- Do you offer consultations?
- How long are sessions and how much do you charge?
- Why do people seek Rolfing?
- Who should not receive Rolfing?
- How many sessions should I receive?
- How far apart should sessions be scheduled?
- What should I expect from a Rolfing session?
- Is it painful?
- Why is it called Rolfing?
- What should I wear during a session?
Frequently Asked Questions
We do. Consultations are free, and they give you a chance to talk over any concerns and questions you have and discuss what options might suit your goals. We frequently give a short hands-on demonstration for clients who want to get a sense of how Rolfing feels. Feel free to contact either of us to schedule a consultation, or just to ask a few questions.
Sessions cost $105, but we offer a $5 discount if you pay by check or cash due to the overhead costs in accepting credit cards and online payments. You can expect each session to last between 60 to 75 minutes, depending on the work involved that day.
Many people come simply looking for the full-body benefits that Structural Integration affords:
- improved physical performance for athletes and others
- increased ease and energy in the body
But most clients are initially interested in Rolfing because they seek help with a specific issue that's causing them trouble. Common areas that Rolfers work with are:
- recovery from injury and trauma including accidents, surgeries and repetitive strain
- chronic pain issues such as joint pain, headaches, back and neck pain
- postural problems like scoliosis, hunching, etc.
In either case, Rolfers deal with both of the above concerns— improving the integrity and well-being of the whole system, while helping with any specific issues at hand for each client.
There are a number of conditions for which deep or firm touch is contraindicated. For many conditions, there are often levels and areas to work safely, but for some conditions, it's best to avoid the disturbance of any level of touch. We discuss these on a client by client basis. For serious conditions, it's important that a medical doctor be involved in making decisions.
And of course, consulting with your doctor is always recommended.
Potential clients should also be aware that we don't claim that Rolfing is a cure-all. It's tremendously successful in a lot of areas, and its effects on overall health can sometimes be surprising, but in no way does Rolfing replace the skills of other healing professionals.
Rolfers typically work in a series of sessions. The number of sessions depends in part on your goals as a client. It's something you can discuss ahead of time with your Rolfer.
The classic series is the "10-series", as developed by Dr. Rolf. With each session building on the one before, the 10-series addresses the entire structure of the body systematically, allowing for any amount of variation to work with each particular client's needs. There are natural stopping places within this series (after the first, third, and seventh sessions) for those clients who are unsure about committing to all ten.
Working within the framework of a 10-series enables the Rolfer not only to address local problem areas, but to get at all the deep-seated compensations and interrelated issues that otherwise might continue to disrupt the body. And it provides the time necessary to allow for a deep and lasting reintegration of the whole body.
There are other options, of course. A shorter series, and even a single session can be tailored to a client's specific needs. While not as comprehensive as a series of 10, shorter series can still be of great benefit—and may sometimes be more appropriate.
Each Rolfing session varies depending upon the goals of the particular session, but there is an overall consistent format. Sessions last between 60 and 90 minutes. At the beginning of each session, the Rolfer will assess your body in a "body reading", watching how the body is handling movement and weight, or has adapted to previous sessions' work. The Rolfer then uses a variety of touch, from firm to gentle, to effect changes in the fascia and the body's patterns. You will often be asked to participate with movement or sensing in order to help your body incorporate these changes. Sessions typically end with gentle neck and spine work, a final body reading and (at the client's discretion) a before/after photo to record progress.
Because of a kind of "no pain, no gain" attitude during the 1970's, Rolfing gained an unfortunate (and now, inaccurate) reputation for being painful.
Thankfully, things have changed. For the past two decades, recognizing that deep change can be brought gently, Rolfers have learned to accomplish their goals without causing pain to the client. In fact, the more comfortable and able to participate the client is, the better able the body is to incorporate and coordinate the changes.
We always adapt our touch to the needs of each client. So we work using a wide range of touch, from the very firm, deep and slow to the very light and gentle. On the firmer side, most clients have a level they enjoy working at that, like a deep stretch, feels intense but good. We do not work beyond a client's comfort level in any respect.
Dr. Ida P. Rolf originally called her work simply "structural integration". Out of deference and respect to her, Dr. Rolf's students and the community that sprung up around her began calling the process Rolfing. The name stuck, and Dr. Rolf went along with it. Since that time, the work has influenced bodyworkers worldwide, and a number of schools and disciplines currently teach people to do structural integration.
The name Rolfing (and Rolfer) now legally distinguishes only the graduates of The Rolf Institute, which Dr. Rolf founded. While other practitioners of structural integration also carry on in Dr. Rolf's footsteps (particularly, members of the Guild for Structural Integration), we stick to our trademark names "Rolfing" and "Rolfer" because they connect us to the reputation of the Rolf Institute and its members.
To help with doing body readings as well as being able to directly affect the body, we ask that you wear underwear during your sessions. For guys, briefs or boxer-briefs are preferable to boxers. For women, bras are preferable to sports-bras or tank-tops in that there's a minimum of fabric to interfere with work around the ribs, shoulders and spine.
If you wear LDS garments (special undergarments that Mormons wear), these present a challenge in the amount of fabric to try and work through. Some LDS clients have been able to find alternatives for during Rolfing sessions.
It's important that our clients are comfortable; please let your Rolfer know if you have any concerns in this regard.