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Last night I sat down to write a newsletter about scarcity versus abundance.  Three paragraphs in, I decided to try a different approach.  Three paragraphs after that, I decided to try a different topic.  After a while, I just stopped.  As I climbed into bed, mad at myself for not having finished writing today’s newsletter, I realized the problem:  something else was on my mind.  Something else has been on my mind for about a week now, to be honest.

I got a call last week from one of my instructors at the Rolf Institute.  Apparently there’s been some discussion on the Rolf Forum about this video of mine, called “What Should I Expect From Rolfing?”  I made this video simply because I had about 20 people in a row come in for their first session and say to me at the end, “Well, that wasn’t what I was expecting.”  I thought that people should have a better understanding of what they were getting into before they came for a session.  Also, I figured it would help weed out the people who weren’t a good fit for my style of working.  I think it’s been doing its job because nowadays, pretty much every new client I get, I absolutely love, right off the bat.  There have been a lot of perfect fits, at least from my point of view, which is super awesome.  Less people wasting their money on the wrong Rolfer.  Less people spending an hour and a half thinking, “This isn’t what I was expecting!”  More people thinking, “Ah, this is just what I wanted!”  Seems like a good thing all around.

And yet, there’s this argument going on.  Let me explain.  The Rolf Forum was created back when the interweb was new, as a way to connect the (relatively small) Rolfer community.  To date there are just barely 1800 Certified Rolfers™ in the whole world.  Put a few hundred in Japan, a bunch in Europe and Canada, some in Brazil and Bali and Australia, and it can start to feel kinda lonely being a Rolfer.  I know it’s hard to believe, here in Colorado, where the Rolf Institute is located and there’s a Rolfer on every corner.  But there are zero Rolfers in Mississippi.  And two in Indiana (and they’re both named Dan; weird).  So the internet brought all these isolated Rolfers together to talk about questions they’d had or struggles with their practices or new research being done they wanted to share.  I’ll be honest:  I’ve never been on the Rolf Forum.  Don’t even know where to find it.  Not because I don’t want to connect with other Rolfers, but because my network of Rolfers is more personal and specific.  I feel very comfortable calling or emailing my instructors and mentors if I have a question or concern.  My classmates make the perfect network when I have a practice building question, or just want to geek out about Rolfing for a bit.  I call Sasha and Laura up, or better yet, we get together for beers when we’re in the same state.  I trade sessions with a few different Rolfers, and we ask all the questions we have, during those sessions.  I waste enough time on Facebook, thank you very much, and I don’t feel the need for another place to spend time online.  So it’s not out of disrespect for the Forum that I’ve never been on it; I just don’t seem to need it in my life.

But my instructor called me because my little video had started an argument on the Forum.  Apparently there are some Rolfers who don’t think what I’m doing is Rolfing.  Ida Rolf never talked about energy work, on video, at least.  There are plenty of quotes from her about energy fields and energy work in books, but she was trying to be seen as credible as she created this new form of bodywork in the 60′s and energy work didn’t go over so great with the medical community at the time.  Damn hippies.  Dr. Rolf put a great deal of energy into explaining things in structural terms and making sure her students were well educated in anatomy and physiology.  She wasn’t going to have people talking about pushing on the thingy until it felt squishy.  So, the argument goes, if Ida didn’t want to talk about energy work in her videos, why should I?  And there’s also the question of brand identity.  If someone goes to see a Rolfer in Minnesota, then moves to Denver and wants a Rolfer here, so comes to see me, they’re not going to get the same thing they got in Minnesota.

Well, duh, is what I say to that.  If you go see one doctor, then go see another, you’re not going to get the same thing.  That’s why it’s called a second opinion.  If they were all exactly the same, you wouldn’t bother to get a second opinion.  But just because different doctors do things differently, it doesn’t mean one’s a doctor and one’s not.  And when it comes to me talking about things that Ida wouldn’t…um, I’m not Ida.  Obviously.  I couldn’t be a little old lady from New York if I tried.  I don’t even like New York.  And I’m 5’8″, not 5’2″.  And Zordan’s a funny name, but not in the same way Rolf is.

