Oprah Rolfing on the Oprah Show

If you're plagued by muscle pain, Dr. Oz recommends a technique called Rolfing. Find more about this 'deeper than deep tissue massage by clicking on the picture.

connective tissue What is Connective Tissue?

"The Fuzz" link by Dr. Gil Hedley.

Dr. Hedley's intention in sharing these images is to cultivate an appreciation for the hidden and amazing aspects of human form, and to do so in a manner that respects both the viewer and the material. rolflogo Rolf Institute link for videos.

Videos of Rolfing demonstrations and testimonials from the workplace, athletes and performormers.

Frequently Asked Questions about Rolfing

  1. What is Rolfing?
  2. What is the training for a Rolfing Practitioner?
  3. How is the Rolfing work done?
  4. What are the 10-series?
  5. How long does it take?
  6. Options session plans?
  7. Rolfing techniques?
  8. How long do the effects of Rolfing last?
  9. How is Rolfing different than other therapies?
  10. What to wear during the session.
  11. Can Rolfing help chronic pain?
  12. How can Rolfing help Athletes and Performers?
  13. How can Rolfing help with stress?
  14. How can Rolfing help with movement?
  15. How much does Rolfing cost?
  16. Does insurance cover Rolfing?
 
  1. What is Rolfing?
    Rolfing is a type of bodywork that has the client and Rolfer working together to unwind, support and balance a person's body. The goal of Rolfing is to help clients move better, experience improved posture and greater muscle balance, reduce pain and stress and feel more energetic. Rolfing is also an educational process of learning about your body and what you can do to help yourself look, feel and move better. All Rolfing Practitioners are certified by the Rolf Institute of Structural Integration.


  2. What is the training for a Rolfing Practitioner?
    Rolfers are trained and certified by the Rolf Institute® of Structural Integration in Boulder, Colorado, the only school accredited to teach Rolfing. Successful applicants complete a training program that usually requires two years of study. Following certification, ongoing continuing education is required to maintain active status. Training covers anatomy, physiology, and kinesiology; Rolfing theory and structural analysis; soft tissue manipulation, spinal mechanics, and joint mobilization methods; Rolf Movement Integration; individual research and written essays; and extensive supervised clinical sessions. The Rolf Institute also has an Advanced Rolfing Certification. To complete this certification, you must have a minimum of 3 years experience, meet continuing education requirements, and complete an additional 168 hours of advanced training.


  3. How is the Rolfing work done?
    Rolfing is accomplished over ten sessions working with the soft tissues (fascia and muscle) of the client. The Rolfing practitioner applies slow pressure with fingertips, hands or forearm to address different layers and sections of the fascial sheaths, tendons, ligaments, and muscle. While the pressure is applied, the client may be asked to perform movements to aid in releasing the muscle. Movements include relaxed breathing, small ligament movements, gross muscle movements and stretching. The client actively participates while lying on the table, seated, or standing upright.


  4. What is the Ten-Series?
    The Rolfing Ten-Series is a program for balancing the body. Each session has certain goals and areas of the body to be addressed, while still attending to the larger goals of the client. The first three sessions work on superficial layers of the body, softening and opening the outermost layers. The next four sessions work with deeper structures reorganizing the postural muscles in individual sections, derotating and vertically aligning the body. The last three sessions work to integrate the whole body, creating an overall experience of increased movement with less stress.


  5. How long does it take?
    Each individual session takes about an hour. Sessions are spaced from a minimum of two days to as long as three weeks apart. A person can complete the Ten-Series in as short as five weeks to as long as six months or more.


  6. Optional session plans?
    Often, Rolfing is used to help people recover from surgery or traumas. Any number of sessions can be arranged around a client's needs and physical requirements.


  7. Rolfing techniques?
    Rolfing techniques are very slow and designed to enable the person to relax and accommodate the work. It is similar to a good workout where at the end you know that your body has been through a good session of muscle stretching and contracting. If a person is too tense to relax into the work, the practitioner can vary the approach to enable the client to adjust to the work for maximum results and comfort. The ultimate goal is for the muscles to release and relax. This not only has an effect on the muscle being worked but on the entire body.


  8. How long do the effects of Rolfing last?
    The changes a person goes through in Rolfing have been known to last a lifetime. It is similar to adjusting the wheel alignment of a car's front tires. Once the adjustments are in place, you are good to run for a very long time. If an accident occurs, slipping on a hiking trail or being rear-ended in a car, slight adjustments can be made in either single sessions or three to five sessions. The biggest effect will be that once you know what a balanced body feels like, you can take better care of yourself. The picture below shows one of my clients throughtout a two year period.


    The before and after 10 series. bf10 and then 2 years later.


  9. How is Rolfing different than other therapies?
    Rolfing applies a wholistic approach to the body. A Rolfer will do a lot of structural movement analysis, watching the client sit, walk, do knee bends, or even run, to see which areas of the client are not in line, or not moving and twisting with the rest of their body. This analysis shows the Rolfer which areas to work. Sometimes the place causing problems might not be the focus of the discomfort. An example of this is when a person's feet are not contacting the ground properly; the rest of the body will twist and bend to balance itself causing hip, back or even neck pain.

