart if necessary.
What Can I Expect?
Each session is about an hour and begins with an assessment for the particular session we are working that day. We begin assessing posture, alignments and misalignments as well as walking around the room to look at gait. Rolfing is done in underwear and Bra or sports bra and athletic shorts. After our evaluation, we work on the table and then at the end of the session we do integration work with the client sitting, standing or walking.
Skillful Touch Massage
Rooted in the Rolfing tradition, skillful touch is a therapeutic, deep tissue massage with focus on releasing tension points in the fascia. The sessions also focus of creating more range of motion through the joints, allowing for more freedom and ease through the whole body.
10 Series payment up front $1,150.00
3 Series $360.00
Single Session $125.00
Package rates do not apply on house calls. Add $30-$50 per session depending on travel time.
Check out this video on Fascia featuring Dr. Jean-Claude Guimberteau, a French hand surgeon, who singlehandedly has changed how medical professionals view fascia.
I have worked with Alison for over a year now and through Rolfing, Yoga, Bars Access Consciousness and her spirit-earth-life relationship, my life and well-being have been deeply impacted. She held a clear, open space for tears and questions allowing my healing to unfold and continues to unfold. I feel like myself, full of joy and inspiration.
Alison has been my yoga teacher and Rolfer for the past 10 years. There are many skilled yoga teachers and many skilled Rolfers in Boulder, and Alison is certainly both. But what makes Ali so special is the heart that she brings to her practice and her teaching. I rarely attend yoga classes taught by other teachers, as I too often find them mechanistic and fitness-oriented. I always leave Ali’s classes and Rolfing sessions feeling strong, centered and uplifted.
Dr. Rich Nuzzi
Alison offers a wealth of body wisdom and knowledge to release blocked energy through her vast toolbox in Yoga, bodywork, Peak living and energy work. Her offerings include weekly yoga classes, intimate retreat gathering, Teacher Trainings, online classes and workshops as well as one on one sessions to help you establish a life of ease, joy and radiance in your everyday living.