CONNECTIVE TISSUE - FASCIArolfing

Fascia is the name of a thin elastic connective tissue net which enwraps and connects the whole body. Muscles and bones as well as all other structures in the human body are arranged and supported three-dimensionally in this net. It's the fascia that gives the human being its unique form.

The fascianet supports the body, protects it and acts like an elastic shock absorber during movement. Fascia is a very elastic and adaptable tissue that transmits all kind of forces throughout the whole body. Connective tissue acts like a bridge from top to bottom. It's a three-dimensional network which gives support and orientation to muscles, organs, bones, the brain and the nervous system.

Fascia also enables the gliding between different structures in our body - like the gliding of the shoulderblade on deeper layers of the back during arm lifting. Connective tissue is a very dynamic tissue, without it, there would not be any movement of or in our body.

On the other hand, this shaping and connecting capacity of the connective tissue, especially the fascia of the muscles, can be the cause of many problems. If there is too much strain or stress of some muscles groups the surrounding tissue increases. Which, on its own, is nothing bad at first, it's a necessity of the human body. But these thickened fibres tend to be less elastic and force the muscle in a corset which is too tight.

As a result the muscles get out of balance and the nearest joint faces too much mechanical pressure. This happens, in many cases, when we force our body in an akinetic posture or overload it by repetitive unilateral motions. Sitting in front of a computer for hours without any movement will necessarily leave marks in the tension-patterns of our muscles and fascia.

Another, always acting force, which shapes us, gives us and our movements direction and which goes with us from birth to death is:


GRAVITY

Gravity plays an important role for the inner and outer balance and shape of our body. It is a force which, living on earth, influences and accompanies us from birth to death. At every time in our life, our body has a relationship with its surrounding. Thanks to Ida Rolf, this circumstance has been brought into our attention and awareness.

As soon as one body part deviates from the mid/plumb line another part of our body has to switch to a balancing/compensating position. If this would not be the case, we would tilt to the side, to the front or to the back - unable to keep us upright, standing on two legs.

Therefore, in human beings, there is no kind of restriction, tension or shift which is only affecting just one part of our body. Every kind of tension is always affecting the whole body. Which is explainable with:


THE TENSEGRITY MODELL

Tensegrity is a principle of construction which is based on R. Buckminster Fuller. The term itself is an artificial construction which consists of the words "tension" and "integrity". This principle was mainly found in architecture. Elastic elements are the connection for solid elements.

When there is a force coming from outside, the whole system reacts with a dynamic load and stress distribution. The interaction between solid and elastic elements enables the maximum of stability during times of great stress and load. Being one of very few people, Ida Rolf has transferred this principle to the human body.

Our body shows a great similarity to a tensegrity structure. The bones, the solid elements and the myofascial layers, the elastic elements form a dynamic combination in the body of human beings. Of course, the human body cannot only be reduced to a tensegrity structure. Additional to this three-dimensional network our body consits of openings, caves and sockets, sliding surfaces and compartments - filled and lined with fluidity.

Nonetheless, whith the help of the tensegrity modell interventions in one part of the body, which have an effect on a completely different part can be explained. Adjustments in one part can have an effect on other parts, because of the connection between fibres and myofascial structures. Because of this interaction and the use of specific tissue qualities of fascia and ligaments, sometimes only a small intervention with just a little pressure can achieve a long-lasting result.


ROLFING® AND ROLFER™ ARE REGISTERED SERVICE MARKS OF THE ROLF INSTITUTE® OF STRUCTURAL INTEGRATION, BOULDER/ COLORADO, USA