Frequently Asked Questions

Planning sessions and what to expect

How many sessions should I receive?

Rolfers typ­i­cal­ly work in a series of ses­sions. The num­ber of ses­sions depends in part on your goals as a client. I usu­al­ly rec­om­mend see­ing how you feel after one ses­sion if you’re unsure about set­ting up mul­ti­ple ses­sions.

The clas­sic series is the “Ten Series”, as devel­oped by Dr. Rolf. With each ses­sion build­ing on the one before, the Ten Series address­es the entire struc­ture of the body sys­tem­at­i­cal­ly, allow­ing for any amount of vari­a­tion to work with each par­tic­u­lar client’s needs. There are nat­ur­al stop­ping places with­in this series (after the first, third, and sev­enth ses­sions) for those clients who are unsure about com­mit­ting to all ten.

Work­ing with­in the frame­work of a Ten Series enables the Rolfer not only to address local prob­lem areas, but to get at all the deep-seat­ed com­pen­sa­tions and inter­re­lat­ed issues that oth­er­wise might con­tin­ue to dis­rupt the body. And it pro­vides the time nec­es­sary to allow for a deep and last­ing rein­te­gra­tion of the whole body.

There are oth­er options besides the Ten: A short­er series or a sin­gle ses­sion can be tai­lored to a client’s spe­cif­ic needs. While not as com­pre­hen­sive as a series of ten, short­er series can still be of great benefit—and may some­times be more appro­pri­ate.

How far apart should I schedule my sessions?

While ses­sions can take place a few days to a few weeks apart, the ide­al is around one or two weeks apart. This strikes a bal­ance between con­tin­u­ing the process and allow­ing the body and brain to set­tle into the changes in each ses­sion.

What should I wear for my session?

Here are some con­sid­er­a­tions when you’re get­ting ready for a ses­sion.

A Rolf­ing ses­sion typ­i­cal­ly begins and ends with a few min­utes of visu­al assess­ment, where you’ll stand and walk around the room. Most clients bring under­wear or oth­er min­i­mal cloth­ing that they are com­fort­able being seen in, since it allows for a more detailed assess­ment. Some pre­fer to be more cov­ered when they’re up off the table, and that’s fine too.

It’s also a good idea to refrain from using lotions just before a session—when your skin is too slick, it can some­times make it more dif­fi­cult to work with the right lay­ers of your body.

It’s impor­tant that my clients are com­fort­able; please let me know if you have any con­cerns in this regard.

How long is a session?

Ses­sions are an hour. I leave time between clients and on occa­sion, if the work calls for it, we may go a few min­utes longer. You may wish to plan accord­ing­ly.

Do you offer consultations?

I do. Con­sul­ta­tions are free, and they give you a chance to talk over any con­cerns and ques­tions you have and dis­cuss what options might suit your goals. I fre­quent­ly give a short hands-on demon­stra­tion for clients who want to get a sense of how Rolf­ing feels. Feel free to con­tact me to sched­ule a con­sul­ta­tion, or just to ask a few ques­tions.

Who should not receive Rolfing?

There are a num­ber of con­di­tions for which deep or firm touch is con­traindi­cat­ed. For many con­di­tions, there are often lev­els and areas to work safe­ly, but for some con­di­tions, it’s best to avoid the dis­tur­bance of any lev­el of touch. I dis­cuss these on a client by client basis. For seri­ous con­di­tions, it’s impor­tant that a med­ical doc­tor be involved in mak­ing deci­sions.

And of course, con­sult­ing with your doc­tor is always rec­om­mend­ed.

Poten­tial clients should also be aware that I don’t claim that Rolf­ing is a cure-all. It’s tremen­dous­ly suc­cess­ful in a lot of areas, and its effects on over­all health can some­times be sur­pris­ing, but in no way does Rolf­ing replace the skills of oth­er heal­ing pro­fes­sion­als.

Is Rolfing painful?

There’s a lot of con­fu­sion about Rolf­ing and painful work: Some peo­ple are wor­ried that Rolf­ing may be very painful. Oth­ers believe that only painful work is effec­tive work. (In 2010, The New York Times cov­ered Rolf­ing with the head­line “Rolf­ing, Excru­ci­at­ing­ly Help­ful”.)

Actu­al­ly, Rolf­ing can be very com­fort­able and remain very effec­tive. The con­tact cov­ers a very wide range, from very gen­tle to quite firm. Occa­sion­al­ly it can feel more intense, but ide­al­ly not beyond the intense-but-good feel­ing you might get when you stretch.

A skilled body­work­er should know that work­ing deeply doesn’t nec­es­sar­i­ly require firmer pres­sure, work­ing on the sur­face isn’t nec­es­sar­i­ly light, and pain doesn’t nec­es­sar­i­ly cor­re­spond with either.

In fact, the more com­fort­able and able to par­tic­i­pate the client is, the bet­ter able the body is to incor­po­rate and coor­di­nate change. I do not work beyond a client’s com­fort lev­el in any respect.

General questions about Rolfing

Why is it called Rolfing?

This work was the cre­ation of Dr. Ida P. Rolf. She orig­i­nal­ly called her work “Struc­tur­al Inte­gra­tion”. Out of def­er­ence and respect to her (and prob­a­bly because it was short­er to say), Dr. Rolf’s stu­dents and clients began call­ing the process Rolf­ing. The name stuck, and Dr. Rolf went along with it. Since that time, the work has influ­enced body­work­ers world­wide, and a num­ber of schools and dis­ci­plines cur­rent­ly teach peo­ple to do Struc­tur­al Inte­gra­tion.
The words Rolf­ing® and Rolfer™ now legal­ly dis­tin­guish only the work of grad­u­ates of The Rolf Insti­tute, which Dr. Rolf found­ed. While oth­er prac­ti­tion­ers of Struc­tur­al Inte­gra­tion also car­ry on in Dr. Rolf’s foot­steps, I stick to those trade­mark names because they con­nect me to the rep­u­ta­tion of the Rolf Insti­tute and its mem­bers.

