What to Expect
On your initial visit, you will start by filling out a comprehensive health survey so we can have a background picture of your health history. After you finish with that step, we will go into the treatment room for a more specific intake and examination which will include all aspects of your health, focusing specifically on the problem to be treated. By obtaining specific information regarding your health, a pattern of disharmony can be established.
Based upon the pattern diagnosed, a personalized treatment strategy will be formed which will typically involve acupuncture and herbal medicine with other methods being used adjunctively. If you are sensitive to the pins (or the thought of pins), non-needle therapies will be utilized exclusively.
After the pins are inserted, you will relax for about 30 minutes to let the treatment “soak in”. Most people find this time to be very peaceful and some even take a little nap on the table! You should leave the clinic feeling energetic but calm with a reduction in your symptoms.
A majority of people will notice unexpected changes within 1-2 days of their treatment, the most common differences being a greater amount of energy and better quality sleep. In addition to this, a large portion will also find that their emotions are more “even keeled” and it is easier to deal with the complexities of modern life.
Your first visit will be approximately one and a half hours long due to the involved
diagnostic process. After your first treatment, future treatments take approximately 45 minutes.
On subsequent visits, you will inform me of changes and improvements and I will alter your treatment plan as necessary. A typical course of treatment is 5-10 treatments with re-evaluation of your health needs after that time. For conditions that have been present for a long time (many years), a good guideline would be 1 month of treatment for every year that you have had the condition. Very rarely do things just “pop up” in one day, and it would be unrealistic to think that they can be alleviated in one treatment.
In addition, with long term conditions, I suggest that once the condition is controlled, you come in periodically for a maintenance evaluation and treatment to prevent any flare-ups or reoccurrences of the condition.
What is Oriental Medicine
Oriental medicine is 3000-7000 years old and addresses the person’s health through a bioenergetic perspective. According to Oriental medicine, all disease is ultimately due to energetic imbalances in the body. By influencing the body’s energetic flow, these imbalances can be corrected resulting in relief from symptoms of illness and pain.
Is Oriental Medicine Safe?
Yes, Oriental medicine has been shown to be effective for many conditions. In studies conducted by the World Health Organization, nearly one hundred conditions have been found to respond favorably to acupuncture and Oriental herbal medicine with many more conditions requiring further study to confirm acupuncture’s effectiveness. Based upon my experience, Oriental medicine can have a positive impact on nearly every disease and syndrome presented. For some conditions, it is an excellent compliment to the medical care that you are already receiving, and for others it can be a powerful primary method of treatment.
What is Rolfing?
There are many ways to answer that question. One of my teachers said “Rolfing is for bodies what orthodontic braces are for teeth.”
Rolfing is a system of soft tissue manipulation that aligns the body so that you no longer need to fight gravity to stand erect. The goal of Rolfing is to release the body so that you can move more efficiently with less restrictions and experience life with greater freedom throughout your whole being.
I like to think of Rolfing as body education. Rolfing gives body owners new options for being in life and dealing with gravity. It kind of feels like a deep tissue massage, but the focus is more on getting in touch with yourself, recognizing the deep seated patterns of holding and unwrapping those patterns that are not functioning well, and finding easier, more comfortable and efficient patterns to replace the old.
Ida P. Rolf Ph.d, a biochemist (and hence the funny name) began devising what she called Structural Integration in the early half of the last century. Instead of focusing on muscle or bone, Rolfers work with fascia – the wrapping around the muscles, bones, joints and organs. Sometimes an injury, incorrect movement pattern,or genetic anomaly can cause the fascia to bunch or pull like a sweater caught on a nail. This doesn’t just affect one small area of the sweater, it affects all the connecting threads in a large circumference around the pull. What we do is sort of like moving the sweater (the fascia) so that the contents can be distributed evenly, which helps it to function correctly and look better.
Please go to www.rolf.org for a much more eloquently thorough explanation and history.
People choose Rolfing for a variety of reasons. Many athletes, dancers, and musicians get Rolfing sessions to enhance their performance levels. Others have chronic pain or are recovering from an injury or surgery. Some people are looking for a catalyst for change in their lives, or just a deeper connection to themselves and their bodies.
