Rolfing® and replacement surgery

February 24, 2012

Health, Natural therapies, Rolfing

Rolfing is a series of 10 sessions, each approximately 75 minutes in length.

by Deanna Melnychuk — 

You have just been diagnosed with “bone-on-bone,” a condition in which the cartilage has degenerated or disappeared between the bone and the joint, causing severe pain. Surgery is recommended. What happens next, after hip or knee replacement surgery?

A long period of rehabilitation will be required, which probably includes intensive physical therapy. However, what happens if the diagnosis is the following?:

Your mom is 72 years old and after the two hip replacements, she is doing well just to move with a walker. She will probably be confined to a wheelchair within the next year. Just be prepared.

When this happened to a friend of mine, she said to herself, “Not to my mother!” Instead she took her to a Rolfer™ for Rolfing® Structural Integration.

Rolfing is a series of 10 sessions, each approximately 75 minutes in length. A Rolfer will evaluate the client’s movement (or lack of movement) and using his hands, arms and elbows, will lengthen the restricted, condensed and tightened connective tissue.

During this process, the client may experience a burning sensation, as though she is being poked with pins, or it can “hurt so good.” Most times, it is just a relief. A Rolfer always dialogues with his client to determine the exact amount of weight that will get the job done to ease and mobilize the joint and yet keep the client comfortable.

Usually the results are immediate, and the client stands straighter, walks more easily and feels lighter. After a double replacement surgery and the Rolfing techniques, there is a gradual change in posture and gait, and more remarkably, the client will let go of the walker and then the cane. After that comes the confidence to move independently and return to a normal life.

Anyone with such an intensive surgical intervention should seriously consider a Rolfing tune-up once a month for the year following the initial 10 sessions, and then slowly decrease the number of tune-ups, depending upon their activity level.

A loss of the ability to take care of oneself or to engage in previously enjoyed activities does not have to occur. Nor does there have to be a closing down or a life lived in isolation because one cannot venture into the world without strong help. An alternative has been proven effective, and that is Rolfing® Structural Integration. It is well worth investigating.


Deanna Melnychuk, B.Sc., is a certified advanced Rolfer and Rolfing movement practitioner, licensed massage therapist, Reiki master, cranioSacral therapist and reflexologist. 602-404-8685 or

Reprinted from AzNetNews, Volume 30, Number 2, April/May 2011.

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