What is the Purpose of Rolfing and Can it Help Me?
The main goal of Rolfing is to help you move better and feel better. After a successful Rolfing session, you may feel lighter, move easier, stand taller, have better body awareness, or feel less pain.
Most of my clients are seeking relief from pain or stiffness somewhere in their body – maybe the neck, shoulders, back or feet. Some are office workers dealing with the stress of sitting in a chair; others are runners or athletes with pain from repetitive stress; others are movement enthusiasts like dancers or yogis looking for an edge in their body awareness.
What Exactly is Rolfing?
Rolfing is a hands-on technique in the nature of a deep tissue massage. It involves sustained deep pressure to areas that feel tight. This is often called a myofascial release technique. Rolfing also involves movement - I may ask you to slowly move or breathe into an area where I am working.
How Does Rolfing Work?
Rolfing works by encouraging the nervous system to reduce sensitivity to pain and/or reducing unnecessary muscle tension. This is a simple way to summarize some fascinating and complex science that I discuss in great detail in my book. Click here for more info on the book.
What is Your Process for Working with Clients?
On the first session you can tell me the full story of your history and goals. I will ask a bunch of questions about what has made you feel better or worse in the past, so I can get an idea of what may help in the future.
Then I will also do some movement assessments to find out what movements cause pain, and what movements seem to have room for improvement (even if they aren’t causing pain.)
Then we will do some Rolfing and/or movements to see if we can improve the way you move or feel. So this is an experimental process where we assess, do something to correct it, and then see if we have made a difference.
At the end of the session, if we have made any improvements, I will give you some movement “homework” that you can do on your own to maintain and further any benefits you received during the session.
The number of sessions that people come back depends on their goals, preferences and progress, but most return for 5-6 sessions. My ultimate goal is to get them to a level of function or comfort where they don't need therapy anymore.
Does Rolfing Hurt?
Not the way I do it! To be honest, Rolfing gained a reputation for being painful in the 1970s, but things have changed since then.
I think that pain during bodywork if often counterproductive, because it may cause you to reflexively tighten the exact areas that need to relax. I am OK with providing deep pressure in the “right spot”, which causes what some people call a “good pain.” But anything more than that has more risk than reward in my opinion. In any event, I will get your feedback to determine whatever level of pressure you like best.
What About That Other Thing You Do: Feldenkrais?
I am a certified practitioner of the Feldenkrais Method, which is a way of using slow, gentle movements to improve the comfort and efficiency of your movement. So the goal of Feldenkrais is the same as Rolfing, but the methods are different and some people respond more to one than the other. I use at least some Feldenkrais-style movement in each session, then adjust the amount of movement based on individual preference and response. For more info on Feldenkrais, including local classes, click here.
What are Your Rates for Rolfing and Do You Take Insurance?
I charge $95 per session, which is about one hour and ten minutes. I offer a sliding scale for clients who are having problems paying the full rate.
I don’t take insurance, but I will provide you with a detailed invoice with a work description and an appropriate insurance code that you can use to get reimbursement from your insurance company, provided you have coverage. (If your plan covers massage it will probably cover Rolfing.)
More Questions About Rolfing?
I would be happy to answer any other questions you have about Rolfing and whether it can help you achieve your goals. Click the Schedule Now button below to schedule a FREE twenty minute consultation in person at my Seattle office or by telephone. There is no obligation to make an appointment. I truly enjoy talking with people about their movement goals and sharing my knowledge and advice.