Rolfing addresses painful conditions at the deepest levels, and often is able provide permanent relief or at least make the pain as manageable as possible. Most people notice that their posture is more aligned, they have greater energy, and they are able to function at a higher level than before.
Often clients have tried every other solution available, with no lasting results. We love the challenge of difficult issues, so bring it on!
How will Rolfing affect me?
Rolfing is different for everyone. For some it is a pleasant experience that leaves them feeling a little lighter and longer and more connected to their core, able to move through life a little easier. Fore others it can be life changing and profound, maybe able to go for a walk around the block instead of unable to get from room to room.
The results are as varied as the clients. Yes, sometimes not all of our goals are met, and sometimes we have to make the best of things and find the most comfortable way of dealing with unavoidable restrictions, but sometimes there are totally unexpected benefits gained. Everyone so far has left my office post 10 series with at least a lighter step, a smile and no regrets.
Personally, I found that after my Rolfing series, I am able to say present for and participate more fully in my life. I don’t feel like I am struggling as hard, and things seem to flow better. I feel as though my body is ME, instead of my enemy. Later, Rolfing helped me to recover from a shattered leg, I am able to walk without a limp, hike all day and even do a little rock climbing again. As an interesting bonus, my musicianship has greatly improved. I can play for much longer, and there is more depth and connection in my music.
The well being and quality of life of my clients are very important to me and this shows in my work. I enjoy a challenge and will stop and recognize if something isn’t working and try again from a different perspective. I will willingly admit if something is beyond me, and try to find an available solution with a referral to a qualified professional.
Does Rolfing hurt?
Ok, the pain issue.
Rolfing does not have to hurt to be effective! Some people might feel a slight discomfort with the pressure occasionally, but one of the Principles of Rolfing is Adaptability. I will not take you where your body is not ready to go. Too much pressure can be counterproductive. If you are flinching and shortening while I am trying to lengthen and give you a chance to embody, then we are wasting our time! Frequent quotes are “It feels exactly like what’s needed!” and “Hurts so good!”
I take great pride in my ability to know just how much pressure is appropriate for each given moment in the session. Most Rolfers now work within your limits and employ new techniques so that the experience is much more comfortable than in years past. (We had quite the reputation for hard elbows…)
As always, your boundaries and limits are respected here.
How is Rolfing different from massage?
The cool thing about Rolfing and what makes it so different from other massage techniques is that instead of just releasing tight muscles, Rolfers are trained to recognize whole body patterns, look at how the environment (especially gravity) is directing and affecting these patterns, release the tight places, activate underused muscles, balance opposing muscle groups, and then integrate everything back into a well functioning whole person.
Rolf Movement (which I utilize in all my sessions) teaches people how to really feel and understand their new options so that they become more long lasting, functional patterns of standing, sitting and walking…of embodiment.
If massage is the plaster patch, then Rolfing is the building renovation. We work from the foundation on up…leveling and de-rotating first, then patching up the crumbly outer stuff afterwards, so it all feels and looks good and lasts for a long time.
What is the format for Rolfing?
Rolfing is traditionally done in a series of ten sessions. Each session builds on the work done in the previous sessions. The first session or even the first three sessions are a great introduction to the work and can stand alone, if you are unsure if Rolfing is for you and would like to give it a try. The series can also be combined with the separate sessions of movement work for a thirteen or fifteen session series.
Post 10 series tune up sessions are also available.
Who is a Rolfer?
A Certified Advanced Rolfer is someone who has graduated from the Rolf Institute of Structural Integration in Boulder, CO and also completed the advanced training. There are other schools of structural integration, but only graduates from the Rolf Institute may call themselves Rolfers. The Institute continues to hold high standards of it’s members, with intensive basic training (over 700 hours for those with previous bodywork experience), extensive advanced training (another 200 hours) and excellent continuing education workshops. I chose to go to the Institute instead of osteopathic or chiropractic college because I felt that the method was more holistic (treating whole body patterns instead of symptoms), the teachers were incredible and the education was exemplary, and the impact of the work was extraordinary. For more information please see the Rolf Institute of Structural Integration’s website at www.rolf.org.