frequently asked questions about rolfing

Why is it called Rolfing?

Dr. Ida P. Rolf was the founder and creator of Structural Integration, and “Rolfing” is the nickname that many students and clients gave to this work. (For more information about Dr. Rolf, go to the History of Rolfing® page)

Is it true that Rolfing is painful?

No. I work with each individual client to determine his or her comfort level, and encourage every client to communicate immediately if she/he is uncomfortable. “Pain” is a subjective experience for everyone, and it is important to understand that resetting chronic patterns of tension and pain can sometimes be uncomfortable. However, when a client does experience discomfort, the feeling is often described as a “good kind of pain” that goes away once contact is removed. This is much different from chronic pain that lasts for years, and many clients are surprised to discover how subtle and gentle Rolf work can be.

Isn’t Rolfing just a deep tissue massage?

No. Rolfing is different from massage in many ways, primarily in that there is an educational component to the work that is not generally found in massage. Rolfing is a process that teaches the body new ways of being, offering new options and possibilities for standing, sitting, and other movements.

Who gets Rolfed?

People who:

  • want to feel better and more comfortable in their bodies
  • would like to have better alignment and posture
  • are preparing for or recovering from surgery
  • have chronic pain and would like to get out of pain.
  • are recovering from injury or trauma and want help with the healing process
  • are healthy and want to feel healthier
  • are  curious about experiencing a transformative process

What can I expect during a Rolfing session?

Rolfing sessions with Phoenix tend to last from 75-90 minutes. The first session is often longer (about 2 hours) because there is a consultation and intake process included. A variety of hands-on techniques, movements and cues are used during the session, and the client is often actively involved and engaged in the work.

Do I have to schedule 10 sessions?

No. You may schedule as few or as many sessions as you like, depending on your preference and the Rolfer’s recommendation. However, it is important to realize that Rolfing is most effective when done in a series of sessions. The 10 series is especially beneficial for addressing a wide variety of issues that are not easily addressed in a single session. It takes time for the body to change, and the body generally holds the work better when it is received in a series. If you have a desire to address a specific problem, a series of at least 3 sessions is recommended.

How much does it cost?

The initial session is $160.00 for 2 hours (includes a full medical intake and discussion), and followup sessions are $140.00 for 90 minutes.

What should I wear for my Rolfing session?

Appropriate attire during a Rolfing session includes exercise shorts, swim trunks/swimsuit, or underwear (and a bra, sports bra, or a flexible cami-type tank top for women).

How do I schedule a session or a series?

Call Phoenix at (831) 295-4122, or email

Where can I get more information about Rolfing®?

Rolf Institute of Structural Integration
Guild of Structural Integration

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