Experiences w Structural Integration/Rolfing/related bodywork modalities
March 16, 2017 9:40 PM   Subscribe

I'm considering Rolfing for some issues of posture, joint pain, chronic muscle tension and back and neck discomfort. Have you been Rolfed? What did it do for you?

I'd like to hear about experiences with Rolfing and related bodywork modalities. If you've experienced this kind of bodywork, what were the effects? What issues did you hope to address, and how effective was it? What specific modality did you use (apparently there's the original Rolfing and a bunch of spinoff therapies)? If you had positive results, how long did they last? Any negative results? Etc. Also interested in recommendations for specific bodyworkers in the SF Bay Area.

I'm not interested in answers to the effect of "never tried it but it looks like pseudoscience" (that's a thought I can have for myself). I'm aware that there's little or no scientific evidence for the benefits of Rolfing. Personal experiences are what I'm after. Thanks!
posted by zeri to Health & Fitness (4 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
I'm curious as to whether you've looked into Pilates, which checks off all the items you listed above. Private or semi-private sessions with an instructor on the reformer, Wunda chair, and cadillac would be the route to take (rather than mat classes). If you do pursue Rolfing, you would still need to be able to make long term changes to how you move your body to maintain whatever adjustments the Rolfing made. At the very least, Pilates would be complimentary.
posted by gsh at 6:32 AM on March 17, 2017

I have shoulder tension issues, and rolfing worked well for me. I actually only did 3-4 sessions in a row, at my practitioner's recommendation (he didn't think I needed the full program). That was about 5 years ago and I go back once a year or so, as the effects last much longer than a typical massage. He also taught me some exercises for maintenance. The biggest help is that it has taught me a lot about my own body and figuring out other things to help develop proper muscle memory.
posted by veery at 8:18 AM on March 17, 2017

I was rolfed to deal with severe back neck and shoulder tension. It was great. It helped. I learned some exercises to deal with the problem and I learned to recognize the physical habits that led to the pain. I had a good, no nonsense practitioner.
posted by songs_about_rainbows at 11:38 AM on March 17, 2017

I haven't done Rolfing, but I did do about a year of regular Feldenkrais Functional Integration lessons (which are the one on one option.) I found it tremendously helpful at the time I needed it, which was after my health took a crash (now improved) when I needed to retrain a bunch of habits that were protective at the time, and weren't helping.

Most people do not need that many lessons at all - it's pretty common to do a couple of rounds of pairs, and then back way down, or move to the group Awareness Through Movement lessons which are more general but focus on different kinds of movement awareness each lesson.

One of the things I liked about it is it did a lot to help me listen for specific cues in my own body, and give me tools to manage them myself, rather than being something I was dependent on another person for.
posted by modernhypatia at 5:52 PM on March 17, 2017

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