Chiropractic care generally focuses on joint and bone alignment through quick, high velocity adjustments. Unless the connective tissue (muscle, tendon, ligamentous) tensions and strains are balanced and repositioned, the bones, which are embedded in this tissue will find their way back into patterns of misalignment. Rolfing works to achieve this balance of tensional strains and creating space by using slow applied pressure to reposition the soft tissue allowing bones to fall back into their natural relationships, optimizing joint motility and thus allowing more permanent changes in bone alignment. In certain cases Rolfing coupled with Chiropractic care can be highly effective.
The general goal for most types of massage is to bring relaxation and stress relief to individual muscles yet only brings temporary relief from symptoms. Rolfing addresses the underlying causes for pain and tension in the body truly holistically, resulting in often profound and significant lasting changes. Rolfers usually have more technical training in anatomy, physiology, kinesiology and therapeutic relationship than the average massage therapist. We understand the relationships that exist between regions of the body and know how to work methodically on a deeper more intrinsic level to bring about lasting change. Not just immediate pleasure, we are trying to encourage you to find a place of freedom and spaciousness that has been lost due to a lack of or limited patterns of movement. This is also achieved throughout each session by having the client actively perform specific movements, breathing into new areas of their body, calling attention to new sensations and even standing and walking during certain sessions.
Rolfing and Yoga compliment one another by realigning and improving the human structure; bringing greater strength, balance, awareness, flexibility and resourcefulness to the body as a whole. Dr. Rolf studied and practiced yoga extensively herself in the 1930’s with Pierre Bernard in New York, one of the few good teachers available in the U.S. at the time. In the past several years, yoga has grown rapidly in the West with numerous expert instructors, teaching from a variety of yogic traditions. Dr. Rolf’s personal study of yoga, osteopathy and homeopathy contributed to the evolution of her Rolfing principles. The goals of Rolfing came in part to the same goals of yoga “a physical system that enriches the student’s body, mind and spiritual well-being through an understanding of structural balance.”
As Dr. Rosemary Feitis states “What Dr. Rolf would slowly come to understand is that the asanas did not achieve length and separation of the joints, that in too many cases there was actual contraction of the joint surfaces. Something else was needed.” Sometime later, Rolfing was born. Rolfing physically changes the body’s structure for optimum length and alignment, thus energetically improving movement and function.
Common Objectives for Rolfing and Yoga
Rolfing generally feels like slow, applied pressure, similar to a deep tissue or myofascial massage. Today Rolfing is practiced with more effective results using gentle techniques ranging from light to deeper pressure. Sensations typically range from pleasurable to a deeper feeling of release, depending on factors such as past injuries and chronic stress in the afflicted area that can be either physical or emotionally related.
Clients report a sense of lightness, awareness and better balance. Movement feels easier and more resourceful. Feelings of wellbeing reflect the body’s higher energy level. Chronic pain or discomfort often disappear rapidly throughout the sessions or soon after the series is complete.
The results of Rolfing are not only lasting, they are progressive. Clients report feeling and looking better several months after their last session.
This is a very commonly asked question and one that leaves people wondering if there might be pain involved. This reputation came primarily from the early days of Rolfing through the mid 80’s when it was taught by going more straight to the source which was generally deeper and more intense, not allowing the client to embody the work. Since then, the Rolfing community has evolved, discovering and realizing that working closely with the client, allowing them to stay relaxed and breath into the work, to meet the practitioner with their awareness is by far the most effective and long lasting approach.
With every session, clients are 100% in charge of the depth of pressure and are encouraged to speak up if the work ever seems to be too deep or in any way painful, which almost never happens.
I believe in working closely with the client, checking in and asking frequently to ensure that the depth and pace is enjoyable, manageable and effective. Rolfing should never feel sharply painful or overwhelming in any way.
Most clients report that the Rolfing experience feels very good, liberating, unique and satisfying. Often, after the first session, clients are generally surprised by how great and enjoyable it actually feels and look forward to their next visit.
