Jun 29, 2012

Finding Balance in the Field of Gravity

http://www.albertani.ch/images/0-10_side_en.gifAlong with realizing the importance of fascia, Dr. Rolf recognized that gravity is the basic shaper of the body. We have to balance our bodies, somehow, against the pull of gravity. From birth to death, gravity is always working on us. Consequently, deviations in the muscle-bone system are never merely local. Gravity's influence requires adaptions throughout the body. If the natural balance of the body is disturbed, it doesn't follow the best geometry of the skeleton, causing the whole body to gradually change form to adapt to the deviation. For example, a child falls from a bicycle and injures a knee. To avoid pain, he or she tightens the muscles around that knee. 

Since the body must work against the tug of gravity, the entire muscle and fascial system gradually shifts to compensate for the first change. Movement through the pelvis is influenced, as are the patterns of breathing and the set of the head. Because muscles alone cannot carry the additional tension, the fasciae shorten to support the new movement, and, in time, the shape and function of the whole body alters with them.

The human body is like a house. It's structured so that each part has its proper place, and each piece interlocks to balance the load of the others. As in the well-built house whose every post and beam is in place, the well-used (more than well-built) body functions efficiently. Because gravity pulls down on everything, out-of-place body parts are like beams unsupported by a post, and are pulled into painfully unnatural positions. The practitioner seeks a return to the original blueprint specifications.