Frequently Asked Questions
Does Rolfing hurt?
Rolfing’s reputation for being painful came mostly from its earlier days when it was first becoming popular. Over the years, the Rolfing community has developed and discovered new ways of working gently with the body. I always put clients in charge of regulating the pressure and depth of the work; the session’s work may vary anywhere from deep to quite gentle. Most clients report the feel of Rolfing as very unique and satisfying as compared to other types of bodywork. Sensations in the areas being worked often range from momentary discomfort to pleasurable warmth and release. Rolfing should never feel sharply painful or overwhelming.
How is Rolfing different from Chiropractic and massage?
Chiropractic therapy tends to focus on bone alignment and individual joints, and typically uses high velocity thrusting methods. However, unless the tension and strain in the soft tissue (fascia, muscles, tendons, and ligaments) is addressed, the bones will continue to be pulled out of alignment. Rolfing, on the other hand, involves slower sustained pressures and addresses the entire bed of soft tissue in which the bones are embedded. The goal is to achieve balanced tension which allows the bones to fall back into their proper relationships naturally.
The goals of most types of massage focuses on relaxing individual muscles whereas Rolfing looks to realign and re-sculpt the entire body into a better working (and feeling) unit. The goals of Rolfing require clients to be actively involved during sessions by performing specific movements, noticing sensations, and lots of times getting off of the table to sit, stand, or walk.
Do the changes from Rolfing last?
Yes. Photos show the changes from Rolfing to be long lasting. Modifications to our alignment and usage patterns, such as sitting, standing, and walking, help the body maintain its new structure. The nature of Rolfing is to work with the body, not on it; this allows clients to take ownership of the body’s new structure.
Do I have to commit to an extended series of sessions?
No. While Rolfing is most effective in the context of a 10-15 session series, it is not always necessary for an individual to complete all 10-15. A series of at least ten sessions gives the Rolfer opportunity to fully address the entire body and the way it works as a whole unit. Our bodies did not shape into their patterns overnight so it does take some time so reverse 20, 30, 40 years full of bumps, bruises, and poor posture and body usage. Of course, it is perfectly fine for clients to come for a fewer number of sessions as well. It is a common opinion that a trial of three sessions will give clients an idea if Rolfing is right for them and their specific situation.
Can children receive Rolfing?
Absolutely. In addition to correcting structural patterns, Rolfing can serve as a preventative measure to reverse potentially problematic patterns in the young. One of the things children learn from watching us is how we carry ourselves and they will naturally imitate their parent's language, movement and other modes of expression. From colicky newborns to rebellious teenagers, children will almost always benefit from Rolfing. Some of the childhood structural patterns that respond well to Rolfing are scoliosis, pigeon toes, knocked-knees, rounded legs, poor posture, and even general adolescent growing pains. Work with children is always gentle and comfortable and rarely requires the time that adult bodies do.
How often should I come?
Most people find once a week to be a beneficial and convenient time frame. However, others find that they respond better to the work if they have more time between sessions to settle in to the new patterns of their body and up to three weeks between sessions are fine in most cases.
What should I wear?
Because I need to see your structure before, during, and after the session most clients, both men and women, go through the sessions in their regular underwear. However, I want you to feel comfortable in my office so gym shorts and sports bras are also fine (the less area of the back the sports bra takes up the better). Once you are on the table, you can have a sheet or blanket to cover up with if you wish. LDS garments present a problem because they interfere with the work around the ribs, shoulders and spine and also down the legs and around the pelvis. Some LDS clients have been able to find alternatives during the Rolfing sessions.
How long are Rolfing sessions?
Appointments typically last an hour and fifteen minutes. Initial visits often run longer to take time for a detailed health history and general questions.
How much does it cost?
Payments options available through credit card, cash or check. Lower rates for children under sixteen are always available; reduced rates for those in need are available on a case-by-case basis.
Does insurance cover Rolfing?
It is best to check with your insurance company to see if they will cover Rolfing or massage. (Rolfers are licensed massage therapists.) Personal injury cases resulting from auto accidents are usually covered with a doctor's referral. I will have you pay for the session at the time of service and then provide a statement so you can make the claim. Most companies will only reimburse a portion of the cost. Please call me for more details or to talk about specific issues and concerns.