Rolfing® & Massage

Rolfing® & Massage

I love massage, particularly when the massage therapist pays attention to the details of his/her environment. The sound, scents, soothing lights, warmth of the table all contribute to a sumptuous experience that can take me in to deep relaxation. Its glorious.

And it isn’t Rolfing®. I don’t want to compare the goodness of massage with the goodness or Rolfing®. In truth they’re both good, but they’re very different. Many people confuse Rolfing® with massage. It’s like having a dentist and a therapist you love. You’re not going to ask your therapist to clean your teeth and your dentist should be probing your gums and not your psyche. If we don’t mix up dentist with therapist, we cannot mix up Rolfing® and massage. They’re unique with very different aims.

To clarify, Rolfing® is a form of bodywork, which makes it similar to massage, but it differs in one important way. Rolfing® is a transformational passage. Emily Conrad, founder of Continuum, said “How we move is how we think and how we move is how our brains are engaged.” (I found that quote in a youTube video of Emily moving and doing the voice over). Rolfing® alters the structure through the manipulation of the fascia. When the structure is different, the movement is different. Our movement is a byproduct of our neuroplasticity. The more plastic my nervous system response to the world, the more choices I have. The more choices I have, the more I can fulfill my ultimate human potential. It is important to remember that Rolfing® gained its popularity from the Human Potential experiments of the 60’s at Esalen. (Yes, that means a lot of hippies received it.)

So when I go to Rolfing® (I see my amazing Rolfing® friend Pilar Martin in Soquel) I am “working” internally. As Pilar would say, “A lot is happening on the inside, but very little is happening on the outside”. I’m diving deep into my body and my mind, exploring with Pilar the places that need more awareness and consciousness.

But when I go to massage I don’t want to work that hard. I want to enjoy the sounds, scents and soothing warmth.

So enjoy your massage. Because when you come for Rolfing® I’ll ask you to dive into a very different state of being.


What it Takes to be a Rolfer