A: No. Rolfing® Structural Integration is hands-on manipulation of soft tissue done on a massage table, but there the similarity ends. Massage can relieve symptoms of structural issues, but usually doesn’t address the underlying causes. Massage therapists deal with muscles; my work focuses on the fascial layer. With structural integration, the client is expected to be a more active participant in the process.
Q: How is Rolfing different from massage?
A: Rolfing focuses on connective tissue, not muscles. As a result, changes tend to be permanent. With Rolfing, there are specific structural goals. Clients are usually asked to participate with movement or intention. Clothes are worn so I can observe movement and balance.
Q: How is massage different from Rolfing?
A: Massage focuses on muscles instead of connective tissue. Lotion is often used. Clients have the option of music. Emphasis is on relaxation and letting go of stresses.
Q: What kinds of things can you fix?
A: It is possible that this work will directly ease specific pains, but since most of these are related to structural issues elsewhere in the body, Rolfers™ generally don’t see themselves as in the business of “fixing things.” We like to go after the underlying causes of structural problems, not just treat symptoms. This usually means I recommend the 10-series, but I also work with clients to create other strategies. Rolfing SI has been successful at helping with plantar fasciosis, TMD, headaches, scoliosis, carpal tunnel syndrome, fibromyalgia, and many other patterns.
Q: Does Rolfing SI hurt?
A: You will probably not go to sleep during the work. Rolfing® Structural integration initially developed a reputation of being extremely painful, but over the last couple decades, Rolfers™ have found ways to accomplish the same results with less discomfort. Ida Rolf said, “There is no such thing as too deep, just too deep too fast.” It can be somewhat intense, but should not hurt. The client is in charge of how intense. If you are hesitant for this reason, express your concern and try a session.
Q: Is your work on nerves painful?
A: No. Manipulation of fascia around nerves is both precise and gentle. It’s the lightest work I do, but sometimes produces dramatic results.
Q: What will I feel with the Cold Laser therapy?
A: Nothing during the treatment itself, but perhaps some relief afterward. Cold lasers produce no warming effect.
Q: Are Cold Lasers safe?
A: After decades of use, there are no known side effects. The Erchonia PL5000 laser that I use is approved by the FDA.
Q: Can I try out Rolfing?
A: You can schedule a free postural assessment, in which I would give you a better idea of what Rolfing might do for you and show you how the work feels.bsolutely. You would normally schedule and pay for one session at a time. There is never any obligation to continue, although most people get hooked when they start to see results. I recommend giving it 3 sessions to see if it’s for you.
A: No, but because Rolfing addressees underlying issues, and because there are often underlying issues underlying the underlying issues, just trying to correct symptoms sometimes leads to chasing problems around the body.
Many people want to ease their pain before they decide on a 10-series. If I can meet someone’s goals for movement and eliminating pain in one session, that’s fine with me. On the other hand, there are some for whom 10 sessions is not enough.
Q: Is this like chiropractic?
A: Chiropractic and structural integration can be very complimentary, but they are quite different. Chiropractors change structure by moving bones and letting the soft tissue follow. Structural integrators move the soft tissue and allow the bones to follow. Chiropractors usually envision their work as on-going care; Rolfers usually consider you “complete” after the 10 sessions and don’t expect to see you again unless problems arise.
Q: How far apart should sessions be?
A: In a 10-series, the recommended interval is at least a week so that the body has a chance to own the changes. On the outside, series work should not be more than 3 or 4 weeks apart. Most clients know when they are ready for the next session. In dealing with specific problems outside of series work, the client may choose more frequent treatments.
A: Yes. if you want, but I would recommend just scheduling a full session. If you want to do a free consultation, we would spend 15 minutes on diagnostics, review your goals, and discuss how I might be able to help you. We can also do a few minutes of “work” so you can get a sense of how it feels.
Q: Is this covered by insurance?
A: That depends on your insurance. Most health insurance does not cover Rolfing. With a script from a doctor, some insurance will cover massage. I don’t bill insurance. I will sign anything that’s true and provide you with a description of what I did, but the filing is up to you.
Q: How long do sessions last?
A: Usually 75 minutes, which typically includes about an hour of actual work and 15 minutes for assessment, scheduling, payment, and discussion. Some clients aren’t ready for this much work at first, and some need more. In series work, the first session will typically take 90 minutes. The price is the same per session regardless of time. Sessions with children are typically shorter (and cost less).
A: Yes. As a former teacher and active parent and grandparent, I love working with children. Children sometimes develop some destabilizing and potentially life-long postures and movement patterns than can be readily corrected early on. Sessions with children are usually shorter (and cost less). A parent must accompany the child.
Q: Can this work improve my athletic performance?
A: It has for many professional athletes, and I have seen strong results for many others. As a devoted runner, that’s what got me into this work. Write to me about your specific goals, and I’ll tell you how I can help.
Q: Am I expected to talk during a session?
A: Totally up to you – the session is yours. Some clients engage in conversation throughout; others are mostly silent. I encourage Rolfing clients to remain present (no sleeping), and some feedback on the client’s experience can shape the session.