Biennial Conference 'Encounters' Review

Here are the key messages of our speakers at the 2022 Biennial Conference 'Encounters - New Realities & Perspectives in Rolfing®'.

Juan David Vélez

Juan David Vélez, Certified Advanced Rolfer® and Rolf Movement™ Teacher, who was connected from the USA via Zoom, spoke about ‘On Integration and the Nature of Complex Systems’. He defined integration as the process of bringing the differentiated parts together into a state of harmonious expression – an ability that requires the experience of an advanced practitioner. He said: “change needs to happen at a deep level of experience. You need to guide that experience through touch.”

Thomas Heinrich

Psychologist, Certified Advanced Rolfer®, and Rolf Movement™ Practitioner Thomas Heinrich talked about ‘Dealing with emotions when working with clients: Discovering the meaning of the psychological dimension of Rolfing®.’ He stated that Rolfing® work always has an influence on the emotional level which should be counted on by Rolfers and clients: “It is not possible to treat somebody by Rolfing without changing their state or mood of being” – something that can very often be experienced as a relief by clients.

Peter Schwind

Dr. phil. Peter Schwind, Certified Advanced Rolfing® Instructor, lectured on ‘The Ten Sessions Recipe: Something to retain or rewrite? Historical documentations and contemporary thoughts’. He illustrated his lecture with historical pictures taken in classes in 1983. Peter gave an eye-opening practical demonstration of several new techniques to approach the psoas.

Robert Schleip

Certified Advanced Rolfer® Robert Schleip, Ph.D. Human Biologist and Psychologist, spoke about 'Rolfing, Fascia and the Autonomic Nervous System'. He emphasized the importance of looking at the sensory stimulation aspect for understanding the effects of manual fascia therapy, as the human fascial network has now been shown to be our richest sensory organ, with approximately 250 million nerve endings.

This network is in rich interaction with the Autonomic Nervous System and our immune system. “How well our immune system, our Autonomic Nervous System, and our emotional condition influence each other is strongly influenced by the activity of fascial fibroblasts”. Animal research with Rolfing-inspired fascia stimulation has already shown significant improvement effects on this interaction.

Katja Bartsch

CE Workshop Teacher Katja Bartsch, who is currently a Ph.D. student with Robert Schleip, presented her research-in-progress on the ‘Effects of Rolfing SI on the thoracolumbar fascia’. Her practical research will be pursued in cooperation with the ERA.

Rafal Wysocki

In a highly scientific lecture, Certified Rolfer® and Rolf Movement™ Practitioner Rafal Wysocki pointed out ‘The Potential Role of MTHFR Gene Mutation in Chronic Low Back Pain’ and recommended Rolfers to initiate that their clients check their vitamin and enzyme utilisation when they feel that manual therapy alone doesn’t improve their situation.

Florian Thomas

Opera singer and Certified Rolfer® Florian Thomas gave a moving speech on ‘Freeing vocal expression through Rolfing - how fascia impacts our voice’.  He didn’t only show that vocal health can be a side effect of Rolfing, but also demonstrated how he has helped other singers to free their voices and gain more volume by Rolfing. “When we singers say we are singing from our heart, there is a truth to it, as the fascia form a connection between the larynx and the heart”, he said.

Rita Geirola

Certified Advanced Rolfer®, Rolf Movement™ Practitioner and faculty member Rita Geirola shared her practical experiences of ‘Teaching online. Reflections on the potentiality and limits in offering online sessions’. She emphasized the meaning of setting, presence, and tonic dialogue in Rolfing, which leads to a special level of communication that makes change possible.

Christoph Sommer & Konrad Obermeier

The conference was rounded off with a Q&A session on ‘Structural and embryological perspectives on pathologies’ by our faculty members Christoph Sommer, Certified Advanced Rolfer® and Rolf Movement™ Practitioner and Konrad Obermeier, Certified Advanced Rolfer®.

Nicola Carofiglio

In between these intense speeches, Certified Advanced Rolfer® and Rolf Movement™ Practitioner and faculty member Nicola Carofiglio took everybody on a movement journey of ‘Perceptual explorations in movement’.