Rolfworks Los Angeles is celebrating its fifth anniversary this year! It’s hard to believe how quickly these past five years have flown by. From its inception in July of 2008, and from the first days of introducing the company, We have seen hundreds of people through the Rolfing® 10-series. With each “emerging,” We have marveled at the wisdom inherent in the work. We can honestly say we learned valuable lessons from every single client, and we feel so honored to have been entrusted with their well-being.
People often call us, having heard about Rolfing from a friend or colleague, but without much knowledge of what Rolfing is. They might have heard that it’s like a deep tissue massage. Some people, having heard that it can be painful, are trepidatious. We always welcome questions about how Rolfing Structural Integration works, whether it is indeed painful, how long the effects can be expected to last, how we came to be interested in this kind of therapy, and how long we have owned and operated Rolfworks.
Ida P. Rolf, the founder of Rolfing Structural Integration, is reported to have frequently reminded her students, “As Rolfers we are not so much therapists as educators.” It has taken us some time to appreciate what she meant by this. The process of working with people towards better structural alignment involves teaching clients and their bodies new ways of negotiating the task of staying upright in the field of gravity.
What we have learned is that, when we work “on” someone, we are really working “with” them—with their entire system. For example, a client might call because they suffer from chronic headaches. Having assessed that they carry their head forward of their shoulders, putting tremendous demand on their neck and shoulder muscles to hold their head up, we begin to work to ease the fixations in the tissue that have resulted in long-standing pattern of holding. When we put our hands on them, their system must allow us in. Their system and our system have a conversation. It does not occur in words. We don’t say, “Now you must relax.” Our hands speak to the whole person—to who they are in that package of skin, muscles, nerves, blood, and bones. We are communicating with their entire physical, emotional, and psychological history. Our hands move as they do in response to their responsiveness. This occurs at a level both at and below my own consciousness. We are educating that client’s system to feel safe enough to let go and find a new way to be. In turn, the client is teaching us how to educate them.
When we set about choosing a name for the company, we liked the name “Rolfworks” because of the way it also “works” on more than one level—Rolfing works. Bodywork, as a generalized field of wellness, is evoked as well. It works for us. We hope to work for you!
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