Fix-it Rolfing® for specific pain

If the paradigm of lessons is the issue, then ask yourself how many lessons it takes in your continuum to get to the point of them all.

by D.J. Cross and Deanna Melnychuk — 

People tend to think of Rolfing as overall bodywork. Indeed, Rolfing is known as third-paradigm bodywork because it integrates the body, mind and spirit. But did you know that Rolfing is also a great modality to heal specific body ailments?

It is the role of a Rolfer to look beyond the body’s location of pain to where the restrictions are and to what is causing the discomfort. The goal is to realign the whole body, while simultaneously easing the pain. Sometimes reduction or elimination of pain is a natural by-product of the entire 10-session Rolfing process. Other times, special attention needs to be paid to specific areas of injury, post-surgical trauma or tension.

It is in this latter case that “fix-it” Rolfing can be of value. When a person has completed 10 sessions and has attained good body balance and alignment, it can be beneficial to then work only on the shoulder, hip or knee. After a few Rolfing integration techniques, the client is good to go.

Fix-it Rolfing also may be beneficial when a person has pain, but doesn’t have either the time or the resources to complete the entire series. In this case, the Rolfer will use their skills to locate the origin of the problem and determine whether a 30-minute fix-it session would be beneficial.

In such a fix-it session, where the patient has not had any previous Rolfing, the pain may subside or even stop for an extended period of time. The relief can be dramatic for a person suffering from pain. However, unless the client also changes the lifestyle — like working at the computer with poor posture — the pain can gradually return.

Simple lifestyle changes can make a big difference, however. This is why a Rolfer will demonstrate various options for movement, like sitting, standing and walking. This educational component of Rolfing is important because it means that the change becomes a part of the client — more than a habit — a whole new way of living in his body.

A good Rolfer will always take the time to integrate and educate. These are factors that differentiate Rolfing from other forms of bodywork, like massage or manual adjustment. Fix-it Rolfing, which can be used in lieu of, or in addition to, a full-series of Rolfing sessions, can be a valuable therapy and has its own place in the overall goal of wellness.


D.J. Cross and Deanna Melnychuk are both certified Advanced Rolfers and cranioSacral therapists. They bring a combined 45 years of experience and dedication to their Rolfing practices, which are located in Scottsdale, 602-284-5796, and north central Phoenix, 602-404-8685.

Reprinted from AzNetNews, Volume 28, Number 1, Feb/Mar 2009.

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