What is Rolfing? - Runners Edge Physio
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What is Rolfing?

We are excited to introduce Rolfing to our active community! Rolfing can help athletes and go-getters breathe, run, jump and play… better! And not just for the aches and pains you feel ‘right now.’ 

Rolfing helps the body find alignment and work with gravity for total body transformations for the long-haul. Our PTs highly recommend Rolfing in addition to Physical Therapy to help the body respond better to treatment. 

Sounds good, but what exactly is Rolfing?

Rolfing... what a funny word. What is it?

Rolfing is a type of manual therapy developed by Dr. Ida Rolf that focuses on connective tissue manipulation and body education for structural alignment and balanced movement. 

Rolfing helps with:

  • Tension, strain and stiffness in the body
  • Chronic pain (such as low back pain, sciatica, shoulder and neck issues) 
  • Imbalances that may hinder movement 
  • Tissue recovery and energy conservation
  • Posture improvement for minimizing risk of injury caused by repetitive activities (like running!), and even better breathing! 

How to fit Rolfing into your training plan:

Rolfing is a great compliment to strength training and Physical Therapy to keep muscles and joints moving with ease. 

Have you ever felt tight, stiff, or experienced “painful spots” after a workout? Rolfing can help you get back to feeling 100% much more efficiently than rest alone. Our PTs may pair Rolfing with a client’s plan of care to they can progress towards their goals faster.

  • Maintenance sessions are great during competition season to keep you working towards your goals
  • In the off-season consider a 10-Series to address the whole body, level up in your training, and get ready for the next competition season
  • Before a race or high-intensity activity, a Rolfing session can help your body prepare for the demands of the activity, so you can perform (and FEEL) your best while you do it!
  • After a race or high-intensity activity, a Rolfing session will help with tissue recovery and minimize post-activity soreness and fatigue 

What is the 10 Series?

The human body is like a house. It’s structured so that each part has it’s proper place and each piece interlocks to balance the load of the others. You can’t build a house by starting with the plumbing. You have to first build the foundation. Each structure in the framework has a specific placement and purpose. Soon the walls come up, plumbing and electric are added, and a roof is placed on top, for a strong and sturdy house. A 10-series works the same for the body. The 10-Series is ten sessions that build upon the other while preparing the body for the next session. 

In 10 sessions, your Rolfer will look at the entire body systematically over the course of treatment and identify and address patterns of movement and tissue tension that may be holding you back in your training or activities. 

Each session has a specific and unique goal that is tailored to the individual. We recommend a 10-series during the off-season or down-time in training so that your body can adjust to the changes being made. 

After a 10-Series, clients have reported:

  • They can breathe easier
  • Running and movement, in general, feels more comfortable
  • Shorter recovery times
  • Less overall tension in the body
  • Improved posture with changes that last

What is a 3-Series?

The 3-series is a mini version of the 10-series. When you want more than just a single session, but are not quite ready to commit to a 10-series- It’s the best of both worlds! 

Just like the 10-series, just not as in depth, the 3-series will progressively prepare the body for the next session. Instead of scheduling single sessions randomly, the 3-series allows you to get more out of your 2nd visit, and even more out of the 3rd.

What does a typical Rolfing session look like?

Each session can look different for everyone depending on what your needs are, or which step in the 10-series you are in. However the typical Rolfing session is outlined below: 

  1. Rolfing sessions at Runners’ Edge Alaska are 60-minutes long. This is the optimal amount of time to address the entire body.
  2. The session will being with discussing what is bothering you and your goals for the session or the series
  3. Your Rolfer will then do a few postural and movement assessments to discover how your body responds in the moment and include movement education when appropriate 
  4. Body work is done primarily on the table laying down on back, stomach or side, and sometimes seated. It may feel similar to sports massage or myofascial release and can range from deep tissue to lighter pressure to get into those nagging “spots” 

You and your Rolfer are a team! Let them know what feels good, what doesn’t, and what is feeling effective in your body!  

How to get ready for your Rolfing session

Wear loose-fitting, comfortable clothing. Athletic shorts and sports bras that aren’t too compressive are great things to wear to your appointment.
Please don’t apply lotion right before your session. This may make your skin too slippery and we won’t be able to work into the deeper layers of tissue. 

Don’t Schedule a Post-Rolfing Workout

Going on an easy walk can be a great way to integrate the changes to your system from the Rolfing session. You can get back to climbing mountains tomorrow!

Is Rolfing right for me?

Well there you have it, the ins-and-outs of Rolfing!

Still unsure if Rolfing can help you? Schedule a discovery visit today (a free 20-minute phone call) with one of our Rolfing or PT experts who can answer your questions! 

Sign me up!

Ready to give Rolfing a try? It’s easy to schedule a session! Just click below or give us a call! 907-929-9009


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