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.