Common Questions

Treatment room at Vitality Rolfing

Is Rolfing® Structural Integration painful?

No! Unfortunately, Rolfing® Structural Integration has the reputation of being painful and overwhelmingly intense. Though first generation Rolfers, including Dr. Rolf, used more direct and often painful techniques, years of research and practice have resulted in more effective and less intense approaches. I work closely with each client to ensure that the techniques that I am using are working for them.

Treatment room at Vitality Rolfing

Treatment room at Vitality Rolfing

Do the results gained from Rolfing® Structural Integration last?

Yes, the structural changes gained from each Rolfing® session and following the Rolfing® Ten Series last. It is common during the series to have set backs as the clients body adjusts from subsequent sessions. However, the final outcomes when given time to integrate have the potential to last for years. It is important for clients to understand that once they achieve greater mobility and freedom in their bodies that they need to be vigilant in changing the movement patterns that caused the structural discomfort in the first place. For example, if an office worker returns to the same inefficient sitting and standing posture after completing the Rolfing® Ten Series than the likelihood of maintaining the structural gains is poor. This is why I include movement education as a major part of my Rolfing practice.

Do I have to complete all ten Rolfing® Structural Integration sessions to benefit?

No, if a client meets their structural goals after 3 or 4 sessions then the process is complete. However, some clients’ may have more involved structural challenges and may benefit greatly from completing all ten sessions. It is important to read the Rolfing® Ten Series description in this website so you understand this process. Often, when clients have a goal of reducing lower back or neck pain just addressing the sleeve muscles in sessions 1-3 may not be enough to meet this goal. Later sessions involve more of the spinal structures (sessions 5-9) deeper within the body, which are unavailable until sessions 1-3 are completed.

Can Rolfing® Structural Integration help me become a better athlete?

If you are tired of training from one injury to the next then yes, Rolfing® Structural Integration can help you become a better athlete! When you demand a lot from your body in your respective sport or hobby, it is common to have localized discomfort. If untreated these areas of mild pain can lead to more severe injuries, which force you away from doing the things you love. Differentiating muscles from their neighbor muscles benefit athletes by improving muscular performance along with the added benefits of balance, coordination, and power. Muscles are happy when they can contract independently of the muscles next to them. Additionally, when your body is in a better relationship with gravity, muscles have the opportunity to perform from a place of greater strength and ease.

Athletes Testimonial:

Michelle Kwan and Elvis Stojko, 1998 Olympic Silver Medalists, have found they have a competitive advantage by working with a team of specialists that included Helen James, Physical Therapist, and Certified Advanced Rolfer. Elvis Stojko introduced Helen James, Certified Advanced Rolfer to Michelle Kwan in July during the Campbell Soup Tour of World Figure Skating Champions. Stojko, who has benefited from James’ physical therapy and Rolfing expertise says, “Rolfing helped me to find my center of balance for competition; it puts my body in place.” Working with Olympic and world champion figure skaters is nothing new for James. She says, “It’s key for figure skaters like Michelle and Elvis, to find an exact balanced position in space. Balance and integration are the primary goals of the Rolfing process. Athletes find they have fewer injuries and recover more quickly through Rolfing work,” says James. “They feel lighter and have more energy because they’re not working as hard. They perform and complete their jumps with more ease.”