    The work itself is similar to a workout in the gym. There isn't any soft music or relaxing fountains because this is a training and learning session for the client. The client must be mentally present and focused. The client is expected to participate and receives work from a variety positions, from lying down to standing upright, often changing positions many times throughout the session. Structural realignment is produced through slow muscle-releasing techniques and positional strategies, which allow gravity to assist the release. Each session is building and preparing for the final integration of the whole body. The goal is an integrated, palintonic body that is free of discomforts within gravity.

    Even though Rolfing is a strong tool on its own, it does compliment other modalities. You can accelerate your body's ability to get better faster by working together with chiropractors, PT's, massage therapists, and other health care professionals.


  10. What to wear during the session.
    Most clients receive work in their underwear. Briefs are preferable to boxers for men; traditional panties and bra work well for women. If you're not comfortable with this stage of undress, other options are available. A pair of loose-fitting, short, cotton gym shorts, or yoga-type stretchy shorts, are good options. We can work with a variety of clothing, just keep the following in mind:
    1. You must be comfortable. Unlike massage, Rolfing requires you to get up from the table and walk around periodically.
    2. Clothing should not pinch or bind. If you can lie on the table and pull one knee to your chest without resistance, you're in good shape.
    3. Clothing should allow us to view and work around your upper legs, mid-back, and neck. Leave the hip-hop shorts at home. Sports bras are difficult to navigate around the mid-back.
    4. Avoid heavy lycra. Bicycle shorts, girdles, and other garments containing lycra are nearly impossible to work through.
    It's also a good idea to bring some work-out clothes (shorts and a tee-shirt) if we want to incorporate stretches using yoga mats, balance balls, or other training equipment.


  11. Can Rolfing help chronic pain?
    Chronic pain is an important issue for clients. Pain can come in the form of trauma from an accident, surgeries they have had, or the day-to-day repetition of sitting at a desk. Most chronic pain clients have tried many other approaches and are still seeking something that can provide some relief. Rolfing is a great modality for people that deal with chronic pain, working deeply to unwind and restructure the body can help create a less tension and pain. Listed below are some of the chronic pain problems Rolfing has helped:
    Lower Body and Pelvis
    1. Plantar Fasciitis
    2. Heel Spurs
    3. Knee Pain
    4. Hip Problems
    5. Sciatica
    6. Carpal Tunnel
    7. Tennis Elbow
    8. Rotator Cuff
    9. Visceral Issues
    Upper Body, Head and Neck
    1. Low Back Pain
    2. Scoliosis
    3. Kyphosis
    4. Thoracic Outlet Syndrome
    5. Whiplash
    6. Headaches
    7. Neck Strain
    8. TMJ


  12. How can Rolfing help Athletes and Performers?
    Many athletes and performers use Rolfing to help them perform better on the playing field or on stage. Whether you are a professional athlete or just wanting to stay in shape, Rolfing can assist you to become better at what you do. Professional baseball and basketball players and even Olympic skiers have used Rolfing as a tool to help them compete. Professional dancers and musicians also use Rolfing to help keep their bodies free and mobile for their concerts and performances.


  13. How can Rolfing help with stress?
    Stress within a body can make a person feel like they are all tied up in knots. Rolfing can help untie those knots by slowly unwinding each end and working deeply to the center. It helps ease the weight of the world off of your shoulders by creating a freer support structure to carry your load.


  14. How can Rolfing help with movement?
    Freedom from the constant pressures of life may be found through Rolfing. Many people just come to experience the feeling of freedom within their own bodies. Rolfing works with the muscles so they do not have to work as hard. EMG studies have shown that Rolfing can help the body work more efficiently. Life tasks become easier because your muscles are only using what is necessary to complete the task instead of engaging additional muscle groups that will expend more energy. People have reported feeling more energetic because their body isn't working as hard.

    Rolf Movement sessions are another option. Sessions are based on how you move and how you might be able to move differently. It retrains the body to help break the habits that may have gotten you into trouble in the first place. Rolfing structural sessions help remove restrictions in the soft-tissue that impede range of motion; Rolf Movement teaches more functional ways of moving. Rolf Movement sessions can be extremely effective, whether you're fine-tuning for an athletic performance or simply learning to walk or sit in a way that reduces pain.


  15. How much does Rolfing cost?
    The cost of Rolfing varies according to the Rolfer, their experience level and the locale. Most Rolfers charge from $90 to $165 per session. Rolfing Movement Integration sessions are comparably priced. The charges for my sessions are $135. See the Payments page for more information.


  16. Does insurance cover Rolfing?
    Rolfing work may be covered by your health insurance, but often it is not. Many times a letter of medical necessity is required from your doctor or chiropractor; it is best to check with your insurance provider to identify their requirements. Sometimes it's a matter of wording. Terms such as "myofascial release" or "neuromuscular re-education" may be more meaningful to your provider. I can supply you with a receipt, but do not bill or accept insurance.

    Check to see if your employer provides flexible spending options (sometimes called a "medical spending account" or "cafeteria plan"). These plans set aside a portion of your annual income tax free to be used for medical, dental and childcare expenses. Plans such as these usually cover Rolfing and don't require a referral.



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