Rolfing® for Women with Back Pain
Mar 30, 2019 03:32PM
By Edward Hemberger
S it up straight. Don’t slouch. These common directives in childhood become harder to maintain for most adults as life becomes more sedentary. In 2016, almost 1 in 3 women in the United States reported having back pain. While primary causes vary, posture often plays a significant role in both creating and removing pain. Recommendations for improving posture usually involve exercise or stretching, and both are helpful. However, correcting the cumulative muscle weakness from years of poor posture often needs to be addressed. Rolfing is one way to restore muscle vibrancy on the deepest level.
Rolfing works by deeply massaging the tight connective muscle tissues to let the muscles become more flexible, while at the same time realigning and balancing the spine. This may sound similar to deep tissue massage, but Rolfing differs in that it aims for longer term correction rather than stopping at relaxation and release of tension. Rolfing also works through all the layers of the body to reorganize connective tissues for realignment. This approach not only improves posture and spine health, it may also help certain conditions like scoliosis. While it is not recommended for those suffering with acute pain, chronic complaints can be easily corrected and alleviated. For example, Rolfing has been shown to be an effective treatment for lumbar lordosis and the curvature of the spine, conditions that particularly affect women.
Research has demonstrated that this holistic, gentle practice may also improve the parasympathetic nervous system. There also seems to be a direct correlation between Rolfing and enhanced neurological functions, including improved attention span as well as decreased levels of autonomic stress.
One advantage of Rolfing is that it is designed to address the condition through a set number of treatments rather than as an ongoing process for life. It is considered a long-lasting pain relief therapy, with some patients returning only once a year for a “tune up”.
Edward Hemberger, LMT, ART, is a Certified Structural Integration specialist based on the Rolf Method. He is joined by Thomas Findley, MD, PhD, Advanced Rolfer, in serving clients at Hemberger Structural Integration, with offices in Boonton, Livingston, and Manhattan, NY. For more information, contact Hemberger at 973-462-3112. HembergerStructuralIntegration.com.