Through Rolf Movement™ clients learn how to sense, befriend and integrate gravity in their movement. From simple breathing and walking to more complex movement coordination, clients discover alternatives that free expressiveness and promote balance. Once secure and stable in themselves, clients discover that movement can be economical, powerful and fluid.
The History of Rolf Movement
In the 1960s, the American biochemist, Dr. Ida Rolf, the founder of Rolfing® SI, was already discovering that gravity and fascia play an important role for upright posture and economical movement. “Put it where it belongs and ask for movement” – this statement by Dr. Ida Rolf indicates how important it is that the body prepares itself ideally for each movement.
Applied when clients lie on the table, sit on a chair, or stand on their feet and are asked to do a specific movement, Rolfers® re-inform fascia through their hands-on work, enhancing new perception of the body while clients move within the context of gravity.
When Dr. Ida Rolf developed Rolf Movement, she initially worked with the therapist Dorothy Nolte (1925 to 2005) and later with the dancer Judith Aston. She felt that movement training would become an essential and valuable complement to her structural Ten-Series.
In a classic movement series, the first session is devoted to exploring breathing patterns and using the breath to promote ease and release holdings in the ribs, lungs and respiratory diaphragm. Subsequent sessions address movement patterns in the foot, ankle and knee joints, the hip joint, the arms and head and neck. While clients who have completed a structural series can explore Rolf Movement™ Integration, it serves equally well as a stand-alone tool for achieving higher levels of self-awareness, balance, freedom of motion and body coherence.
Since Dr. Rolf’s passing in 1979, many Rolfers have contributed to the advancement of Rolf Movement. The approach developed by the French dancer and ERA Faculty member Hubert Godard is especially important.
His model, “tonic function”, is based on his exchange with other movement teachers, extensive experience, and recent research findings on the connective tissue’s (fascia) functions.
The new ERA Movement Program
Starting in 2015 the Dr Ida Rolf Institute® Europe offer three rounds of Rolf Movement Trainings. These three rounds will be taught in a new modular format: each Training Round will take place over 3 Parts; and each Part will have two or three Modules.
The aim of teaching in smaller modular units is to give Rolfers attending the training the opportunity to bring the elements experienced in class to their practices, and then to come back to class with further questions and insights from what has been applied. The Phases of each of the three Training Rounds will be taught by an instructor/assistant pair from the Dr Ida Rolf Institute® Europe Faculty.
In this part of the training we will deepen the understanding of the functional aspects of the 10 Rolfing sessions. The embodied explorations will be a platform for the Rolfer to deepen their understanding of the Rolfing process and to be able therefore to offer more resonant movement explorations for their clients session by session.
Part 2 (10 days) - STRATEGY AND DESIGN OF A ROLF MOVEMENT 3-SERIES
In this second phase we will focus on learning how to strategise and build a series of 3 Rolf Movement Sessions, not necessarily linked to the classical Rolfing Process; this will support Rolfers in creating a richer tool-set for meeting the varied needs of clients. Ultimately the intention is to support the client’s development of their body awareness and their ability to creatively sustain the benefits they gained from their 10 series Rolfing process. That said this series of three Rolf Movement™ Sessions could equally be used with clients who have not undergone the classical Rolfing Process itself and may be looking for an introduction to it.
Part 3 (9 days) - INTRODUCTION TO LEADING ROLF MOVEMENT GROUPS
In this last phase, using Rolf Movement theory, principles and embodied explorations, we will explore further how to create sequences and sustain series of movement exploration classes to be used in a group setting. This phase is intended to assist Rolfers creating additional support for their clients on-going work on themselves. It will also provide a new vehicle with which to reach out to interested groups, through Rolf Movement classes, as a potential way of meeting new clients and introducing them to the Rolfing Process.
Part 3 invites already certified Rolf Movement Practitioners to participate in the newly developing aspect of the Rolfing body of knowledge –“leading groups”.
Within the ERA about 25% of all Rolfers® have received the additional Rolf Movement™ Certification. Many use it to enrich their traditional Structural Integration work, yet others also offer individual Rolf Movement sessions and workshops.