I wanted to write a blog about Rolfing, because I am asked quite often how Rolfing is similar/different to Fasciology and where the FasciaBlaster® fits in.
image owned by Rolfing.org
Let me first start by saying that I have mad respect for Dr. Ida Rolf, a biochemist and founder of the Rolf Institute. She was "fascia when fascia wasn't cool"; in fact, Ida Rolf died in 1979! At the time she developed her treatment methods, there was very little research available and the medical community was going full speed in the direction of Pharmaceuticals and surgery. I personally consider it amazing that her work has even survived the past 100 years, given that we had no internet or any sophisticated communication system during her life. I have studied Dr. Rolf's work and I consider her an inspiration, a genius and way ahead of her time.
Before writing this blog, I went to the Rolf Institute's official website to ensure the accuracy of Rolfing's position on fascia and its treatment protocols since I'll be quoting them quite often in this blog. I also want to say that this blog may not apply to every Rolfing practitioner, because Rolfing, like Fasciology, is not a recognized field of science or degreed educational institution. It is a certification, like Active Release Technique or MyoFascial Fascial Release.
image owned by Rolfing.org
Until mass adaptation of a unified fascial education system, Rolfers are usually also Massage Therapists, Chiropractors, Physical Therapists, Movement Specialists or cross trained in some other scientific field, and many of them are not "purists". This is actually one of my "beefs" with our current educational system worldwide, and one of my life's missions, to write the curriculum for an undergraduate degree that allows the foundation to be laid for any type of fascial healer. I believe Rolfers, Fasciologist (which are Ashley Black certified) would all agree that it would be nice to have anatomy and physiology classes that teach the anatomy as it TRULY is - which would devote a large portion to fascia. This may surprise you, but fascia is barely even touched on in medical sciences and health, and the information is "shaky" at best.
I devoted the first episode of my Billionaire Healthcare Radio Show to this topic if you care to take a listen!
So here we go, this is my stab at explaining the similarities and differences of Rolfing and Fasciology and the FasciaBlaster®. Let's start with the Rolfing Institute.
Rolfing treatments, as stated on their website, are devoted to Structural Integration that recognizes that fascia is everywhere, it affects every other system of the body and incorporates movement. Dr. Ida Rolf established the Rolf institute's theories that have been further developed by her followers and include:
- Principles of Intervention - which is the understanding and application of the "ten series", which are 10 predetermined Rolfing sessions to open the body.
- Gentle Varied Touch - Rolfers are trained to basically know "how hard to go".
- Joint Mobilization - Rolfers have soft tissue techniques specifically designed to open joints
- Personal Experience - Rolfers are cognizant of how total body release impacts out energy, spirit, daily activities etc. creating a holistic approach to overall health.
- Movement Therapy - understanding that fascia creates patterns of movement that have to be reprogrammed as the structure changes.
With that said, I would agree with most of the above principles. And before I spew out what I believe, if you don't know my history, now is a good time to check me out! My philosophy began with self study, self realization and evolved into a practice based on a personal need.
The original principle that fascia is everywhere and it affects every other system of the body is an unarguable stance .of Rolfing, Fasciology and one of the main driving forces behind the invention of the FasciaBlaster®. I also believe that .fascia is something that, overtime affects every area of health, and my understanding of how to reverse it is to understand how we got jacked .up. Fasciology is similar in principle but varies in application.
Allow me to explain the difference using the corresponding numbers to the above Rolfing points:
First of all, I want to put the power of restoring fascia into the hands of the "consumer" or "patient" and their families as much as possible. Keep in mind that I have been a manual therapist and owned Sports Medicine clinics that specialize in all types of bodywork for the better part of 2 decades. What bothered me was that good body work costs upwards of $100 an hour, I could only train a limited number of Fasciologist, my clinics were limited to a few cities, and I could not personally educate my clients.
So one major differences is that much of the fascial restoration process can be done with the FasciaBlaster® without access to a therapist or the cost of a therapist. I can also educate my users personally through social media, YouTube and my Radio/TV show - which is amazing, because I know the message will not be convoluted.
