Frequently Asked Questions...
How does Rolfing compare with massage & other
As a hands-on therapy, Rolfing is similar to deep-tissue massage. However, the focus in
Rolfing is more on releasing the continuous fabric of connective tissue than on relaxing
individual muscles. The work itself is done without oils or lotion and the quality of touch tends
to be slower and more deliberate than massage. The underlying goal is to improve structural
alignment and balance, so each session includes some observation and assessment, as well
as exercises the client can do on their own.
Does Rolfing hurt?
In its early days Rolfing developed a reputation for being aggressive and often painful.
However, it continues to evolve and has left behind the "no pain, no gain" attitude that
prevailed in its early days. Most practitioners are very sensitive to each client's particular
comfort zone and try to work skillfully within that. While some of the work may feel
momentarily uncomfortable, much of it should feel good.
What happens in a session?
Sessions usually last 70 to 90 minutes. To begin I have first-time clients complete a
questionnaire on their health background and seek to determine what their particular goals
and expectations are. I then have them undress (down to their underwear or gym/swimwear)
and do some visual assessment, looking for any postural patterns. If the client is interested, I
may take photographs at this stage that allow for later comparison. I then ask them to walk,
turn and explore the range of motion in each of their joints, telling me anything they notice
about how these action feel. The client then lies down on a massage table and I slowly apply
manual pressure, asking them to move in various ways to release and lengthen the
connective tissue. I keep the client present (unlike in a pure "relaxation" massage) and have
them tell me what they notice as I'm working. Every now and them I get them up off the table
and moving around, to see what may have changed or needs work next. Towards the end of
the session I pay particular attention to the spine and do specific work on the sacrum and
neck. Once the client is off the table I do some post-session assessment with them standing
and walking. We conclude by exploring some stretches or other movements he or she can do
on their own, as well as talking about what they've experienced.
How much does it cost?
My standard rate per Rolfing session is $120 (payable by cash or check only - no credit cards).
Other rates may apply in special circumstances, such as outcalls or mini-sessions. Also, I do
reserve a few places at reduced rates for students and other low-income clients. If you have
any questions or concerns about payment, feel free to discuss you situation with me. A free
consultation (about 30 minutes) is available if you are curious and would like to decide if the
work is right for you.
Why ten sessions? Do I have to do all ten?
The 10-series is structured so that client and therapist can move through the client's body in
a comprehensive way, tracking changes in its relationship to gravity as they go along.
However, within the series there are appropriate stages to discontinue, should that be
necessary. Rolfing can be practiced in a variety of formats. For more information, read my
page on the Ten-Series.
Do the effects of Rolfing last?
Essentially, yes! The client has explored their whole body in its relationship to gravity,
learning new neuromuscular patterns. Awareness is really the key element in this process
and this often deepens for months after the series has been completed.
How often do I need to come back?
After a series is completed clients often chose to come back for "tune-up' every few months,
but this is optional.