So, it seems obvious to me, that this is a non-issue.  Yes, I’m a Rolfer.  Yes, I do energy work.  No, I don’t mind talking about it.  But now I want to know what you think.  Is what I do Rolfing?  You’ve had a session from me.  You’ve heard what other people say about Rolfing, and you’ve done your research on Rolfing in general.  Many of you have had Rolfing sessions from other Rolfers.  How do the sessions compare?  Would you say I don’t belong with other Rolfers?  When you get a chance,  post a comment on the blog here.  I’d really love to hear what you think.  And I’ll try to get to scarcity versus abundance soon.  I promise.

Oh, and Demo Day is Saturday.  If you haven’t had a session from me, and you want to try it for yourself, to see if I’m really a Rolfer or not, this is the perfect opportunity.  A 30 minute session for just $10.  There are only 4 spots left, so if you want one, get on it.

I get the same question all the time.  And it’s about time I just laid it out for you, Sassy Pants, plain and simple, once and for all.  The question is not, “How do you do that magic that you do!?” or “How did you get into Rolfing in the first place?” although that’s a common one.  Maybe next week’s post can get into that.  Unfortunately for both you and me, the most common question is not “Can I schedule ten more sessions right now?”  Wanna know what the most popular question of all time (in my practice) is?  Well, of course you do, so here it is:  Does anybody ever fall asleep during a session?

And the answer, of course, is yes.  Yes; a million times over, yes.  People fall asleep during sessions all the time and it’s perfectly normal and acceptable and nothing to be embarrassed about.  In fact, of the close to 50 Rolfing sessions I’ve received in the last four years since I first tried it out, I’ve probably stayed awake through three of them.  Possibly.  Maybe it was only the two.  I lost count with all the sleeping I was doing in between.

The thing is, I want you to be engaged during your sessions with me.  I want you to show up ready to meet me halfway.  I can only change what you’ve allowed me to change.  And you can do more from the inside than I can do from the outside.  Part of the whole point of this work is embodiment, meaning that your consciousness is in and related to your body.  If you’re hungover from a rough night, disassociation (the opposite of embodiment)  may be the most comfortable option for you, and that’s no good for me.  So, yes, I want you to be present and participating in the work we do together.  But, that doesn’t mean you can’t fall asleep.

Huh?

Well, first of all, my goal is to bring about health.  And if you’re sleep deprived, like most people in this country today, then sleep may be the quickest way to bring about health.  So go for it.  More power to you.

Secondly, I don’t think it always has to do with sleep deprivation when you (or I) fall asleep on the table.  I still fall asleep during sessions and I use an alarm to wake up about four times a year, so I don’t think I’m sleep deprived.  I still fall asleep while getting Rolfed immediately after a large cup of coffee and I’m so sensitive to caffeine I usually don’t sleep well at midnight if I had black tea at 8am.  So I think there’s more to it than tiredness.  I think sometimes (often) with a good session of bodywork, big shifts can happen not only in the structure, but on the emotional, spiritual, mental, and energetic side of things as well.  And as we let go of certain traumas and blockages, the ego may try to get in the way, claiming it needs to hold onto that issue for whatever reason.  “I have a bad back” may be part of your story.  And if we shift things so that’s no longer true, your ego may feel a little frantic, wondering how you’ll define yourself in the future.  “I was abused” may be true, but if we let go of the painful trauma around that, will you still be you?  Your ego might not think so.  And so, when your body is making big shifts in the direction of health, it might be helpful to get your ego out of the way.  And so, you “fall asleep” or go into what some people call a healing trance.  You’re still conscious enough to stretch your right arm out, or roll over onto your stomach if I ask you to.  But you’re not conscious enough to fight what your body needs.

At least, that’s how I justify all the sleeping I do during sessions.  You can come up with your own excuses, if you’d prefer.  Regardless, know that, yes, plenty of people fall asleep during sessions, and I don’t mind if you snore.

I’m back in the States from the incredibly lovely France as of yesterday and feeling pretty good, thanks to Jake’s acupressure tips to avoid jet lag.  Jake, my whole family says thank you.  However, my brain’s still a tiny bit foggy.  So instead of writing a possibly rambling, possibly nonsensical article about carpal tunnel syndrome, today, I give you a video.  Last summer, my friend Alisha interviewed me and this is the result.  I know, it’s a bit long.  But if you watch to the end, you get to see me dancing around my house like a goof, so there’s something to look forward to.

I hope you enjoy it, but regardless of your reactions, I’d love to hear about them.  Please feel free to post your comments here on the blog!  Thanks and take care!

