Today, Rolfing is often seen as what we in the industry call “fix-it” work. Meaning you have a problem and you come to Rolfing to fix it. Makes sense, and Rolfing can be quite good for that.
However, there’s another side to it as well: the transformative side. That is to say, using the Rolfing method as a way to transform yourself.
When Rolfing was first being taught by Dr. Ida Rolf, it was often viewed in this light. Her view, to dramatically paraphrase her words, was that if you were able to align the physical body in the field of gravity, one would have to use less energy to keep oneself upright and moving and therefore could use that energy for transformation - whether that’s physical, emotional, or even spiritual transformation.
Because of this, Rolfing was seen in the 60’s as part of the Human Potential Movement - a movement that advocated for developing the largely untapped potential in most people to create a life of happiness, creativity and fulfillment.
Coming back to modern day, this movement as largely waned and been absorbed into other areas of our modern culture, and can now be seen in the self-help areas of life (think yoga, pilates, new-age spirituality, etc.).
However, Rolfing still has this underlying potential of transformation. The key to unlocking this potential is largely one of self-interest and intentionality. If you intend to use this sort of work as a transformational experience, then most of the time it will be guided in that way.
I wrote this little article with two thoughts in mind. The first is to expose people to the idea of this possibility with the work. And the second is an invitation of sorts: Personally, I love working with clients that have this in mind - it’s amazing to see what sort of transformational experiences people can have by working with their physical structure. So if you’re interested in this sort of work, feel free to reach out and let me know.
And if you’d like to read more about this subject, check out this closely related article: 3 Ways Rolfing Can Transform Your Life.