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  • What is fascia?
    Fascia is a sheath, or sheet of connective tissue that forms beneath the skin to attach, enclose and separate other muscles and internal organs. The fascial system consists of a three-dimensional continuum, of soft, collagen containing, loose and dense fibrous connective tissue that permeates the body. The fascial system surrounds, interweaves between and interpenetrates all organs, bones, muscles and nerve fibers, endowing the body with a fuctional structure and providing an environment that enables all body systems to operate in an integrated manner. When healthy, it is pliable and slippery. This allows the tissues to slide easily when we move. When fascia thickens or hardens, it puts tension on joints and other muscles which produces compensation, imbalance and less freedom in movement.
  • What is a Rolfer?
    Rolfers affect body posture and structure using their hands through myofascial release (soft-tissue manipulation), movement education and a skillful eye. This is typically performed over a series of sessions known as the Ten Series. Rolfers are trained and certified by The Dr. Ida Rolf Institute (formerly known as the Rolf Institute of Structural Integration). This is the only school accredited to teach Rolfing Structural Integration. Some people claim to be Rolfers. This is a legally protected term used to preserve the quality of structural integration. You can verify to see if they graduated from the Dr. Ida Rolf Institute. Verifiy here:
  • What do Rolfers study?
    Successful applicants of the Dr. Ida Rolf Institute complete a training program that typically requires 2 years of study. Following certification, ongoing education is required to maintain active status in the institute. Training covers anatomy, physiology, kinesiology, Rolfing theory, structural analysis, soft-tissue manipulation, spinal mechanics, joint mobilization methods, Rolfing Movement Integration techniques, individual research, written essays, and extensive supervised clinical sessions. After a period of usually 3-7 years of practice and meeting continuing education requirements, Certified Rolfers can take additional training to become Advanced Certified Rolfers. Practitioners may also pursue additional certification in Rolf Movement.
  • Why is Rolfing mostly provided as a ten session process?
    The purpose of the Rolfing Ten Series is to align and balance the body's components until the entire system is a smoothly functioning coordinated whole. For example, the legs are aligned to the hips, shoulders to the ribcage, the body is positioned over the feet, and all of these joints and tissues are integrated into one another. Long-term positive changes will take time. Wherever you are right now did not happen overnight. Each session has a different area of focus and goals which are meant to build on one another. Changes happen both immediately following a session, as well as, between sessions. The body will continue to change as it is adapting to new neurological pathways offering more natural, coordinated movement patterns.
  • Can I have a single session or do I need to commit to the entire Ten Series?
    The simple answer is yes you can come in for a single session and no there is no need to commit to the entire process. Plan to come in for a single Rolfing session to see what your experience is like. Like many who come to this work, you'll be surprised at how effective it is and why you didn't receive a session earlier. The Ten Series is divided into 3 sections. Sessions 1-3 are concerned with the superficial layer of connective tissue. Sessions 4-7 are concerned with deeper layers of connective tissue. Sessions 8-10 are referred to as the integration sessions. Some people come in for single sessions as needed. Some come in for the first 3 sessions and feel they've received adequate results. This is a good place to stop or take a break if needed. The next option would be to finish the entire 10 sessions to receive the entire benefits of the work. Other clients scheduled advanced ten series because of specific goals. We understand work or financial obligations make take hold at any point. Communicate with your practitioner about any related challenges to work out more appropriate scheduling or to close off the process and begin again at a later time.
  • How often are Rolfing sessions scheduled?
    Rolfing sessions are scheduled differently based off of the client's needs. For single session clients, they can come in as often as needed or until their goals are accomplished. Ten Series clients are recommended to be scheduled 1-2 weeks apart, however some clients schedule 3-4 weeks out due to time or other financial commitments. Sessions can be scheduled as much as twice per week but typically no more than 6 months to complete the entire Ten Series or Advanced. After the Ten Series, it is recommended to wait 1 month before scheduling a Rolfing session to allow the body a break from all the input of the work. However, clients who are consistently physically active or under other stressors may wish to have ongoing weekly or bi-weekly support from a Rolfer after the Ten Series.
  • What can someone expect from a Rolfing session?
