Rolfing® and massage are similar in that they use tissue manipulation to benefit a person’s health. However, they involve different techniques and usually have different goals. Although massage might promote relaxation, ease muscle tension, or even reduce certain medical symptoms, such as back pain, people do not always use it for medical purposes. When they do, it is usually in addition to other treatments. Rolfing, on the other hand, aims to treat medical conditions. It also has more elements, and sessions involve more than tissue manipulation. According to the Dr. Ida Rolf Institute website, Rolfing practitioners: Palpate: Practitioners touch the tissues through the skin, looking for indications of imbalances in tissue texture, quality, or temperature. Discriminate: Next, Rolfing practitioners claim to separate layers of fascia that have become dislodged from the correct position or stuck to muscles. Integrate: Finally, the sessions finish with integration, which is when the practitioner aims to improve the relationship between body parts in accordance with Dr. Rolf’s theories about movement and gravity. This can involve movement education as well as tissue manipulation. Although people can find Rolfing relaxing and cathartic, the Institute says that these benefits are only byproducts of the sessions.
Benefits of Rolfing®
Rolfing practitioners say they can treat a wide variety of conditions, including: - Pain - Traditionally, Rolfing practitioners have claimed that they can treat back pain, neck pain, fibromyalgia, headaches, migraines, and even arthritis. However, the evidence to support these claims is extremely limited, and in some cases, not found at all. - Imbalance - Rolfing practitioners also say they can treat imbalances in the body, particularly between muscles and the connective tissue that surrounds them. They can also treat imbalances in the nervous system and the bone structure. - Movement - It is not very common for people to undergo Rolfing for movement, but some practitioners say they can help correct scoliosis, improve movement patterns, and aid recovery from injuries.
Benefits of Massage
Massage has many benefits, and most people can benefit from regular sessions. They can help: - Decrease anxiety - Massage has been shown to help reduce stress and anxiety because it increases parasympathetic activity, which is the “rest and digest” response. - Improve sleep - Many people find that after receiving a massage, they are able to fall asleep more easily, and stay asleep longer. - Decrease pain - With regular massage, your body is able to heal itself faster, and massage practitioners say they can reduce pain in areas like sore muscles, headaches, and back pain. - Improve metabolism - Research has shown that massage can have an increased metabolism and cause the body to release endorphins, which helps the body to decrease stress and improve mood. - Decrease blood pressure - Massage can decrease blood pressure because it has been shown to increase the blood volume and relax blood vessels.
Rolfing® has similarities with massage
There are some similarities between Rolfing and massage, as both aim to improve a person’s health. - Both require specialized training and a license - Most massage practitioners and Rolfing practitioners are trained at a college, or have a professional license. - Both use manual manipulation of the body - Practitioners manipulate the body’s tissues by moving, tapping, or pressing on the muscles, tendons, and ligaments that make up the body. - Both are holistic - Practitioners aim to treat the underlying cause of health issues, such as pain or movement issues.
Ongoing pain relief from auto injuries and sports injuries
Some people have sustained injuries that have resulted in chronic pain. With Rolfing, practitioners can address these issues and treat the underlying source, which can result in pain relief. Massage practitioners can also treat these issues, but can only treat the symptoms, and not address the root cause. The National Institute of Neurologic Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) says that massage has been shown to help a few people with chronic pain, but it cannot replace traditional medical care. Massage has been shown to be effective in treating pain associated with osteoarthritis, carpal tunnel syndrome, and back pain. It may also help to relieve pain associated with stiff muscles, low back pain, shoulder pain, and neck pain. Because the underlying cause of these conditions is often due to an injury, massage can certainly be beneficial. However, it cannot substitute traditional medical care.
Rolfing® has differences from massage
Rolfing practitioners aim to integrate different parts of the body, while massage practitioners only work on the muscles. Rolfing practitioners also often aim to restore a person’s structural balance, while massage practitioners only work on clients’ muscle tension.
Rolfing and massage are similar in that they both use tissue manipulation to benefit a person’s health. However, they involve different techniques and usually have different goals. Although massage might promote relaxation, ease muscle tension, or even reduce certain medical symptoms, such as back pain, people do not always use it for medical purposes. Rolfing, on the other hand, aims to treat medical conditions, such as back pain, neck pain, and arthritis. Rolfing has many benefits, including pain relief, increased movement, and increased relaxation. Rolfing also has structural integration, which massage practitioners do not have.