By Robin White
"Rolfing", also known as Structural Integration was first taught in this country by Ida Rolf. It's the highly refined art of soft tissue manipulation. The soft tissue I am referring to is the muscle fascia. Regular massage deals with the muscle itself, but Rolfing deals with the lining of the muscle, which is not as pliable as the muscle. It does not give up it's hardened position as fast as a muscle will. The fascia is the "sock" that holds the muscle. Therefore, it requires a lot of pressure. Once released though, it is the best feeling. Your body can go back to it's normal position.
Yesterday we had Rolfing done by an excellent certified practioner, Patrick Sassoon from Denver, Colorado. He happened to be here in Ft. Lauderdale and we scheduled an appointment with him. Both Tom and myself had a lot of issues we needed work on. Tom had a really tight hip flexor on his right side which prevented him from doing deep squats and also to a slight degree, he was favoring his right side and in so doing, he was compensating. When we compensate, that's when other symptoms start to appear. He has been dealing with this for over a year, and just wasn't able to do it himself. After his session, he was able to do a deep squat more normally. It was great. Continually stretching that area will be the key to keeping it open.
My issues stem from too much computer work: Tight neck, shoulders at different heights, hips at different heights and arms that rotate inward. Patrick worked on my forearms for about 15 minutes on each side and when I stood up, it was amazing, my thumbs faced forward for the first time in years. He worked on my inwardly rotated shoulders also and then on my pectorals and shoulders to loosen that whole area. Now if I can only get into a new line of work! The key here is to get up and stretch more often.
Aging involves living, and living involves a lot of repetitive movement. When we work or do sports, the movement we sometimes use is extremely repetitive. Unless we "undo" the tightness of that repetitive movement, we are bound to be "bound" by it. After some years, we look in the mirror and realize our whole posture has changed. Our necks jut forward, our backs may be hunched, our shoulders may be rotated forward (like mine) and many other things that keep us from moving properly, then other problems start occurring as a result of that initial misalignment. Training on top of a misalignment only serves to reinforce it, so getting Rolfed is an excellent thing to do an regular basis to identify and correct specific weak areas. Patrick was very targeted and I thought, excellent. I highly recommend him. He can be reached at (720) 212-1222 or at www.sassoonrolfing.com