Frequently Asked Questions
How is Rolfing different than Chiropractic or Massage?
Chiropractic differs from Rolfing in that it focuses on the bones and skeletal system. Chiropractic techniques often involve thrust to alleviate symptoms of pain or tension within the body.
The practice and goal of massage is to relax muscles, improve range of motion, and improve circulation. While “deep tissue” massage may influence releasing specific patterns of structural strain, the overall goal and intent of the work is not in bringing better balance to the entire body.
In contrast, Rolfing works with the soft tissue of the entire body – Fascia, muscles, ligaments and tendons using sustained pressure and asking for client movement to release chronic patterns. Rolfing considers the relationships within the body with the intention of bringing greater balance, adaptability, and integration to the body, allowing for greater support and function. Rolfing is a partnership between practitioner and client-working together to achieve the goals. Chiropractic, massage therapy, and Rolfing are complementary practices.
What can I expect during a Rolfing session?
Rolfing sessions generally last 60-75 minutes. Prior to the work, I will observe how you stand and move, giving a better indication of key areas of focus for the session. Through the session, clients may feel electrical sensations in their bodies, deep pressure, or a variety of other sensations. These usually pass shortly after the pressure is released. Most clients report a sense of dramatic ease, connection, and lightness as the session progresses
I have heard Rolfing is painful. Is it?
Contrary to popular misconception, Rolfing is not always painful. Any discomfort in response to Rolfing pressure is an indication of the amount of chronic tension stored in the tissues of the body. It is the responsibility of the Rolfer to work within the level of tolerance of each client to accomplish the goals of the work. Most clients are not concerned about discomfort during the sessions. When the client’s level of tolerance is respected, the Rolfer and client can work together to achieve better results.
What do I wear to a Rolfing session?
Because I need to see your structure before, during, and after the session I ask that you wear the following. Men can wear boxer briefs or loose fitting exercise shorts (no traditional boxers). Women can wear a regular bra and underwear (no thongs) or a two piece bathing suit. It is also important for you to feel comfortable during the session, so if needed, please wear whatever you feel is comfortable and appropriate.
What can I expect to feel between sessions?
The first few days after a session are usually the time of greatest change. Somewhat like the first day after heavy exercise, you may feel a bit sore or more tired the next day. After that you may experience ongoing shifts in balance and awareness. Most people experience feelings of lightness, improved ease of movement, and feeling more at home in their body
Why the 10 session series?
The basic Rolfing series is usually done in 10 sessions in order for the Rolfer to address the entire body, but clients can come in for fewer sessions. A series of 3 sessions generally provides the Rolfer and client with enough information to determine if Rolfing is right for the client and will address the concerns. The 10 series format is designed to work on the whole body systematically. Each Rolfing session builds upon the results of the previous session, so the process is cumulative. When the 10 series is completed, the full potential of Rolfing is realized.
Do the effects of Rolfing last?
Most often the benefits of Rolfing last may years after the initial 10 series. Some people continue to improve without any further work. However, bodies can change and injuries and accidents can occur, so additional work can be beneficial.
Rolfing is a process, not a product. Human bodies are in a constant state of change, due to external forces acting upon it and the internal forces governing it. During the process of Rolfing, your body becomes balanced, and many negative forces are minimized. The closer to balance your body is, the more it strives for higher symmetry and balance.
What are maintenance sessions?
Maintenance sessions are designed to maintain the level of balance achieved in the basic 10 series and can be spaced at appropriate intervals. A post-10 series of 3 to 5 sessions can be designed to address current issues and to continue to maintain the work.
What if I don’t complete the series?
Whatever work you receive is complete in itself. Your body will continue to adjust in response to that amount of work. Even when there are significant time gaps between the beginning and end of a series, there is little regression in the body.
Can children be Rolfed?
Children can benefit greatly from Rolfing. Rolfing can correct childhood structural patterns and has been beneficial in relief of adolescent growing pains. A full 10 series usually doesn’t take place until the teenage years.