Rolfing Ireland

by Admin

Our summer issue is out now!

We speak to Joeseph O’kelly & Judit Ruiz Onandi, the heads of Rolfing Ireland, who introduce & teach us about the benefits of this alternative physical therapy.

Keep on reading to learn more…


Rolfing Ireland

by Persephone Kianka


As with many alternative physical therapies, the benefits of Rolfing extend far beyond the body. When we spoke with
Joseph (Joe) O’Kelly and Judit Ruiz Onandi, now the heads of Rolfing Ireland, they shared how this uniquely works in their

With only nine Rolfers in Ireland at the moment, Rolfing is still largely unheard of. Essentially, it is structural integration, which is what Dr Ida Rolf, who came up with this unique approach, called it.

Though Dr Rolf is no longer with us, she has left an invaluable contribution to the alternative healing space. Her birthday on May 19th gives us an excellent opportunity to honour and reflect on this extraordinary legacy.

Throughout her life, Dr Rolf studied and experimented with different systems of healing and manipulation, ultimately
leading to the system of soft tissue manipulation and movement education that we now call Rolfing.

Judit, who qualified as a Rolfer in 2017, explains the practice for those who are unfamiliar: “It’s a hands-on method, meaning we touch the body in a holistic way, meaning that everything in the body is connected with everything else, in order to help the person be better aligned with the pole of gravity that we have always….”

This newfound alignment allows the individual to spend the energy they were using to fight against gravity on something else. When working with a client, Joe and Judit spend a lot of time focusing on the fascia because this connective tissue surrounds every part of the body, linking everything—every muscle, bone, nerve, blood vessel, the brain and spinal cord—together.

By releasing the restricted fascia, they help the person to align themselves better, freeing the body of pain, strain and tension. Unsurprisingly, the fascia is also connected to the emotional and psychological levels of our being.

Many of us are familiar with the idea that “the body keeps the score” and the fascia, in particular, “has a memory and
organises around old hurts, which is why we all look so different and move with our own unique personality.” Consequently, when Rolfers work on your fascia, this can have a profound healing effect on your physical and emotional health. Joe, who qualified as a Rolfer in 2016, explained that clients come looking to heal a range of emotional and physical difficulties; therefore, they can all get unique value from it.

This is why Joe and Judit ask their clients many questions in the first session, which is usually around two hours. They
need to understand a person’s life story and goals so that they can really tune into their consciousness.

Subsequent sessions are around 75-90 minutes, and there is no set number of recommended sessions, as clients have the potential to make rapid progress with this work.

As Joe explained, essentially, what they are trying to do as Rolfers is “bring people back to who they really are”, so, of
course, this comes about in different ways for different clients. If you are interested in trying this healing method, Rolfing Ireland, which links Rolfers across the country and informs people about this system, is a great resource. Currently, Judit practises in Blackrock and Joe in Blackrock and Dun Laoghaire.

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