If one had to use the word “pain” to describe Rolfing, It would be referred to as “good pain.” Or that it “hurts so good.” There are times of pressure that may temporarily feel a bit intense, but is usually followed by a good feeling of release. The pressure really puts one in touch with areas of their body that they have not noticed or have been aware of previously.
The effects of Rolfing are not only effective, they are sustaining. These lasting changes come as your structure is brought back into its most natural, efficient alignment within the field of gravity. In addition you work with your Rolfer learning new, subtle everyday movement patterns that you utilize to stay upright, pain-free, flexible and more confident in your body for years to come with a whole new awareness not present prior to Rolfing.
Absolutely. As mentioned previously, Rolfing is not only a therapy designed to treat long-standing structural patterns, it is a very effective preventative measure in addressing already present and potentially problematic patterns in infants, children and teens. Rolfing has been extremely effective in treating such issues as torticollis, hip imbalances, visible postural strains such as scoliosis, leg and foot issues such as pidgeon-toe, bow legs and various growth related pain and discomfort. In addition, there are injuries and emotional trauma that happen as early as birth to children and teens, that can have not only a physical affect on the body, but an emotional as well. These issues can present themselves as low energy or self esteem, shoulders rounding forward as an unconscious mechanism to protect their heart, head pulled forward, walking with a slight limp, decreased range of motion or a lack of interest towards physical activity. Early intervention by a Rolfer aware of the unique individual needs of the child can make a profound difference in a child’s awareness, comfort level and self esteem. This is especially present in working with adolescents around the time of puberty which can be a common time of insecurity and emotional stress. In addition to the visible postural physical changes, Rolfing frequently a profound effect on the child’s level of comfort and awareness in a time of rapidly changing body and mind.
Traditionally and most beneficially clients come one time weekly, usually at the same time as this allows the body time to assimilate each session ready for the next and is convenient to both client and practitioner. Others feel their bodies need a bit more time for processing and opt for a biweekly schedule which is also very effective and works out well for clients with challenging work schedules or financial obligations. Up to three weeks between sessions is generally not recommended but still effective and the benefits still gained.
Sessions generally last an hour and a half, give or take depending on the session. The first session tends to run longer as to take time for a detailed health history, questions and needs.
As Rolfing is unique in viewing our clients structure before and after each session noting body use, movement such as walking, and performing subtle range of motion diagnostics such as knee bends and arm raises, it is best for both male and female to wear either underwear, sports bra, gym shorts, yoga tights or the like, preferably with a fairly open back as it helps to view the vertebrae in relationship to the shoulder girdle and hips. Your comfort level is of utmost importance so whatever works best for you. In addition, I always have sheets and blankets for a top cover if you desire.
Sessions are currently $160 and can be paid for before or after each session by check or cash. Reduced rates can certainly be arranged for students and those in need on a case by case basis. Some like to pay for 5 or 10 sessions up front.
Cash or Checks only (Gratuity is not expected)
Please be considerate and give at least 24 hours notice for cancellation. I charge my full rate for missed appointments or less than 24 hours notice.
The gift of Rolfing is one in which you will be happy you invested in. Your body is the most amazing, sacred and sophisticated organism on the planet. Like a well-kept engine, your body serves you best and is healthiest with regular care and maintenance. Consider Rolfing to be an advantageous and sustaining investment in experiencing life to its fullest potential.
There are an ever-growing number of insurance companies awakening to the demand for coverage for Integrative Medicine and it is available through certain carriers. Unfortunately, most carriers don’t currently cover Rolfing, although I get referrals from doctors, chiropractors and physical therapists, so receipts can be provided for insurance reimbursement. Certain companies also include it in their flexible spending accounts. Although the highest percentage of clients choose to pay out of pocket after more traditional therapies fall short of their expectations so they come ready for change. Coverage may be changing over the years so feel free to contact me with specific questions.