I've been worried about my constant slouching for years, and it's only getting worse (I am 24 years old). Sitting at a computer all day makes it even tougher to keep my shoulders from rounding.
I just had a conversation with my Aunt who swears by this technique called "rolfing". It sounds ridiculous, but she says it simply just works. She now brings here 8 year old, and my Uncle just started going to improve his posture.
I am looking at it as a possibility, but it's a little pricey. From what I understand it's $120 a session, and you have to sign up for 10 sessions. That being said, if it works, it could be worth it.
Do you have experience with rolfing or know people who have done this?
NO! It will not save you from slouching. Slouching will make you need more rolfing.
Esther Gokhale wrote an excellent book on primal posture that covers principles I wish I had known decades earlier. Could have saved me a lot of future grief. In it she covers the history of slouching going all the way from old photos in the 1800s and early 1900s, showing people with perfect upright posture, up to when slouching first became fashionable in French magazines in the 1920s. Even shows how furniture gradually evolved to accommodate slouching. She covers traditional cultures and ancient statues and one begins to realize that slouching is a rather modern (neolithic?) phenomenon.
Over time as one ages, certain muscles begin to shorten and others begin to lengthen depending on what positions you hold for lengths of time and your muscles are what ultimately hold your skeleton in shape. Imbalances gradually become set in place with reduced range of motion. Just doing exercises may not necessarily correct shortened muscles and could even make it worse without doing the proper ones.
Pete Egoscue also wrote a book in which he states that people need to throw away braces and supports and train your muscles to hold yourself in place and there is a lot of truth to this although I make it a point use chairs that encourage sitting properly.
Rolfing and chiropractors may be useful at times and I have certainly seen my share of chiropractors over the years, but ultimately there is only one person in charge of your muscles and posture and and that's you. A rolfer or chiropractor can't strengthen muscles needed to hold your skeleton in position. Only you can do that and you can do it for free. In the primal, functional way of thinking, rolfers and chiropractors may be working to make you well, but they are focusing on a symptom after the fact and it's best to never need them at all and save the money. I worked my way back from a severe back problem in '08 and haven't seen a chiropractor in a couple of years now. N=1.
Gokhale's website - http://egwellness.com/ Just sitting upright my not be enough without understanding some of the principles she goes into. I've incorporated hip-hinging into my life and it's second nature now. Well worth the time to learn early.
Massage/Bodywork will be more effective when combined with strengthening and stretching. The often seen slouched forward posture is due to tight anterior chest muscles (pectoralis group) and weak posterior chain muscles (middle trapezius, rhomboids,erector group) simple exercises with light weights or a resistance band can wake up a more functional engagement(neuro-muscular facilitation) and diminish your discomfort. As a bodyworker myself I suggest the least invasive and minimal financial output first, by getting some tips from a good fitness trainer on how to make stretching and strengthening your areas of concern a regular part of your routine.If that doesn't give you the results you are looking for then by all means Rolf away.
The best thing you can do for your posture is to improve the function of your proprioceptive receptors in your muscles (tiny nerve endings in muscles that send messages to your brain about where your body is in space). While Rolfing can help with that a little bit, it can only take you so far. The massage therapist in my office does some of that, but it's only $60 per session. Of course specialty and experience can play a role, I might check around on cost as that sounds high to me. You can google proprioceptive exercise, but it should always be done in a mirror or with a professional to make sure your form is correct. It's mostly balance exercises. Talk to a well respected chiropractor in your area for referrals or advice in this area.
I've gone through Rolfing and it absolutely changed my life. It was a little pricy, but the benefits far outweighed the cost. Not only help my posture issues, but flat feet, and opened up my sinuses too.
Roling is great work, but it is not some panacea. I've been through the 10 series plus numerous advanced (post-10) sessions; no regrets, loved the results. For a while, the Rolfing community was claiming the results are "permanent" and "lasting," but the simple truth is: the influence of gravity is by no means negated by Rolfing or any other form of bodywork. Slouching and slumping are habits, correctable whenever one is willing to bring one's awareness to posture and alignment. Consider getting a Balans chair. They make it hard not to sit up straight! The more you notice how it feels to sit and walk with a straight spine, the more normal it will feel.
Rolfing is good. Feldenkrais is excellent. They're both excellent actually. But really at the end of the day, you have to make the effort to change the habit. Retrain your muscles. Change the "muscle memory".
I don't know about rolfing...I'm sometimes leery of stuff like that.
I do know that in my case, squats, deadlifts and presses helped with my posture. As well as a good dose of mobility WOD + thoracic spine mobility work with a foam roller.
Rolfing made me cry.
But in a good way.
I think you should address the slouching issue a bit more holistically though. Sitting on an exercise ball at my desk at home and at work has resolved my own slouching (and I've been doing this crap (IT) for 13 years now). Spending time while at your desk to actually stand up and stretch helps. Not leaning into the lumbar support and raising your chair so that your arms rest naturally at your keyboard will also work wonders.
Try those things, AND the rolfing... I think you will see an improvement.