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  • Lisa Barr

What Rolfing Is and How It Could Benefit You

Updated: May 13, 2020

Rolfing is the best bodywork you've never heard of.

The most common question I hear is, "What IS IT?" Even in the profession we realize it's hard to define in that thirty-second, elevator-speech, kind of way.

Rolfing is a form of bodywork where you can expect to be clothed in underwear or sports wear. The more your practitioner can see the better. We are looking for anything that might be out of alignment or not tracking right. Is one shoulder higher than the other. Is that because the high shoulder is coming from a hip hiked underneath it, or is the other shoulder dropped? We want to see how you use your body. We may have you walk to see if your gate is contributing to the hip hike.

Form follows function. In other words, there is a reason a hip is hiked, or a shoulder is dropped. Your body will help you do whatever it is you do all day. Your body will do this even if it means sacrificing range of motion in walking to make it easier for you to sit all day. This can lead to people getting stuck in a pattern. If you add trauma or repetitive motion on top of that pattern, misalignments can start to appear. Usually, if there is a misalignment in a system there is a motion or movement pattern that incorporates the misalignment. My practice tends to be a collaboration with the client. I can feel what the underlying pattern is doing. I can help you further into the pattern, kind of like closing a door to open a latch. Then I can help you feel what the opposite movement feels like. Clients become more empowered when they are able to feel which movements are helping and which ones are hindering them. When that understanding follows them out of my office and into their daily lives, that's when the real changes begin. Rolfing makes space available to the client. The client chooses how they will use that space. New movement patterns create new options, which lead to an ease of movement and more daily energy.

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