Pregnancy and delivery alter body structure
As a woman progresses from early pregnancy to full term, the muscles shift to compensate for the added size and weight of the baby. During delivery, the shape and structure of the pelvis is drastically altered, the uterine muscle is stretched, and the related tendons are strained. This is too much change for the body to return on its own to its pre-pregnancy “normal” form. The body’s structure remains altered following pregnancy and delivery.
Rolfing prior to pregnancy balances the musculature of the low back, abdomen, and pelvic floor, thus reducing low back pain during pregnancy.
Rolfing re-aligns underlying body structure
Pregnancy causes muscle tissue and its enveloping fascia (connective tissue) to move and migrate across the skeletal frame. The growing womb “borrows” tissue from the lumbar (lower back). The lumbar muscles spread and shift forward. This in turn causes a “swayback” posture which puts strain on the neck, hips, knees, ankles, and elbows. After birth, not all of the “borrowed” tissue is returned, leaving tightness in the chest, lumbar, and pelvic areas, and a looseness in the belly. Rolfing works to re-align and return the connective tissue to is optimal position, thus balancing the body structure and relieving back and shoulder pain.
Exercise is not enough to regain a normal shape
Many women try to do sit-ups to regain their pre-pregnancy shape. However, by doing sit-ups, even more supportive tissue is borrowed from lumbars, further exacerbating the problem. What the back really needs is for the borrowed tissue to be returned so the lumbars can get longer. This is the only way that postpartum back pains can be relieved in a lasting way.
Rolfing speeds postpartum recovery, including caesarean births
Rolfing effectively returns connective tissue to the lumbar spine and pelvis while restoring normal density to the periphery of the abdominal cavity and improving overall tone in the belly area. Rolfing especially provides great benefits to women who have given caesarean births, even if it happened decades ago. By integrating layers of muscle and tissue, Rolfing relieves soreness and can help reduce scarring.