Aston-Patterning is a system of bodywork and movement education designed to change existing patterns in one’s alignment, which are creating tension. This system was created by Judith Aston who came to the principles after her own explorations following a career in dance and studying with master bodyworker Ida Rolf. In fact, Judith Aston is the creator of the movement protocol used by Rolfers. During and after leaving the Rolf Institute, Judith developed her unique system of assessment and treatment. Her approach takes into consideration the asymmetries inherent in all bodies as well as the interactions between gravity and ground reaction force in movement.
Massage is effective in reducing tension, but the effects are usually short-lived if a person is using their body in a way that creates tension. Unless the causative factors are addressed, then the problem will never be resolved. Aston-Patterning is for those people who are interested in seeing lasting changes in their tension levels as well as being an active participant in changing their body use. The most unique aspect of Aston Patterning is its emphasis on respecting the individual. It’s also what makes this modality the most difficult to define. Most other approaches to alignment and movement have a certain ideal that they hold as a goal for everyone regardless of their history, their activities, their genes, or where they are right now. Aston-Patterning has as it’s goal that everyone be in their best body. This is obviously different for everyone. Rather than feeling like you’re falling short of the mark if you can’t reach some pre-designated ideal, each person can be working towards their own goals, which are best suited for them.
Aston-Patterning sessions include various methods of assessment to determine the best techniques to use that day as well as the sequence that will be most beneficial. Each session is unique and individually tailored. Unlike Rolfing, there is no protocol and you are not required to come for a certain number of sessions. Sessions include various modes of assessment, and may include any of the types of bodywork modalities that Tamar employs. Sometimes, you will be asked to wear shorts and sports bra (for women), so that you can stand up after doing a particular technique to evaluate it’s effectiveness.
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