Second, I literally have tens of thousands of FasciaBlaster® users that ALL use the FasciaBlaster® differently. Some use it only on specific areas. Some use it full body once a week. Some use it twice a day. My point being that every single fascial situation is different, and therefore, I believe there is NO one way, or in this case "ten sessions" that can be a "one size fits all" for fascial restoration. Just take a peek at the wide variety of results with the FasciaBlaster® from real life users.
I totally agree that each individual has a different pain tolerance, a different need and will need a varied amount of pressure and attention to areas of the body. If one is using the FasciaBlaster® on themselves, they will have total control over the device. If the individual has the luxury of working with me or one of my Fasciologist, the feedback we consistently receive is that Fasciology is something they have "never felt before". Even people who have been Rolfed - including me - would agree that the techniques are different.
One major difference is that the FasciaBlaster® and the Fasciology treatments use lots of lubrication and Rolfers do not. It's a similar principle and goal with a very different approach and experience for the client. The FasciaBlaster® specifically is a different technique because the claws are designed to break through adhesions at the surface, where hands "squish" around the crystalized fascia. Therefore, the FasciaBlaster® often causes intense surface bruising as part of the restoration process, where the Rolfing Institute takes the stance of a more gentle approach.
Fasciology and the FasciaBlaster® are all about joint mobilization. The Fasciologist's position is that if the joint is not open by the end of the session, then the session is a failure. Rolfers use tissue techniques and a Fasciologist will literally pull the joints open with counter traction and high velocity mobilization techniques. These maneuvers are unique to the Fasciology curriculum, but our hope with the FasciaBlaster® is that with open fascia, movement and proper alignment, the joints will open on their own.
Rolfers and Fasciologists and FasciaBlaster® users will probably all agree that healthy fascia is VITAL for overall wellbeing and that it has an impact on every aspect of health.
Again I believe that Rolfers and Fasciologists would agree 100% thatmovement affects the structure and structure affects the movement. We must constantly address having good tissue, and that has to be reinforced by proper biomechanics to change the muscle memory long term.
The only place we differ is that I believe the patient/consumer can understand both of these concepts - structure and movement - and apply it WITHOUT the need for a therapist or a trainer. Having a good personal therapist and personal trainer is always the best solution. Believe you me, my billionaire and celebrity clients would pay a pretty penny to have me move in with them and manage their health - including their fascia!!!! But for the real world, treatments and training are expensive and time consuming and should be "part" of the overall program.
For the day in and and day out HEALTH routine, use the FasciaBlaster® for fascial health and the ICE DVD exercises and posture principles. The Fasciology biomechanics training is a great substitute for daily therapy and training. The FasciaBlaster® and ICE program are a large brushstroke that would catch many problems BEFORE they arise and also heal old fascial distortions.
Many Rolfers who practice a fusion of other body work are already using the FasciaBlaster® in their treatments. In inventing the FasciaBlaster®, my aim was NOT to cure every single issue on the planet related to fascia and NOT to compete with Rolfers or other skilled body workers. My mission with the FasciaBlaster® was to EMPOWER the general population with the accurate knowledge of fascia and GIVE THEM CONTROL of their fascial health. It was also important that they could do so in the privacy of their own home whenever they want for just a one-time fee of $89!
By bringing the FasciaBlaster® to the mass market as a treatment for cellulite an amazing thing has happened!
By the way, Rolfers don't address cellulite at all, because Rolfers are simply not in the beauty industry. The FasciaBlaster® is bringing awareness to the fascia world and helping fund the fascia movement. I found that people will buy the FasciaBlaster® for cellulite, but end up getting the benefits of pain relief, improved posture changes, circulation, scar tissue reversal, and more! I have also found that the FasciaBlaster® starts a conversation about fascia, which is enough for me. ANY awareness of fascia is a good thing, and any way you slice it the FasciaBlaster® is a great tool for the toolbox of ANY body worker or individual for self health!