The first, and most important, is its focus. While massage concentrates on the musculature of the body, Rolfing works with the connective tissue, called fascia*, that wraps the body. A wonderful example of fascia is on raw chicken. If you have peeled that thin, clear, slightly white layer off chicken before cooking it, you too have touched fascia!
Another difference is client participation within a session. Massage is a more passive form of bodywork where the client is invited to lie down and enjoy an hour of therapy without needing to focus on what is occurring in the session. With Rolfing, it is a much more active process where the clients are asked to participate with movements and focus to the parts of the body being worked.
* Fascia is actually intertwined throughout the body, starting with an outermost layer that can be called a bodysuit, because it covers the body from head to foot. Beneath that, other layers of fascia cover and are interspersed within the muscles themselves as well as being connected to bones, nerves and organs. In this way Rolfing can have a dramatic systemic effect.
Rolfing is a very effective technique, and because of its focus on connective tissue rather than musculature, there is a long-term change in how the body moves. This means that it works well for chronic pain and postural problems as well as being good for those who wish to have their body work more efficiently, such as athletes, dancers and those who do manual labor.
GOLDEN TIGER ACUPUNCTURE
88. S Long Beach Rd.
Rockville Centre, NY 11570
(No longer taking New Clients)
TOUGH LOVE MASSAGE
21 Charles St.
Holliston, MA 01746