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Rolfing® FAQ

How do I know Rolfing® is for me?

People come to Rolfing® to address chronic pain, poor posture, recent and past injuries, and to feel more at ease in their bodies--amongst other reasons.  I welcome you to contact me for a free phone consultation to discuss how Rolfing may benefit you specifically.

What should I wear?

Many clients choose to wear shorter gym clothes, underwear (for those with breast tissue this includes a bra or sports bra), bathing suits, or tank tops. Access to bare skin is very helpful but your comfort is paramount. I am happy to provide sheets as well if more coverage (or warmth) is desired.

Is Rolfing® like a massage?

Depending on the type of massage you’re used to, it may be quite different. Compared to massage for relaxation, the intentions of Rolfing® are to make more lasting change in the tissue and systematically address habitual patterns and posture rather than increase blood flow or relieve knots in muscles, for example. Rolfing® is generally more participatory and dynamic; we speak and check-in during the session so the whole mind and body are active.  Afterwards, you may feel more enlivened than ready for a nap! Clients are also partially clothed (more info below).


What is a typical session like?

Initial sessions begin with reviewing intake forms, and addressing any questions you may have. All sessions will start with an assessment; I may ask you to walk or do a specific movement, or sense into your body and describe what you’re feeling. The majority of the session will be tissue work on the massage table, during which I’ll engage you to do small movements and check-in about how the work feels. We may conclude by repeating our initial assessment to see how things have changed.  Allow about 90 minutes for your first session and 75 minutes for following appointments.

What is a Ten Series and why should I consider it?

Dr. Rolf originally conceived of her whole body structural work as a ten-part recipe to be adapted to each person’s unique body and needs. Each session builds on the previous, and addresses different areas of the body. For most people the Ten Series is the best way to experience the benefits of Rolfing® Structural Integration. 

During this time, the body experiments with unfamiliar movements and awareness, builds new neurological pathways, and influences your structure, movement patterns, and experience. At the beginning of each session, we will observe what is changing and what hasn’t and use this information to refine our strategy. Ten sessions allow us to devote appropriate time to specific areas and issues that are common structural challenges and to customize work that is meaningful to your body and lifestyle. The Ten Series is a serious investment in oneself, and part of the magic is that we get to know each other and get to track your experience together.  Sessions are completed based on your schedule, how much time your body needs to integrate or absorb the work, and financial availability

Do I have to commit to a Ten Series?

While a Ten Series is recommended, it is not required. While Rolfing® is a holistic practice, a shorter series of three or five appointments can often be effective, and in a single appointment we can address a specific issue.

How long does it last?

Most people who complete a Ten Series experience changes six months to a year after completion. This is due, in part, to the physiology of connective tissue, especially fascia. Connective tissue breaks down and rebuilds itself constantly. In addition, movement education and improving our brain-body connection can help support these changes and encourage them to last.


Once shown a new way, the body reconfigures itself around this novel pattern and, thus, can affect the structure in the long-term.

If your body use changes due to an injury, illness, stress, etc., additional work may be beneficial. People whose daily lives include a lot of repetitive motion, including athletes, musicians, and others whose bodies power their work or play may benefit from more regular tune-ups.

Does Rolfing® hurt?

The short answer is no.  

I check-in with clients throughout a session about what sensations they’re experiencing and if we are approaching any boundary, especially a pain threshold.  Although some moments may be intense, the work should not have to hurt. Most people find Rolfing® a deeply satisfying and inspiring experience.

Then why have I heard it hurts?

Rolfing® became popular in the 1960s and 70s in a community where people believed that the more intense the experience, the more therapeutic it was. Many Rolfers from that era wanted to differentiate their work from a soothing massage and to emphasize how profound the experience was.

Since that time, Rolfers have evolved our touch to have more grace and less force. Greater change is possible when a client feels comfortable and safe.


Is Rolfing® safe if I'm pregnant?

I enjoy working with my pregnant clients to help them meet and welcome the changes that occur so quickly in their bodies.  The kind of work we do depends on your stage of pregnancy and other health indicators, so it’s best we speak directly before scheduling an appointment. In some cases, I’ll ask for a note from a doctor or midwife. The Ten Series is not appropriate as we touch into deep structures in the abdomen.

Is your office accessible?

My office is located on the second floor, and currently there is no elevator access.  I am happy to provide referrals for Rolfers or other practitioners with more accessible offices. 



Learn more about Rolfing® and the Dr. Ida Rolf Institute here.

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