There is still the misunderstanding that Rolfing is so painful that you actually want to jump off the table. THAT’S WRONG! It is true that there is a wide range of intensities in Rolfing. But this does not mean that the touch must always be intense, according to the motto. “No pain – no gain”
The art of Rolfing is to find the right touch for the tissue. And using it to make changes where it is necessary.
Imagine a tablecloth lying on a very large table and there are folds that you cannot reach from the edge. If you pull on the tablecloth very carefully from the edge, you can also reach for folds in the middle of the table. Obviously, this is not just a question of strength. But you want to get the tablecloth to glide over the tabletop with a balanced pull. Grandmother’s soup tureen and the half-full sparkling wine glasses are supposed to move along as well. This means that you must not pull carelessly and quickly, as the tablecloth will move but the half-full champagne glass will fall over. To go even further with this example, imagine that the soup tureen has been stained and the tureen is glued to the tablecloth and the tablecloth is glued to the table. And now pull gently!
Painful does not make sense
We avoid pain whenever possible, i.e. we do not touch the hot plate twice, because no pain makes sense with the hot plate! If we want to achieve an increased freedom, e.g. in the shoulder joint, we need to be subtle, because our memory of our last movements will judge the safety we are in. If we were in pain and cold sweat, we will reject this movement as not meaningful and stay in a small movement range. No pain is safe, pain makes no sense.
Transferred to Rolfing this means:
- Intensity. It depends on the regions we want to reach.
- Timing. There must be a willingness to move within the tissue.
- Response behavior. Different tissue types react at different speeds.
- Adhesions. Scar tissue and movement restrictions lead to different tissue properties.
- Distance. Not only tissue areas that are directly touched are affected, but also more distant areas.