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Is Rolfing Painful?


More than 30 percent of U.S. adults are experiencing chronic or severe pain. If you are part of that group, you know how devastating it can be to live with serious or everyday pain. Treatment of chronic pain, described as a 12-week or longer pain, depends on the underlying cause. For example, anti-inflammatory drugs, ice, heat, and stretching can be helpful for musculoskeletal problems and inflammation. Long-term prescription medications may not be the best option for many people to treat pain. The good news is, there are other approaches to chronic pain treatment.

For different bodies and conditions different things work: acupuncture, deep tissue therapy, Epsom salt baths, anti-inflammatory diets, yoga, and more. Rolfing Systemic Integration is one approach that may not yet have been addressed by people living with daily pain. Rolfing, founded in the 1960s, is again increasing in popularity in the alternative health culture.

There’s a good chance you’ll fail to grasp why the suffering continues with chronic pain. Stolzoff says this is a common concern both for the professional and the seeker of relief.


Here are seven things that Rock and Stolzoff say you should know about Rolfing and chronic pain before deciding to move forward.

  • Rolfing may help chronic pain.

Through their services the Oregon Health & Science University School of Medicine Clinical Pain Clinic has integrated traditional and complementary treatments, including Rolfing.

There were also limited findings on the effectiveness of Rolfing. Two small studies in 2014 and 2015 have shown that Rolfing can, at least in the short term, reduce pain levels for people with fibromyalgia and lower back pain.

  • Rolfing isn’t a quick fix.

A good rule of thumb is to give yourself one month of weekly sessions for every year of pain. It’s also possible that you’ll need to make continuing adjustments to the lifestyle to help maintain and further Rolfing’s improvements.

  • Rolfing addresses structural (think postural) and functional (think movement) aspects of chronic pain.

Rolfing can be effective if your pain rates are caused by excessive rigidity, discomfort from injury or surgery, holding postures that impede fluid motion, or repetitive motion.

  • Rolfing should never be painful.

Rolfing is frequently deep and sometimes intense and uncomfortable, but it’s never meant to be painful.

  • Rolfing may reveal other places of pain.

If you’ve been struggling with chronic pain, chances are that’s the place most of your attention is concentrated on. With Rolfing though, Stolzoff says you’re going to discover other areas in your body that might play a role in your pain. Having this detail in your overall treatment plan can be helpful.

  • Rolfing may uncover deeply held emotions.

To be aware that you may have emotions surface, on and off the table, since your tissues hold and release muscle memory.

  • Rolfing requires a skilled practitioner.

Rolfing needs to be done by a licensed and qualified doctor especially for chronic pain. It is suggested that you find a Rolfer you are connecting to since it is a very personal process.

And the best part is? Trying Rolfing is virtually without risk, and there are no side effects.


Are You and Athlete or Desk Professional Experiencing Pain?


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