Rolf Movement™

Towards the end of her life Dr. Rolf expressed her desire to have movement work as an adjunct to the traditional Structural Ten Sessions. Dr. Rolf collaborated first with Dorothy Nolte and then Judith Aston to develop this aspect of Rolfing. Since Dr. Rolf’s death in 1979, others, including Jane Harrington, Heather Starsong, Gael Ohlgren and Vivian Jaye and Hubert Godard have made enormous contributions to this aspect of Rolfing.

Hubert Godard’s Tonic Function Theory has since become the accepted frame within which a Rolfer trained in the movement side of the work intervenes with the client at the functional-coordinative and perceptual level.

Usually a Rolfer trained in the structural and the functional work will move, in the same session, between more structural tissue work and a perceptual touch whose intention is more towards the functional use of the client; therefore making no distinction between the structural and the functional work. But it is possible to give a Rolfing session that brings to the foreground the coordinative / perceptual / meaning aspect of the client’s gravity organisation and this might be called a Rolf Movement Session.

During functional work and a movement session the Rolfer is looking to see how the person he is working with is orienting; what are their resources and preferences? What is the missing gesture? The Rolfer might look at the big repetitive movements of walking and breathing and whether they are economical. How does the system stabilise is another theme that might be explored. And is there a capacity for contralateral or countertorsional motion during movement. How do they push and reach? What is the person doing with their sensorial system: the eyes, the skin, the hearing etc? How is this impacting on their sense of the world around them? These and many other interrelated themes create a frame for intervening and stabilizing the more structural work in the connective tissue.

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