Rolfing

In my continuing attempt to document all of the things I tried before surgery, here’s some info on Rolfing….

A local rolfer writes for a local endurance magazine, and I saw her articles and liked what she had to say. She has a good background in physical activity, yoga, and Rolfing, and I like the integrated approach. She is the same person that gave me the bioprint, and so we also incorporated that information into the Rolfing program.

It’s somewhat hard to describe the process. It’s like a deep tissue massage, combined with body movements or certain positions, all used to facilitate proper alignment. I’m into proper alignment from all the yoga I once did. (I started yoga because of the knee problem!) In addition, there are certain exercises my Rolfer gave me to do at home to add to the effect.

Typically there are 10 sessions in traditional Rofling. I can’t recall the exact order or the specific goals for each session, but they all are aimed at integrating the body into proper alignment. Overall I think that something like Rofling, where someone physically manipulates the body with the goal of proper alignment, is good. But I question whether that can be done in 10 sessions. I would think soft tissue manipulation would need to be an on-going, continuous process, over a long period of time, to have any real lasting effects.

My Rolfer tailored each session more to me than the traditional sequence, though we didn’t abandon that altogether. But the bulk of time was spent trying to get my right knee to stop rubbing the femur. We found issues in my lower back, foot, ITB, etc. In the last session, we agreed that my problem was beyond just soft tissue manipulation. 😦 I had already decided I would go for surgery, but this was just one more “nail in the coffin.”

I think the person doing the Rolfing is very important. Someone that understands your goals, takes the time to really understand your problem, and works with you towards that goal, using Rolfing and any additional knowledge they have. I guess that holds true for the doctors and physical therapists and anyone else you may work with.

So would I recommend Rolfing? I think giving a few sessions a shot is certainly worth it. If you can get your insurance to pay for it, typically under “neuromuscular retraining,” it would definitely be worth the try. Otherwise it can get to be a bit expensive at $100 per session. My insurance company doesn’t cover Rolfing unless you claim it as neuromuscular retraining, but then the practionar has to be a certified physical therapist (not a certification in rolfing alone).

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