FAQs

Q: Is Rolfing® Structural Integration painful? 
A: Rolfing is deep connective tissue manipulation. This means that the intention is to sink into layers of tissue to open and create a connection with the nervous system, releasing old patterns. Letting go of old patterns can be uncomfortable both physically and emotionally. The key is the relationship between the client and the Certified Rolfer™. A good practitioner knows the appropriate pressure and communicates well with his/her client. Working deeply can mean simply a profound connection and there’s no thing as going too deeply, just too quickly.

Q: What's the difference between Rolfing and massage? 
A: Rolfing is defined by a compete series of sessions of myofascial (connective tissue) manipulation for structural realignment in the gravitational field. Rolfers use myofascial release techniques to achieve this. Massage incorporates many different techniques to loosen muscles and to help relax or heal tissue.
Although Rolfing is defined by the series, many Rolfers do individual myofascial sessions for people who don't want to commit to the Rolfing process.

Q: What is the difference between someone who does Structural Integration, and someone who is a Certified Rolfer™? 
A: It depends on training. Structural Integration is the name that Dr. Ida Rolf gave to her work. Rolfing® Structural Integration is the name that stuck at the Rolf Institute® for Structural Integration in Boulder, CO. and is a registered trademark belonging to graduates of the Rolf Institute. It takes from 20-24 weeks of intensive training to become a Certified Rolfer™. The Guild for Structural Integration is also in Boulder, CO and is a branch of the same school that Dr. Ida Rolf started. Their training is comparable to that of the Rolf Institute with a lineage of teachers that Dr. Rolf trained.
There are also other respectable and comparable programs, but also weekend workshops in which people can call themselves Structural Integration practitioners. Ask where the person was trained and how long the training was before you decide on a practitioner.

Q: Why 10 sessions? 
A: Ten sessions is the least amount of time it takes to address every area of the body and its relationship to the whole. The sessions are cumulative, each building on the next. Each session has it's own goal. In the beginning, it's almost like inducing a slight bit of chaos in the body. But naturally out of chaos comes reorganization. Sessions will establish support in one area so that work can be done in another area and your body will adapt. It's like stacking blocks. The blocks on the bottom need to be able to support the ones on the top.

Q: Are the changes permanent? 
A: Essentially, yes. Once the tissue has changed after each session, an individual can learn new patterns and reeducate their nervous system. Awareness is the key element and can happen as a result of the series. With increased awareness of posture comes change and those are the changes can be permanent, however, if the person goes back to the same habits without awareness, or feels they want someone to change them instead of working for themselves, things can return to dysfunction.

Q: What happens in a typical session? 
A: In a session, we start by talking about how you feel in your body and what has happened since the last session. Then we do some structural analysis, standing, walking, moving, etc. This is done in underwear/bra so that the Rolfer can see what is happening in the tissues of the body. The work is done on a bodywork table and your Rolfer may have you stand or move in the middle of the sessions to see how things are shifting. It is not really a time to zone out or sleep. There is an active dialogue (verbal and non-verbal) between client and Rolfer. After the session, there is more walking, analysis, talking, awareness and a discussion of how to integrate this new information...how to take it moving and make it functional.

Q: Who can benefit from Rolfing? 
A: Anyone. I have yet to see anyone who is perfectly symmetrical and upright! People are drawn to Rolfing for a number of different reasons. Most are aware that something in the structure/posture needs to change in order for them to have more ease in movement and to be better balanced. Others have chronic pain in areas of their body, like shoulders, back, neck, hips or knees that continue to give them problems. A lot of times pain in one area of the body is a result of shortness somewhere else. The body is one continuous sheet of connective tissue and it is not uncommon to work on someone's feet and have their neck release.

Q: After a series, how often do I need to come back?
A: Typically people don't need more Rolfing for at least 6 months after the last session and can come in for occasional "tune-ups". Sometimes, if people change drastically over the years, they will choose to go through another 10-series years later. It is also possible to have a mini-series of 3 or 5 sessions further down the road. All of this depends on the accumulation of life experience in the body/mind. Sometimes, after committing to a series, people decide to have regular maintenance work.

Q: How do I start? 
A: Call Ellyn at (541) 728-3004 or e-mail her at ellyn@tryrolfing.com for an appointment or to have any other questions answered.