What should I wear?
The traditional attire for Rolfing® Structural Integration is underwear for men and and bra and underwear for women. You may also wear gym shorts or a swim suit (a two piece for women).
Yoga clothes, or close fitting stretchy cotton can work as well. Sports bras are also acceptable if they are of the minimal variety. I will need to be able to see your spine in walking and be able to work on it easily. Some of the techniques around the spine require sliding along the spine from one end to the other.
Please no shiny Lycra or slick nylon shorts or underwear. The best fabric is cotton. I will work through the fabric at times and it’s very hard to “get a grip” on the deeper tissue if the fabric is slick. I will also move the edges of your garment to access some areas.
In the analyzation portion of your session you will be standing and walking across the room. This is always done at the begining and end of a session of Rolfing. Many times you will be on and off of the table standing and walking during the session as well. This is how Rolfers see the structural and movement patterns in your body and work with you on new and more fluid ways to move in your life. Many clients may feel self consious at first during this phase of a Rolfing session. Most people get more comfortable as they see how and why the Rolfer does this. For some it's never an issue. For others it may be too uncomfortable and I do my best to help you relax including being flexible about the "dress code"
I've learned to be as accomidating as need be to help my clients feel comfortable.
Rolfers also tipically don't use draping like a massage therapist. Though I do make blankets available for comfort
For Rolf Movement and /or cranial work please wear something that is easy to move
in and to feel through. Thin and comfortable. No jeans.
Other Helpful Information.
Be on time for your session. Your session time is reserved for you. If you are late it may
be harder to reach the goals for the session in the time left. If you must cancel a session,
unless there is a real last minute emergency, please call 24 hours in advance to
reschedule. Otherwise you may be charged for your time slot.
Please shower or bathe before your session. It’s much easier and more pleasant for me to
work on clean bodies.
Do plan some walking if you can. This is great integration time. You may even want to
do a little just before and after your session to feel the differences in your body as it
changes from session to session. You might even try parking a block away if the weather
allows to feel before and after.
If you use skin moisturizers skip them before sessions or go very light. Rolfers don’t use
oil and heavy moisturizers can be too slick to get a grip on deep tissue.
The ten sessions are more like ten goals. The order of the goals is carefully planned so
that each will support the achievement of the next. For the vast majority the goals are
achieved in one session with follow up and integration in sessions 8-10. Once in a while
it may take more than one session to achieve a goal. If we need to add sessions to your
series it is to provide the base of support for the following goals and achieve more
integration in the end.
Please let me know if any pressure is too much. Rolfing® is very deep work but if you
find yourself bracing in another part of your body we are working against each other.
Much of Rolfing® is showing you where and how to let go. Communication is essential
in this process.
Please plan 24 hours of integration time: No heavy lifting or major physical activity.
Your body will be softer and more flexible. It’s easy to shift back to old patterns when
under physical strain. It’s also possible to create new injuries. Some times we feel so
great we may want to over do it. AVOID THE TEMPTATION!
Please eat a healthy, balanced diet during your series that includes some good protein.
Your body needs fuel to make changes. This is not the time to begin a major fast or
Many of the changes will occur between sessions or after the series is over. A four to
six-month break from structural work is recommended after your 10 sessions are over.
You may notice changes happening throughout the next year! You may want to keep a
journal of your experience.
If you don’ t feel big changes with each session don’t feel disheartened. Some of the
changes are subtle and cumulative. Some are sudden and profound. Some clients
experience every small shift. Others may feel nothing new for several sessions at a time
and then sense a larger shift.
Don’t put a value on your experience in comparison to someone else. Enjoy your own!
If you are into other bodywork, exercise or movement modalities check with me on
whether to continue them during your initial Rolfing® series. We need to know what
effect the Rolfing® is having on your structure and it can really cloud the picture to have
other influences that are avoidable. No other deep tissue work outside of Rolfing.
You may feel worse before you get better. You may have very uncomfortable days.
Sometimes change is uncomfortable. If you are experiencing pain or discomfort that just
isn’t letting up or doesn’t feel “right” please call. Sometimes the shifts in-between are the
biggest and need some “encouragement” i.e. a little help from me. Your body may also be
anticipating the next session.
Some people experience emotional release during sessions. This is completely normal.
The best thing to do is let it cycle through and out of your system. I’m not a counselor but
my hope is to provide a safe place for you to allow this release to happen. Don’t worry,
nothing will come up you can’t handle.
You may also experience new and different emotions between sessions.
How does Rolfing differ from other forms of bodywork?
Rolfing differs from most other forms of bodywork in its holistic approach. Rolfing is not symptom-oriented, but rather, an intentional process of re-organizing the body in gravity.
This does not mean that symptoms or problems are ignored; but rather they are considered and addressed within the context of the re-organization process.
Also Rolfers work with fascia or connective tissue. This allows the you and your Rolfer to actually sculpt or reshape your body.
I keep hearing that Rolfing is really painful. Does it hurt?
In my experience as a Rolfer, I have seen clients from those who experience some discomfort with every session, to those who seem a little disappointed that it doesn't hurt at all. My goal it to maintain the intensity at a level that allows you to remain present and involved but not feeling the need to escape. There are also techniques that can be used during moments of discomfort, such as working with the breath, imagery, movement or focusing attention. The important thing to remember is that Rolfing is not a "pain game" and that, ultimately, you are in control.
Will I have to do anything special outside of sessions?
In general, during a Rolfing series one can attend life without interruption. Some may find themselves fatigued after a session and I have found that activities which require a great deal of advanced function (skiing, mountain biking, etc.) are best put off until the next day and started slowly to allow the body to integrate the new tensional relationships of the structure. Otherwise, all that is necessary for most people is good, practical self care i.e., getting enough rest, fluids, etc. Also, most people sleep more deeply than normal the 1st night after a session.
Once I am Rolfed, what's to prevent my body from reverting to its old patterns and the shape it was in?
Bodies are constantly changing and adapting to the environment around them. The Rolfing process can move a body toward a more balanced state. The more balanced a body is the more resilient it is, and the more likely it will seek and return to a balanced state. So, just the organizing process itself goes a long way to producing a body that is adaptive and stays in balance.
Rolfing also enhances a person's awareness of the body. Consequently, people who have been Rolfed tend to notice patterns of tension or misuse that might eventually generate imbalance.
During our training and through practice we learn to notice habitual movement patterns that might generate present or future imbalances. The Rolfing process addresses these patterns, and helps the client find more balanced options. In addition, I will often give "homework"--movement exercises intended not to build strength but to re-organize movement patterns.
The Ten Session Series all that is available?
Once a person has gone through the ten session series there are a number of options for further Rolfing:
1. If feeling a collapse happening, a person may do periodic sessions to be sure that the changes achieved in the ten series are maintained.
2. A person may want to come in for a session (or sessions) after an injury, serious illness or surgery. The work really helps with the mental/emotional recovery, as well.
3. Athletes may want to come in for structural/functional sessions to improve performance. These are always a lot of fun.
4. After a severe trauma (auto accident or giving birth, for instance), the person may benefit from the full 10 sessions again. Not only to bring the body back to a state of balance, but the mind as well.
Rolf Movement is also a great way to help you learn how to self maintain and a really mind opening and fun way to develope a deeper relationship with your body and Gravity.