Differentia of Rolfing: Magic Snorkels & Registered Trademarks

How is Rolfing® Structural Integration different from deep-tissue massage?

I try to come up with a different answer every time someone asks me this. But I’m a conservationalist as well as a conversationalist so occasionally this latter impulse gets the better of me & I find myself recycling responses. One obvious difference between these two modalities is that Rolfing® SI gets to flaunt the little “®” ornament under the protection of legal mercenaries & the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office, both parties whom receive remuneration by our annual membership dues.

But another response that has gotten its fair share of service from my lips is this one:

For a massage, you pay for an hour. Then, when you walk out the door, you’re done. When you walk out of the door after a Rolfing® session, that’s when it starts…

Hvordan da? What does this mean?

In a Rolfing® session, we persuade the body to relinquish habits of tension & inhibitions to fluid movement. After a session, the body is primed to integrate this somatic freedom; one finds the possibility to perform old activities in a new way. This is a challenging enterprise, especially given that, when the client leaves the studio, she is re-immersing herself in the very environment that very likely forged those habitual tensions in the first place! But all hope is not lost—she is not doomed to drown anew in this endless ocean of stressful causes: the conditions have changed; the Rolfing intervention has altered a fundamental variable. The somatic awareness that the Rolfing session endowed her withal is like a magic snorkel (to stretch this poor metaphor like string of sticky fascia.) Now she can go free-diving with ease even amidst the tumultuous seas of daily affairs. Her only task is remembering to breathe….

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