Integrated Manual Therapies - Advanced Rolfing
Rolfing is a body therapy system of hands on manipulation and education designed to improve whole body alignment, balance, flexibility, and use. Anatomically, Rolfing addresses the connective tissues of the mus­cu­lo­skel­e­tal system. Like a unified web; muscles, fascia, tendons, ligaments, joints, and bones seamlessly attach to each other. Their beautiful interweaving reveals that the whole, truly, is greater than the sum of its parts. Rolfing seeks to return these myofascial relationships to their natural order and integrity.
Rolfing, mus­cu­lo­skel­e­tal, connective tissues, manipulation, muscles, fascia, tendons, ligaments, joints, pain, bone
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Integrated Manual Therapies

Manual Therapy is the art and science of using hands on manipulation for therapeutic purposes. Integrated Manual Therapies is the blending of interrelated modalities that sees health as a function of all body systems operating and communicating harmoniously. Often a physical restriction in one system of the body affects another system. This is especially true with long-term restrictions that gradually have spread local strain to other parts of the body. At such times, a more comprehensive approach to treating the body is effective for meeting a client’s individual needs. IMT addresses the dynamic anatomical and energetic interrelationships between connective tissues of three different systems: the musculo­skeletal, visceral, and craniosacral. By selectively integrating Advanced Rolfing, Visceral Manipulation, and Craniosacral Therapy, IMT is a power­ful systems approach to organizing the body at core levels.

Integrated Manual Therapies is designed to meet the body on its own terms by customizing manual therapy in response to precise structural strain.

“Only the tissues know”

– Rollin Becker, DO

The Domino Effect of Adaptive Forces

By Bruce Schonfeld, Certified Advanced Rolfer®

Article credit: MASSAGE Magazine,  July/August 2009 issue

Article summary:
There are many reasons for an organ to lose its mobility: physical traumas, surgeries, sedentary lifestyle, infections, pollution, bad diet, poor posture, and pregnancy and delivery among them. When an organ is no longer freely mobile but is fixed to another structure, the body is forced to compensate.

Similar to the underlying mechanics of psychology, where an unresolved issue sits at the center of a complex surrounded by a web of compensation, somatic misalignment is also surrounded by adaptive forces attempting to correct unresolved physical imbalance. Sometimes this domino-like effect doesn’t stay neatly within one anatomical system. Visceral theory simply contends the musculoskeletal system cannot disengage until the visceral restriction(s) has been improved or resolved. The tension literally
sets the stage for it’s counter-tension.

So, if there is a legitimate visceral restriction in play, then the musculoskeletal system is essentially a secondary reaction, a compensatory mechanism/response to the primary lesion.

This is especially true with long-standing issues where strain has insidiously/incrementally spread outward from the neural and visceral systems into the more familiar articular and musculoskeletal systems.

Let’s say, for example, there are adhesions to the small intestine and peritoneum from an old appendix surgery, both in terms of residual scar tissue and undifferentiated fascial layers, then the transverses abdominus, obliques, Q.L., psoas and iliacus have no choice but to perpetually relate to the deeper dysfunction. They have to deal with it. Essentially, the body three-dimensionally shortens into the effected area (a.k.a. AGR, or area of greatest restriction) as a protective strategy to contain the area and prevent new traumatizing forces from doing further damage.

The law of averages plainly states for every action there is an equal and opposite action. A tension sets the stage for a counter-tension. This is especially true with the human body, where the sensory and perceptual systems are basically trying to get
themselves back into anatomical midline so they can more efficiently do their jobs. The body twists and turns to get itself right again. Often the injury or illness heals, but the pattern of compensation remains. Allopathic medicine sometimes refers
to this state of right as pathological neutral, the relative balance within patterned “dysbalance.” The goal for the body, like psyche, is to be differentiated and in healthy relationships.

There is a good chance the greater omentum might be at the scar tissue or surgical site in the form of an adhesion. The greater omentum must always be considered in terms of pelvic and abdominal daptation—it likes to go where the trouble is/was. The spinal-visceral connection becomes more obvious perhaps in dissection. Many membranes, mesentery and fisceral attachments connect directly into the anterior aspect of the spinal and articular systems.

