How does it work?
This connective tissue network, known as the myofascial system, is “organ of structure” in the body. It supports the skeleton and soft tissues, positions the bones, determines the direction of muscle pulls and of movement, and gives the body its shape.
Fascia (at left), the body’s “organ of structure” is laid down along the lines of strain. It supports the body and gives it the shape it has.
The human body holds itself erect with pairs of muscle groups functioning within a network of fascial sheaths. These pairs normally function in an antagonist relationship with one another. When one of the pair contracts the other must extend to maintain proper balance.
If that relationship is impaired through injury or chronic tension in one of the groups, the fascia conforms to the shortening and the rest of the body must compensate to maintain balance.
The job of Rolfing is to free the shortened fascia, allow the muscles to return to a balanced relationship and the body to release the compensations. When the myofascial system is organized, gravity causes it to uplift and align the body’s segments (as seen on the right).