To alleviate pain the body’s segments must be brought back into alignment. Rolfing systematically manipulates and aligns the body’s myofascial or connective tissue system. Myofascia is the “body’s organ of shape”. The myofascial system supports the skeleton and soft tissues, it positions the bones, determines the direction of muscle pulls and therefore movement; it also provides the body with its individual shape. The human body holds itself erect with pairs of muscle groups functioning within a network of fascial sheaths. These muscle pairs normally function in an antagonist relationship with one another. When one pair of muscles contracts the other must extend to maintain proper balance and movement.
If this muscular relationship is impaired through injury or chronic tension, the fascia in that area thickens and shortens; forcing the rest of the body to compensate to maintain balance and movement. The job of Rolfing is to free up the shortened and impaired fascia, thus allowing the fascia and muscles to return to a balanced relationship and enabling the body to release its lifelong patterns of compensations and regain its normal healthy functioning.