Visceral manipulation developer and author Jean-Pierre Barral has been known to strongly state a large number of spinal subluxations or fixations are in fact reflexogenic from visceral issues.

Especially with tricky clients who have received quality care, visceral restrictions are often the anatomical elephant in the room.

Bruce Schonfeld (www.advancedrolfing.com) teaches and practices Body Analysis, Structural Integration & Integrated Manual Therapies in Los Angeles California. He’s studied Visceral Manipulation since 1997 and directly with Jean-Pierre Barral since 2001. Fascia is the common denominator of his systems anatomy approach.

Similar to the underlying mechanics of psychology, where an unresolved issue sits at the center of a complex surrounded by a web of compensation, somatic misalignment is also surrounded by adaptive forces attempting to correct unresolved physical imbalance. Sometimes this domino-like effect doesn’t stay neatly within one anatomical system. Visceral theory simply contends the musculoskeletal system cannot disengage until the visceral restriction(s) has been improved or resolved. The tension literally
sets the stage for it’s counter-tension.

So, if there is a legitimate visceral restriction in play, then the musculoskeletal system is essentially a secondary reaction, a compensatory mechanism/response to the primary lesion.

This is especially true with long-standing issues where strain has insidiously/incrementally spread outward from the neural and visceral systems into the more familiar articular and musculoskeletal systems.

Let’s say, for example, there are adhesions to the small intestine and peritoneum from an old appendix surgery, both in terms of residual scar tissue and undifferentiated fascial layers, then the transverses abdominus, obliques, Q.L., psoas and iliacus have no choice but to perpetually relate to the deeper dysfunction. They have to deal with it. Essentially, the body three-dimensionally shortens into the effected area (a.k.a. AGR, or area of greatest restriction) as a protective strategy to contain the area and prevent new traumatizing forces from doing further damage.

The law of averages plainly states for every action there is an equal and opposite action. A tension sets the stage for a counter-tension. This is especially true with the human body, where the sensory and perceptual systems are basically trying to get
themselves back into anatomical midline so they can more efficiently do their jobs. The body twists and turns to get itself right again. Often the injury or illness heals, but the pattern of compensation remains. Allopathic medicine sometimes refers
to this state of right as pathological neutral, the relative balance within patterned “dysbalance.” The goal for the body, like psyche, is to be differentiated and in healthy relationships. There is a good chance the greater omentum might be at the
scar tissue or surgical site in the form of an adhesion. The greater omentum must always be considered in terms ofpelvic and abdominal adaptation—it likes to go where the trouble is/was. The spinal-visceral connection becomes more obvious perhaps in dissection. Many membranes, mesentery and visceral attachments connect directly into the anterior aspect of the spinal and articular systems.

Visceral manipulation developer and author Jean-Pierre Barral has been known to strongly state a large number of spinal subluxations or fixations are in fact reflexogenic from visceral issues.

Especially with tricky clients who have received quality care, visceral restrictions are often the anatomical elephant in the room.

Bruce Schonfeld (www.advancedrolfing.com) teaches and practices Body Analysis, Structural Integration & Integrated Manual Therapies in Los Angeles California. He’s studied Visceral Manipulation since 1997 and directly with Jean-Pierre Barral since 2001. Fascia is the common denominator of his systems anatomy approach.

Often the seemingly most mundane or habitual activities are the places in everyday life where a little movement education and/or ergonomic ad­just­ment can help minimize or eliminate ongoing tension. Empowering clients to understand how they are doing what they are doing and teaching them to listen to their bodies are crucial steps in helping people to improve their own health. By discerning underlying structure and postural preferences one can create, compliment, or modify an exercise, yoga, or weight training program to specifically stretch, strengthen, and train in the direction of anatomical balance.

Bruce offers tailor-made workouts for alignment, rehabilitation, and cross train­ing.

Integrated Manual Therapies (IMT) also helps diminish stress by deconstructing repetitive motion activities like sitting, sleeping, the work environment, and personal ergonomics. Addressing these different functional components is quite often the cutting edge of IMT, as modifying or changing old patterns can be challenging on many levels. De­dicated to supporting health beyond office appointments, IMT further em­powers proactive clients.

Bruce completed his Rolfing Movement Integration Training in 1994 in Boulder, Colorado.