Are The Changes From Rolfing® Permanent?
Updated: Mar 21, 2020
"I don't remember the last time I felt like this." "I've had this knot in my hip for 3 years. I can't believe this is all I had to do!" These are some of the things I've heard clients tell me after their Rolfing session. What usually follows these statements is the question, " How long is this going to last?" That's a tricky question.
The answer to that is, the effects CAN last. Old challenges can dissipate for good, but this doesn't make you immune from future challenges. The founder of Rolfing, Dr. Ida Rolf claimed that once a person's body was more balanced in gravity, that gravity would help to reinforce the new posture and the changes wouldn't fade away with time. What we've all found is that the changes gained during Rolfing are long-lasting for most people and you won't need to keep re-doing the process. For some clients, they begin feeling better, naturally, they want to start working out again. They begin working out the same way they did before they quit their exercise routine. Now, if you haven't been running for a year and you decide to run a 10K the morning after your Rolfing session, you may in fact hurt yourself and realize that Rolfing does not protect you from poor exercise hygiene. Clients will need to take it slow. Read my blog post titled, Exercise Smarter from a Certified Rolfer.
Other factors which will keep the effects of Rolfing from lasting:
Sedentary lifestyle - The body loves to move. Find activities you're willing to continue for a lifetime. Movement is essential to health. Walking, hiking, dancing, yoga, pilates, weightlifting or anything else you may enjoy.
Poor posture - The moment you catch your posture slipping, make the appropriate adjustments to negate those effects. Work with your Rolfer to help you find more comfortable ways to sit, stand, walk, etc.
Dehydration - This is an easy one. Stay hydrated. Caffeine, alcohol and nicotine don't serve you well if you're interested in healthy connective tissue. Being active supports hydration allowing fluid transport in the connective tissue to be more efficient.
Overusing or injuring your muscles - Muscles build and repair at a faster rate than tendons, ligaments and fascia. If you jump into exercise routines too quickly, yes, you may be building muscle, but the connective tissue needs time to catch up. Ease into your routine. Take the time to stretch, take a yoga or dance class to get your body moving in a different way than it's accustomed to.
Unhealthy eating habits - Poor dietary choices can have a negative impact on your physiology affecting the way fluid is transported through your connective tissue.
Poor sleep quality - There's nothing more restorative than a good night of sleep. We stand and sit most of the day allowing gravity to takes it's toll. When we lay down, we give ourselves an opportunity to rest from gravity's effect. Recharge and take a nap when the opportunity arises. Give your nervous system an opportunity to discharge excess tension.
Stress - Through the work of Dr. Robert Schleip, PhD fascia researcher, we understand that fascia responds to emotional stress. Incorporating time for ourselves and unplugging from the excess activities of daily life can help to minimize stress and keep us healthy.
The reality is, life is ongoing and you will continue to put new stress on your body through continuation of habits such as sitting at the same computer desk or continue the same physical activity. New activities and events in your life can also add new compensations and strains. Most clients come in for additional sessions on a much less frequent basis to remediate any issues before they become problematic. Maintenance sessions can be every month, 3 months, 6 months or every year. It depends on the client and their goals.
Contact me if there's anything I can help you with. You can find me at one of my locations in the Chicago area. I look forward to hearing from you.