Do you know it? You sprained your foot. Without consciously noticing it, you change your attitude because you want to avoid pain. At first, you do not step with the whole foot anymore or you pull up a shoulder, perhaps you also do not breathe out completely anymore. In short: you want to protect and preserve your body. Hence, we lost part of our body awareness for our upright posture.
Protection can be effective at many levels:
- Structurally: We relieve the joint by changing its appearance, e.g. only on the outer instep.
- Orientation: We change our organization in the vertical by changing our breathing and lifting our shoulder.
- Functional: We may change the size of our steps.
- Orientation: We look much more / much less on the ground when we walk.
Our body has no compass, the needle does not automatically find its way back north. I.e. after the healing of our sprain in the foot our shoulder will not automatically lower again. In addition, breathing will not find a calm exhalation phase again or the step size will adjust. Even the orientation to the ground does not automatically return to the old state. We have changed and our body will internalize these changes. This change will lead to a different gliding of the fascia in our body tissue as well as to a changed ratio of tonic to phasic muscle fibers (Wikipedia to muscle fibers). Our own body image (i.e. which range of motion is considered safe) will also adapt by changing the coordination of movement and muscles.
Rolfing – Structural Integration addresses all these facets of body adaptation and helps to find a new, less complex, less energy-consuming organization and structure.
Being upright in Rolfing
Rolfing seeks a balanced alignment in gravity in order to be able to move efficiently out of it. If a foot has been injured, it is not only necessary to release the tension in the actual injury, but also to eliminate the compensations in the body. In addition, one’s own body image must be adapted to the new possibilities. Otherwise, we could move the foot “normally” again, but always fall back into our “balancing scheme”. Rolfing changes fascial structures and nervous control through the manual work of the Rolfer and also guides movements to use the changed movement space in daily life.
In short: Rolfing helps to reestablish our upright posture in gravity.