FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

What is fascia/connective tissue?
Is Rolfing® painful?
How can I be sure Rolfing® is for me?
Does Rolfing® last?
Can children be Rolfed?
What about Rolfing® and yoga?
Can I exercise during Rolfing®?
How long are the sessions?
How far apart should sessions be?
What should I wear?
How are Rolfers trained?
How can I locate a Rolfer in my area?




What is fascia/connective tissue?

Connective tissue, or fascia, is the strong, fibrous tissue that acts as the support system for our body. Dr. Ida Rolf called it the "organ of form." Fascia surrounds every muscle, bone, joint, and organ; every individual muscle fiber is encased in a thin layer of fascia. Like a vast spider web, it reaches throughout the entire body.

Connective tissue, the most abundant tissue of the body, is made of the protein collagen, and accounts for half the protein in the body. It binds cells into tissues, tissues into organs, connects muscles and bones, wraps every nerve and vessel, laces all internal structures into place and envelopes the body. When tightly bundled it forms tendons and ligaments; around muscles and organs it is thin and often transparent; in the low back and outer thigh it forms large, thick sheets that are amazingly strong. All these linings, wrappings, cables, and moorings are continuous, connecting everything to everything else.

Healthy and balanced connective tissue is flexible, elastic, and resilient. Gravity, repetitive motions, illness, injury, emotional trauma, and everyday stress will, over a period of time, cause imbalance in the tissue system. Imbalance is identified as a shortening, thickening, or dehydration of tissue that can impair joint mobility and muscle function. This is usually felt in the body as chronic pain, stiffness, decreased flexibility or impaired movement.

The fact that fascia can change as a body deteriorates indicates it possesses "plasticity," a quality that can also be used to restore the body to balance. Connective tissue changes very slowly, and under the sustained and careful pressure of a Rolfer's hands, the tissue can be loosened and lengthened to bring balance back to the body. (top)



Is Rolfing® painful?

It is interesting that most people who have the opinion that Rolfing® is extremely painful have never experienced the work firsthand. While individual Rolfer's styles vary, I believe all good Rolfers only work to the level of availability of the client.

Most of my clients seem to love the work, actually. When asked after their first session if it was painful, their response is along the lines of: "At moments it can be intense, but if that's pain, then it's a 'good' pain." (top)



How can I be sure Rolfing® is for me?

Discuss your concerns with your Rolfer. Trying one session should give you a pretty good idea what the work is all about, what it feels like, and whether or not you connect with the work and your practitioner. (top)



Does Rolfing® Last?

Yes! Photographs taken of clients years after the basic 10-Series show that changes are still present, and often the structure is improved. Modification to our body use patterns, such as the way we sit, stand, and work, also go a long way towards keeping our new structure. Keep in mind, however, that life changes, and bodies change in response. Injury, illness, and emotional stress may necessitate additional work. (top)



Can children receive Rolfing®?

Absolutely! Children of all ages love receiving Rolfing® work. The work can assist children and adolescents with many ailments including: growing pains; scoliosis; poor posture; leg imbalances such as knock-knees and pigeon-toes; fascitis; club feet; headaches; and many others. Even very young children carry neck and back tension that can be relieved before it affects their posture. Work on children is gentle, and always within the comfort level of the child and the parents. Sessions for children are usually shorter than for adults, and the 10-Series is usually not received until adolescence. (top)



What about Rolfing® and yoga?

A regular yoga practice in conjunction with Rolfing® sessions is one of the best ways to access and address the restrictions, chronic stress and holding that live in our bodies. Many clients report a much improved and deepened yoga practice following Rolfing® work. Flexibility, balance, range of motion, and presence are often improved. (top)



Can I exercise during Rolfing®?

Regular exercise is usually fine, but for most clients it is recommended not to perform extremely rigorous workouts or activities immediately following a session, in order to allow the body a chance to assimilate the work. (top)



How long are the sessions?

Sessions usually last approximately 60 - 75 minutes. (top)



How far apart should they be?

Typically sessions are spaced anywhere from one week to one month apart, depending on schedule and financial considerations. More important than the interval between sessions, however, is establishing a rhythm associated with regularly scheduled sessions. Clients who commit to a regular schedule of appointments are usually happier with the results obtained. (top)



What should I wear?

For men, briefs, swimsuits, or running shorts are recommended. For ladies, briefs and brasserie, or two-piece swimsuits are recommended. One-piece swimsuits or sports bras are not recommended, as is any lycra type material. An opportunity to change before and after sessions will be provided all clients. (top)



How are Rolfers trained?

Rolfers receive their training through the Rolf Institute of Structural Integration, headquartered in Boulder, Colorado. For complete information, click on this link:

Rolf Institute - Becoming a Rolfer
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How can I locate a Rolfer in my area?

There are currently about 1200 Certified Rolfers located in 27 countries. To find a Rolfer near you, click on this link to the Rolf Institute's directory:

Rolf Institute - Locate a Rolfer
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