Who was Dr. Rolf?

Dr. Ida P. Rolf, Ph.D. (1896–1979) was a bio­chemist and the cre­ator of Struc­tur­al Inte­gra­tion, lat­er called Rolf­ing, and a huge influ­ence in the devel­op­ment of body­work in gen­er­al.

Dr. Rolf explored mul­ti­ple forms of alter­na­tive heal­ing in an effort to bet­ter under­stand the body, ini­tial­ly to help her­self and her sons with health issues. In the devel­op­ment of Struc­tur­al Inte­gra­tion, lat­er to be called Rolf­ing, she drew from yoga, osteopa­thy, chi­ro­prac­tic, and oth­er modal­i­ties.

The cen­tral focus of Dr. Rolf’s work was to see that the body’s orga­ni­za­tion in grav­i­ty is absolute­ly essen­tial to order and health, and the con­nec­tive tis­sues (fas­cia) play a cru­cial role in how ordered or dis­or­dered the body is at any time.

How is Rolfing different?

Many peo­ple come to Rolf­ing hav­ing worked with a mas­sage ther­a­pist or chi­ro­prac­tor. The work of Rolf­ing is dis­tinct from these modal­i­ties.

Rolf­ing works with con­nec­tive tis­sue and coor­di­na­tion pat­terns in your body to bring about an ever increas­ing orga­ni­za­tion to your struc­ture.

Mas­sage ther­a­py, includ­ing deep tis­sue mas­sage, is dis­tinct from Rolf­ing. In gen­er­al, mas­sage ther­a­pists are trained to focus on relax­ation and release in the body, but not direct­ly toward mak­ing struc­tur­al change.

Often, peo­ple find relax­ation of tense areas proves to be very short-lived when the under­ly­ing struc­ture is left unad­dressed. Rolfers work with the recog­ni­tion that when orga­ni­za­tion of the body is improved, relax­ation and release fol­low nat­u­ral­ly.

Rolf­ing dif­fers from chi­ro­prac­tic work by orga­niz­ing the con­nec­tive tis­sue that the spine (and every­thing else) is embed­ded in. Rather than focus­ing more direct­ly on align­ing bone, as most chi­ro­prac­tors do, a Rolfer makes shifts in the com­plex webs of fas­cia and mus­cle that sus­pend the bones of your body and shape their align­ment. As these come into bal­ance, your ver­te­brae (for exam­ple) fol­low and align nat­u­ral­ly.

If you’ve been work­ing with a mas­sage ther­a­pist, chi­ro­prac­tor, phys­i­cal ther­a­pist, ortho­pe­dist or oth­er pro­fes­sion­al and want to learn more about how Rolf­ing com­pares, don’t hes­i­tate to con­tact me.

Payment and insurance

What is your cancellation policy?

Please be mind­ful that I have a lim­it­ed num­ber of appoint­ments avail­able by mak­ing can­cel­la­tions and resched­ul­ing with at least 24 hours notice.

If you have an ill­ness or emer­gency, con­tact me so a deci­sion can be made about resched­ul­ing your appoint­ment.

You are respon­si­ble for 50% of my reg­u­lar ses­sion fee for can­cel­la­tions made less than 24 hours in advance. You will not be charged if I am able to fill the slot with anoth­er appoint­ment.

If you miss your appoint­ment with­out con­tact­ing pri­or, you are respon­si­ble for the full ses­sion fee.

Can I use my Health Savings Account (HSA) or Flexible Spending Account (FSA)?

Many clients use their HSA or FSA to pay for ses­sions. Please con­tact your provider and ver­i­fy that Rolf­ing, Struc­tur­al Inte­gra­tion, and/or mas­sage ther­a­py are approved for spend­ing from your account.

If you will need a detailed receipt for doc­u­ment­ing your HSA or FSA spend­ing, please noti­fy my in advance of your ses­sion.

How much do you charge?

Ini­tial con­sul­ta­tions are free of charge. Ses­sions are $180. I do not offer pack­age dis­counts.

Do you take insurance?

If your insur­ance cov­ers your ses­sions, you’ll pay for the ses­sion your­self, and have your insur­ance reim­burse you. I can pro­vide you with receipts to sub­mit to your insur­ance com­pa­ny for reim­burse­ment.

If you plan on using insur­ance to cov­er the costs of your ses­sions, please call your insur­ance, ver­i­fy your cov­er­age, and let me know in advance your needs.

Check with your insur­ance com­pa­ny whether they cov­er Rolf­ing, Struc­tur­al Inte­gra­tion, or mas­sage ther­a­py. Insur­ance that cov­ers mas­sage ther­a­py also cov­ers my work, since I am licensed as a mas­sage ther­a­pist. Clients who are recov­er­ing after an auto­mo­bile acci­dent usu­al­ly find that their auto insur­ance cov­ers mas­sage ther­a­py. How­ev­er, it is gen­er­al­ly rare that health insur­ance plans will cov­er this work.

If you are plan­ning on hav­ing your ses­sions reim­bursed by your insur­ance, be sure to check whether a doctor’s pre­scrip­tion will be required.

working on plantarfascia