Rolfing® can help actors express their art through their body

By Eike Jon Ahrens

As an actor, what led you to try Rolfing®?

I first learned about Rolfing during my acting studies at Falckenberg-Schule Munich. My dance teacher brought it to our school as an extra try-out programme. Every student received a full 10-Session series of Rolfing. She was convinced Rolfing would be a great opportunity to experience the deep potential of an actor’s body as a resource for creativity, as it would help mastering body language.

For me, receiving Rolfing was love at first sight.

Did you try other therapies prior to Rolfing?

Before my first Rolfing experience, I was lucky to know many different techniques of manual therapy – like sports medicine massages, chiropractic, craniosacral therapy, osteopathy, and other techniques like meditation and Feldenkrais.


How did Rolfing help you with your issues?

I was lucky to not have any specific body issues. The 10 Session series became a deep and fascinating journey. I found out there was potential of earning energy and strength, by changing patterns of body use.I learned about the meaning of direction in motion, to become more efficient. Bodyweight could be utilizedas anker and arrow in motion. Imagination and visualization of the inner pictures can functionas the motor of deep change in motion and structure.


Did Rolfing resolve things immediately? Did Rolfing surprise you in any way?

After my 10 sessions I had an accident at a film production. I fell on my AC(acromioclavicular) joint. I could not lift my arm higher than my shoulder and was in pain. I went to a doctor who could not rule out surgery. So I visited a very experienced Rolfer® I know from school’s programme and asked him to check. After his treatments, he was absolute clear in his opinion that a surgery was not needed anymore. A well-known orthopaedist double-checked and came to the same conclusion, that no further surgery was needed. After four Rolfing sessions with him I was able to go back on stage.


What, in your opinion as a Rolfer and an actor, are the general benefits Rolfing has for actors?

Actors express their art through their medium body. Their surface, the skin is what is seen. They have their body as a resource of creativity. They can use different patterns, transform the language of their body.

Actors communicate with their body – as sender and receiver.

As a Rolfer, my work is to help people communicate differently than before: to explore different gestures, change focus in motion, try out something new or long forgotten.

In Rolfing, I help my clients to learn about the great resource we all have – our own body.


Is there a link between your work as an actor and as a Rolfer?

When I was an actor, I observed people and guessed about their lives. I made up some stories and tried to incorporate their gesture, habit, mood, or their centre of energy. It was very exhausting when I saw too many people. Now as a Rolfer, I experience something quite similar:

When I watch people, I try to find out how I can help them in posture, motion, breathing, and to make them expand into their true potential.


Author: Certified Advanced Rolfer®, Rolf Movement™ Practitioner, Eike Jon Ahrens, Germany

Photos : Sittig Fahr-Becker

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