Practical notes for clients:

Chicagoans:
Last chance for Chicago Rolfing.  I’ve got two appointments available tomorrow (Tuesday) at 2:30 and 4:00.  On Wednesday, I have an 11:30 opening.  If you want one of them, let me know.

Coloradans:
I fly back to Denver on Wednesday night, but my first available appointment is Saturday at 11:30.  Then, on Sunday is another Demo Day!  So let your friends and family know they can try a 30-minute teaser session of Rolfing for just $10.  New clients only, please.

1. Where are you located? Why? Because if you have to spend 90 minutes getting to your 90 minute appointments, you’re less likely to go. Just like a gym membership, Rolfing is more effective the more often you utilize it. While I know one person who took the bus 3 hours each way to his Rolfing appointments and went through the entire 10-series, most of us just aren’t that dedicated.

My A: My main office is at 662 Grant, on the second floor, in Denver, CO. I have a secondary office at 489 US. Hwy 287, inside the Baseline Chiropractic office in Lafayette, CO. I occasionally visit Chicago and when I do, I practice out of the Relaxation Station at 10655 S. Hale.

2. How much do you charge? Why? Because if you can’t afford it, there’s no reason asking any other questions. The average price range for Rolfing sessions varies widely by location, from $100 to $400. Again, Rolfing is more effective with more sessions, so plan for at least 3 visits. Rolfing is almost never covered by insurance.

My A: My fee is $120 per session. Children 10 and under are free. I don’t bill insurance companies, but am happy to provide treatment notes and receipts if this is an avenue you’d like to pursue.

3. What forms of payment do you take? Why? Because most Rolfers only accept cash and checks. You don’t want to show up with plastic and feel sheepish.

My A: I accept cash, checks, Visa, Mastercard, and Discover.

4. What is your style of working? Why? To know who’s a great or terrible fit for you and your body. You can learn a lot about a Rolfer by asking this question. -A “traditional” or “old school” Rolfer will tend to be very rough. Ida Rolf was not gentle, nor were the Rolfers who trained with her. This may be a good fit if you like super deep pressure, or are a masochist. -Someone who blends massage and Rolfing may used fascial release techniques in a traditional massage. This may be a good fit if you enjoy massage, but want a taste of Rolfing as well. -A movement practitioner is someone who’s completed an extra training to become movement certified. Movement work can be very powerful, but requires a lot of participation and involvement from the client. Not for those who are planning to sleep through their sessions. -Cranial-sacral work is very subtle, using very light pressure but with huge potential for change. Perfect for those afraid of “old school” Rolfing and awful for those who want an elbow in their quads.

My A: I use a broad spectrum of touch to get the maximum change with the minimum discomfort. While moments may be intense, most people find my work to be relaxing and enjoyable. I combine SourcePoint Therapy and Rolfing in a customized blend to fit your body and your needs. If you don’t want any energy work, or any hands-on work, I’m probably not the right fit for you as I have a hard time eliminating either completely. Oh, and you get to keep your clothes on during your session.

5. Do I need to do the 10-series? Why? Whether or not you want to receive the 10-series, you should know what your Rolfer has planned for you before you walk in the door.

My A: No; how many sessions you do is up to you. I do offer the traditional Rolfing 10­series if that’s the route you’d like to pursue, but it’s not expected. I’m happy to do targeted, customized sessions instead of following ‘the recipe.’

6. Where did you do your training? Why? Because Rolfers who trained in Brazil will have more of a movement emphasis in their work than people trained in the US or Germany. People who trained at the Guild for Structural Integration will be more traditional than people trained at the Rolf Institute®. Hellerworkers tend to integrate more talk therapy into their Structural Integration sessions. Neither Guild practitioners nor Hellerwork practitioners are considered “Rolfers” but are Structural Integrators.

My A: I trained at the Rolf Institute in Boulder, CO and have done all my continuing education there as well, except for one class in Santa Fe, NM.

7. How long have you been in practice? Why? This one’s a catch-22. Rolfers who have been in practice a long time obviously have more experience, which is a good thing. But there’s been a lot of research and new technique development in the 40 years that Rolfing’s been around. A Rolfer who hasn’t stayed on top of their continuing education may be working in an outdated way. Then again, a newer Rolfer may not have the experience needed to handle extremely complicated issues. And some people are just ‘naturals’ at Rolfing, whether they’re new or old. So it’s kind of a toss up, but it’s still good to know.

My A: I’m in my second year of practice.