    First, sessions take place in a treatment room prepared by the practitioner. The length of session varies by service ranging from 60-90 minutes. Clients may need to read and sign a consent form. It is important that both the client and practitioner agree to the terms of the session including the length of care and goals of the work. All relevant medical information needs to be reported to the Rolfer for the safety of the client. This information is reported through an intake form or over a 20 minute complementary phone consultation for all first time clients. For clients who are 17 and younger, parents are to be present for the inital intake and duration of the session. After the intake, clients will be observed sitting, standing and walking to see the patterns of anatomy. Once the practitioner has decided what touch or movement interventions will take place, clients will be asked to lie down on a treatment table, sit or stand at different points in the session. Rolfing is a dynamic form of manual therapy and movement education. Clients are encouraged to ask questions and communicate throughout the entire process. While the touch work may feel intense at times, it is temporary and decreases as structural restrictions are released. Client and practitioner work together to realize the goals of the sessions. At the end of a session, clients have a variety of experiences. It is often recommended to schedule free time for self care after a session. Some people report stiffness like after a workout, some people wish to take a nap, and others feel strong and energized. People leave Rolfing sessions feeling free from system wide tension, movement improves, pain can be reduced or eliminated, a sense of balance, length and feeling more upright emerges and generally feeling freedom in one's body where there was once discomfort and restriction. Clients use different words to desribe how they feel and some include light, straight, natural, freedom, open, balanced, easier, relaxed, amazing, fluid, connected, alive, aware, comfortable, speechless and complete.
  • Can I take before and after photos while I go through the Ten Series?
    Yes you can. Traditionally, Rolfers took before and after photos of clients to objectively capture changes in structural alignment. It is optional. With the client's permission, your practitioner will take front, side and back profile pictures before and after the first session and tenth session. Clients can keep these for their own record or they can release them to be a part of a collection of case studies. These case studies may be presented in marketing material or a book in the future with clients permission.
  • Does Rolfing hurt?
    Rolfing uses mild, direct pressure to melt or release fascial holdings. The slow, deep strokes stimulate the intra-fascial mechanoreceptors which trigger the nervous system to release the tension in the muscles and fascia. At times, there can be temporary discomfort. That is replaced very quickly by a feeling of freedoom, lightness and mobility.
  • What should I wear to a Rolfing session?
    Men wear gym shorts, swim trunks or their underwear. Women wear gym shorts and sports bra, 2-piece swimsuit or their bra and underwear. The clothes should not be restrictive, and you need to dress in what you feel most comfortable in. After the initial structural assessment involving sitting, standing and walking, you will be covered throughout the session.
  • Will Rolfing "fix"my neck pain, back pain, arthritis, headaches, etc?
    The intent of Rolfing is to balance and organize the fascial structure. Strain eventually lessens and diminishes making it easier to lie down, sit, stand, move and perform daily activities. While it may not appear that symptoms are dealt with immediately, order and structural balance relieves them and often eliminate them entirely.
  • How long do the effects of Rolfing last?
    Rolfing offers lasting relief and dramatic changes in posture evident through before and after photos. Pain relief and mobility tends to last much longer than traditional therapies and corrective exercises. Clients report continued change long after the Ten Series often reporting a unique and transformational experience.
  • How is Rolfing different from massage?
    The goals for massage and Rolfing are different. Massage is about relaxation and improving circulation, which can be beneficial to our physiology. Rolfing is about aligning structure and improving function of the entire fascial system offering sustainable effects.
  • Is it ok to receive Rolfing if I'm seeing a chiropractor or physical therapist?
    Yes. People report being adjusted much easier for their chiropractic sessions and quicker recuperation in rehabilitation from their physical therapy process.
  • What does conventional medicine think of Rolfing?
    Organizations that represent medical doctors, nurse practitioners, nurses etc. do not take a formal position on any complementary medical care. Rolfing is generally well received by conventional practitoners as they understand anatomy, physiology and the current research on the benefits of fascial manipulation for relieving pain, joint mobilization and improving biomechanics.
  • Can I exercise between Rolfing sessions?
    Regular exercise is important for maintaining overall health. The important factor to consider here is to pay attention to your body. If something doesn't feel right or a particular movement constantly brings pain or discomfort, this may be an good indicator to back off. Light exercise is recommended to help the integration process of these sessions, particularly walking and hiking.
  • Are there any contraindications to Rolfing?
    Those who are suffering from certain Autoimmune diseases (including lupus, scleroderma, rheumatoid arthritis and ankylosing spondylitis) and bone fractures or acute soft-tissue injuries are contraindicated. Once injuries are healed, you can schedule a Rolfing Session. You can include your primary care physician in the process as they may like to know what else you're doing for self care. On occasion, those who are using ceartain medications such as blood thinners may experience bruising from the work.
  • Is insurance accepted for Rolfing?
    Insurance is not accepted but this may vary state by state. However, most employers offer Health Spending Accounts and Flex Spending Accounts which you may use. All they may ask for is an invoice to approve the charges. Contact your provider for more details.
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