The Rolfing® 10-Session Series…What is it?
The 10 Session series developed by Dr. Rolf is an overall systematic method of approaching your body as a whole to bring it into balance and alignment. As a Rolfer®, I will look at how your entire body has compensated, shortened, and adjusted over time.
The ten-session series allows me to work comprehensively to deal with those compensations, not just to fix a local problem, but to get at your body's entire postural pattern. The broad goals of the individual sessions allows me to customize how I reach that goal for you based on what is going on specifically in your body.
Do I have to do all ten sessions….or ‘only’ ten sessions?
No. Each session is complete within itself. Some people come for two or three sessions and get what they want to achieve. If you choose to do fewer sessions than the entire series, you and your Rolfer can come up with a strategy to get the maximum benefit out of the number of sessions that you can do.
Also, some clients with chronic problems choose to extend their Rolfing beyond the original series. It is up to the Rolfer and client to create an approach best suited to each client.
How often should sessions take place?
Most clients come in once a week or once every two weeks. However, I do have a handful of clients who come in once a month with the only difference in their experiences is that the process and the results take place over a shorter or longer period of time.
Also, I have clients with widely varying business and personal schedules who will have a few sessions with sometimes a few months in between ‘groupings’ within the series. Again --- We can work together to approach your Rolfing experience in a way that is appropriate to your life.
Are the changes permanent?
Ida Rolf claimed that once a person's body was more balanced in gravity, that gravity would help to reinforce the new posture and the changes wouldn't fade away with time. What we've all found is that the changes gained during Rolfing are long-lasting for most people - you won't need to keep re-doing the process.
Life is ongoing though and you will continue to put new stress on your body through continuation of work habits such as sitting at the same computer desk or continue the same physical activity. New activities and events in your life can also add new compensations and strains. Most clients come in for additional sessions on a much less frequent basis to remediate any issues before they become problematic.
How Does Rolfing Feel? …..Does it Hurt?
The area of body being worked can vary in sensations and feelings depending upon the existence of chronic stress, injury and other factors. New mind-sets replaced the old in the Rolfing community and our profession has evolved in a way that we have found the process to be as (and in many cases, more) effective, while working at levels that are more comfortable to the client. In short, most new clients who are worried about Rolfing being painful cease to have that concern after experiencing a session.
How is Rolfing different than massage?
Traditionally, massage has focused on relaxing and releasing short-term tension or stress of our day to day activities through the muscular system and the touch used in massage therapy techniques is consistent with muscular relaxation.
The focus of Rolfing is changing chronic patterns of tension, and on making postural changes that will be long-term in nature. Rolfing is working on another type of tissue, fascia. Fascia is distinct from muscle and responds best to a very different type of touch. The pace and feel of a Rolfing session is very different than a massage. Clients usually leave a Rolfing session with more ease, energy and focus. Many return promptly after a session to their work or other activities of the day.
Is Rolfing "deep tissue therapy", or "myofascial therapy"?
Currently more and more manual therapists work with fascia. "Deep tissue work", "myofascial release" and "myofascial therapy", and “neuromuscular” therapies are a few of the names given to such work. What distinguishes Rolfing is not the medium in which we work but the goals of our work - organizing the body in gravity. Releasing tight tissue is a method we use, but not the goal itself. We look at you body and your structure as a whole and focus our work with that goal in mind. Our goal is a balanced body that functions in an easier and more efficient way allowing you a richer experience of life.
Ida Rolf was influenced by chiropractic and osteopathy as it existed in the earlier 1900’s in developing her work. What she took away from this influence was the chiropractic observation that structure (your form) determines function (how you feel, how well your body works). Traditional chiropractic has had as its focus the skeletal system. She was most interested in the system of fascia - she believed that a majority of the time, the skeletal system was being pulled out of place by soft tissue, and so her focus was on the soft tissue (myofascia).
My experience is that the two modalities, Rolfing and Chiropractics, can work well together in a complementary health plan.
Can Rolfing affect Posture and Alignment?
Yes. You will sit an stand taller and with less effort. You will breath more easily and fully, and look and feel lighter.
How Does Rolfing affect Aches and Pains?
As your body comes more into balance and length and volume are restored to your soft tissues, aches and pains are reduces and often eliminated.
How can Rolfing help with Flexibility?
Flexibility can be enhanced as the fascia regains length lost to stresses, strains and/or traumas. Rolfing allows the collagen fibers that make up the fascia to realign in a way that puts length back into these tissues allowing for better length in the muscles, tendons and ligaments returning a sense of youthfulness and vitality.
Can Rolfing affect my Athletic Performance?
Yes. Rolfing can restore efficiency in your movements allowing for a more effective athletic performance. You will find that you need less energy for a given movement and so perform that movement with more ease and power.
My background is long distance running and it was a running injury that originally led me to Rolfing, and then on to become a Rolfer.
Does Rolfing have Psychological and Emotional Benefits?
We are our life experiences….good and bad. Rolfing can have significant effects on the whole person, affecting emotions, perceptions of body image and attitudes. A simple and all too common example -- In traffic we tend to tense in the shoulders, developing shoulder and neck holding patterns resulting in headaches. This stress can also lead to tingling and numbness in the arms and/or hands or the inability to fully rotate the neck independent of the shoulders for safer driving practices.
For others, their structure may carry the effects of emotional or physical trauma. In shifting the physical effects of trauma and/or emotional holding patterns, Rolfing can be useful as a complement to psychotherapy or personal development work.
A physical body at ease and in balance is more capable of positively and appropriately handling both emotional and physical stresses and traumas that happen in our lives leading to better health and wellbeing.
I have experience and enjoy working with all ages.
I have worked with newborns and on adults age 94.