First, what authorizes you to practice Rolfing® and how can I be sure I will be safe?
I am a Registered Nurse Licensed by the State of California as well as a Rolfer. The legality of the work I do is covered under the category “Therapeutic Touch”. My background in the medical field also enables me to determine if my services are something that can benefit you. If I assess through the initial phone call that I won’t be able to help you then I will let you know. I have referred many potential clients to other therapies due to the needs of their specific situation.
What is the training for a Rolfing Practitioner?
A Rolfing practitioner is trained at the Rolf Institute of Structural Integration. This is the only place to get trained in the United States and is located in Boulder, CO. Training covers anatomy, physiology, assessment, treatment planning and kinesiology. Training also includes Rolf theory, structural analysis, soft tissue manipulation, spinal mechanics and joint mobilization techniques. During the breaks in between different phases of education, Rolfers-in-training™ are expected to practice skills and concepts learned in class on individuals. By phase 3 the rolfer-in-training will be taking in two to three clinical clients and will be required to perform a 10 series over the course of phase 3. Rolfers are also taught therapeutic strategies to always conduct ones self in a professional manner. This includes being able to handle issues that may arise in their own practices such as rude clients, clients that maybe emotional outbursts during sessions and transference. Rolfers are trained to be aware of issues that arise in a healing setting where touch is used. This training culminates into a body work professional that is able to provide a unique therapeutic experience that will be individualized to every client the rolfer will have.
Office or Home visits?
Currently I am only doing home visits with my practice. This enables me to offer discounts on the initial sessions for this usually expensive service.
How is a Rolfing session done?
A Rolfing session is accomplished typically through the 10-series in the rolfing dress code. Rolfing has a great emphasis on movement and breathing during the session while the practitioner is working. This requires the client to be present. Although sometimes depending on the area the client can feel very sleepy and tired. The overall improvement will be influenced by the client’s ability to remain present, participate by moving and using muscles, paying attention to sensations felt during the sessions and communicating with the practitioner during the session. Typically the rolfer would have you be present instead of checking out and falling asleep. Each session is unique and will have different goals depending on the client.
The Rolfing dress code
The Rolfing Practitioner works with soft tissue and therefore need access to these areas. There is also the need to assess the client with different range of movements before, during and after the session. This combination encourages the dress of a client lean towards boxer briefs for men. For women, short jogging shorts and tank tops allow for descent dress while allowing for interventions to be made to appropriate areas depending on the goals of the session. Also depending on the session some other clothing will be allowed for that session. Example: session is is mostly upper body and back back work so pants will be fine with that session. I will let you know ahead of time where I will be working as well as letting you know what you can wear to make the session optimal. If i am working on a lower leg session I won’t have you take off your top.
There isn’t any oil?
Rolfing Practitioners don’t typically use oil. To be able to affect the deeper layers of the body through manual manipulation, a shearing motion with some grip is required. Kind of like if you had a stack of papers and tried to move the lower layers while only touching the top layer. Once oil is used the shearing motion is no longer available and the work only affects superficial layers.
What can I expect during my first session?
At the very first session of a 10-series an intake form is usually required to ascertain whether the client is a good fit for Rolfing. Most rolfers encourage that anything needing emergent or urgent attention to be first seen by a doctor. General health history including medications, past surgical procedures or outstanding injuries from your past will need to be known by the Practitioner. Mental illness is also something that your rolfer will need to know. You will be introduced to the rolfing dress code and be interviewed concerning your overall goals for the 10 series. This usually takes about 15-30 minutes on top of the usual session of 75 minutes.
How long is a session?
Sessions typically take 60 minutes of manual work and 15 minutes of assessment, tracking of progress/integration from previous sessions and the co-operative formation of session goals. Sessions usually will take 75 minutes in total.
Can I just get “spot work”?
The most common reason why someone is able to discover rolfing is because of a physical problem that is causing discomfort and simply wants the discomfort gone. Having this experience myself, I can understand requests like,”It’s my back, can you just work on my back?”. This is legitimate reasoning and if needed we can focus our first meeting on “spot work”, focusing on a certain area. This will however not be considered the first session and no plan will typically be made. If spot work is done be sure to use the session to gauge whether you would like to proceed with a 10-series or even just the first 3 sessions known as the “sleeve sessions”. It is good to get out of pain but if pain returns every so often you may benefit more with a total resetting with the 10-series.
Do I need any special preparations?
Most clients will not need anything besides the dress that fits the rolfing dress code. However it is important that if you are under the influence of any medication, especially pain medication that the rolfer know. Feedback is important to the session and medication will influence the amount of accurate feedback the client can report. Because oil isn’t used the client can even schedule an appointment during a work day or before other appointments without having to worry about the smell of oils or stains on clothing.