Rolfing As An Exploration Of Structural Ageing
What I find so continually incredible about my work is when I hear people talk about their bodies and ageing.
There seems to be a strong assumption in our culture that they should expect pain, discomfort, lack of mobility, loss of vitality and energy. I truly don't believe this.
Rolfing made me feel like a five-year-old the first time I tried it, and my body remembered the simple joy of skipping. The lessons I continue to learn through this unique bodywork system keep me in touch with that energy.
We do have the opportunity to feel younger than we are and to challenge the messages we've been sold about what we should expect in our bodies as we age.
Can you remember how your body felt as a child? Can you remember all the trees you used to climb or the pleasure of hopping and jumping?
Any of my clients will tell you I talk about stretching like a broken record. But if you're going to train you have to stretch – it's as simple as that – unless you want to feel tighter and less mobile which, in turn, can cause you to feel a lot older than you are.
But we are consistently creating such busy lives for ourselves that we sometimes find it so difficult to find the time to stretch.
Rolfing is about creating length and freedom in your fascial body, like being ironed out.
Ida Rolf taught that as Rolfers we are first and foremost educators and secondly bodyworkers. Educating my clients about their movement patterns is such a privilege. We carry our hopes and dreams, our thoughts and feelings within every movement and as we journey through our lives and through the years, I really encourage you to challenge the way you expect your body to feel and move.
I so often hear my clients say: "Well, I am getting older..." and yes you may be but that doesn't have to mean you should get used to that pain in your shoulder just because it's been there a year, or that you should accept the immobility of your toes just because your mother and sister both have similar patterns.
Rolfing can bring an experience of opening inside the body, within the tissues and, in turn, in your outlook.
Just try looking up for the rest of the day, seeing the tops of the trees and all the things you miss when you're looking down. Does it make you feel older or younger?
By Liesl Dee for The Life Centre's newsletter, June 2017