Within a spectrum of touch from gentle to strong, the idea is to work with you not on you. Force and pressure vary from client to client and are tailor-made to the individual based upon the client’s sensations, preferences, contextual factors, and/or feedback. Bruce uses both direct and indirect techniques.
Two Approaches: The Forest and The Trees
Some clients choose the original approach to Rolfing Structural Integration which addresses the whole body over a series of 10-Sessions. This approach does not cater to pain and/or orthopedic issues. That is not its purpose. Instead, from head to toe, this approach addresses the overall architecture of the locomotor, fascial, and musculoskeletal systems. The holistic approach, also called ‘the recipe’, deals with the body’s broad intersegmental relationships and optimizing balance and mobility across the whole kinetic chain. In the era of specialization, Rolfing’s point of view remains that of the Generalist. Rolfing addresses the whole body, the whole person, not missing the forest for the trees.
Orthopedic: Some clients, often dealing with chronic pain and/or longstanding orthopedic problems, choose to troubleshoot their issues more specifically. Often times, and understandably so, the client wants their main issue(s) addressed from the beginning. This orthopedic approach is quite different than the holistic approach and is not technically Rolfing.
Both approaches typically include deconstructing, analyzing, and troubleshooting the client’s activities of daily life for obvious and non-obvious underlying mechanisms. Especially in the context of chronic scenarios, identifying, modifying, and/or eliminating insidious onset mechanisms is often the key to more sustainable improvement and change.
Bruce practices client-centered therapy and figuring out the client’s preferred approach is often the first step. Bruce finds client input, engagement, and feedback are typically helpful for best outcomes. In terms of the therapeutic container, Bruce enjoys working as a team and meeting the client in the middle. Beyond manual therapy, Bruce appreciates the complexities of the biopsychosocial model wherein psychological, social, functional, and/or behavioral components are interacting with the whole person and client outcomes. Decreasing overall bodily compression through better strategizing, time management, and more body-friendly ergonomics is a part of the solution. Especially in chronic scenarios, troubleshooting the client’s activities of daily life, as a team, is often a missing piece of the tricky therapeutic puzzle.