What is the difference between Rolfing and Massage?
Rolfing is a deep-tissue method which permanently changes the body's structure and re-aligns the body in gravity. By contrast, massage only works superficially with little or no structural change. The difference in touch and depth is evident in the first sessions. In Rolfing, the entire body's relationship to gravity is examined and improved. Areas are strategically released to create an easier, more efficient posture.
Please tell me more about the Rolfing 10-session series.
In classical Rolfing, the sessions are structured in a series of 10, each with its unique goal and building on the work of the previous sessions. The success of Rolfing lies in the organization of the sessions, which systematically releases the body into an improved level of integration. It is like "spoon-feeding" the new body over the old body, or unfolding the old structure to reveal the new. The true healing takes place as the body re-aligns with gravity. The Rolfer is only facilitating a natural process.
I recommend trying 3 sessions to see if Rolfing is right for you. However, since the 4th session begins work on deeper structures near the spine, it is best to finish the series from that point.
Does everyone receive the same bodywork, or is it individualized?
Each session has a specific goal, and how we reach that goal is individual to each person's body type and history. Everyone reacts in a different way, at a different speed.
How often should I go to Rolfing?
Once every 1-4 weeks is the most common. Rolfing is a very robust method since it taps into the body's inherent preference to harmonize with gravity. Thus, even when it feels like the effects of the session have "slid back," the body picks up on the thread in the next session and continues where it left off.
How does Rolfing actually work?
That is like describing the Tao. It is true that the pressure, direction, and temperature of the manual treatment, as well as my training, have their clinical effects. But in my observation, the actual healing occurs when the practitioner takes the time to listen to the body and the being. As I see it, most of the traumata that accumulate in life result from a lack of "loving presence" that we are inevitably subjected to, be it in society, family, education, or other systems. So it appears that these blockages are often healed through providing a loving presence, a skillful listening to the body, and simply acknowledging what is.