Hal’s Rolfing Adventure: Rolfing is Structural Integration Through Soft Tissue Malipulation

Oh Man! I have had some problems with my back for many years, sometimes it is good and others not!  Or knot as the case may be.   I go to a chiropractor, who is excellent and generally he can straighten me out.  There have been several times where I need additional attention.  At first I thought that massage was just a way to get more money out of my pocket and into the physical therapists.  But about 8 years ago I was desperate, my adjustments weren’t helping so I tried a massage, reluctantly.  And within a day, the adjustments I’d had and the massage, made my back fall into alignment and I was renewed.

Now, I have a back issue that has been as persistent as a child who wants to get ice cream and the ice cream truck is outside ringing the bell.  It has not let up, don’t get me wrong, I have good days but my back is always telling me that it is there and it has issues!  I take a Tylenol, I stretch, I take a walk and I hang out under a hot shower to loosen it up.  Then I ignore it and go about my day!

My chiropractor is great and he said I should try a massage and maybe Rolfing.  Rolfing, what in the world is that?  I’d heard of it but only knew it is deep tissue massage and I had also heard that it is PAINFUL!  I am trying to get rid of my pain!  But, I’m thinking long term now!  I want to walk, sleep, and exist without this back pain and if Rolfing will fix my back, I am going to do it!

I go to one of the only 2 Certified Rolfers in New Jersey.  She says it works best going in a series of 10 sessions.  I agreed to do it, every other week, after my chiropractor adjusts me, I get Rolfed for one and a half hours.  And that is what I want to report on here in my writing, my progress and what it is like to get Rolfed!

Session 1:

Patty, my Rolfer says we focus on parts of the body and loosen up the tissue, the deep tissue to re-align my body.  And this will improve function and it will also re-align my back, since my muscles seem to be pulling out the chiropractic adjustments.  The first session she worked on my shoulders and upper body.  And it was intense and painful. Parts of the process felt like a massage and were lighter but the Rolfing is deep, almost excruciating and creates a burning sensation in the area being addressed which is significant.  After the session I was dizzy, something serious was done and my body was on the way to being different.  Restored and aligned, I hope!

Session 2: Two weeks later

Today, we focused on my feet, lower legs and the muscles that effect them.  Patty had me walk around the room a little and she told me what she saw.  Then she got to work and really dug deeply into my feet, lower legs and lower back.  It hurt sometimes and others were nice.  I apologized for my foot aroma.  She asked me to do some exercises with my feet and toes.  I had a hard time with them, my left foot had more trouble than my right.  I guess my repeated movement the way I always move has affected my mobility.  After some patient coaxing Patty got me moving my feet like I rarely if ever had.  She gave me these exercises to do for homework.  And I think about it and do it!  I realized that being aware of our bodies at this level is important to keep it moving, flexible and healthy.  I want to do this Rolfing stuff, and yeah, it hurts.  Some folks say, no pain, no gain, I hope that is true.  I will let you know how this goes.  For now I will continue because I can feel and see a difference not only physically but mentally.  And ,Yes!  My back hurts less!

Session 3: Two weeks later

Today Patty watched me walk.  Then she went to work on my torso, the sides of it.  This included my arms and chest.  Kinda painful and but productive.  I felt great afterwards but a bit dizzy, Patty said I was “wobbly.”  But after a few minutes I was fine.  The process is helping and re-establishing my muscle structure after all these years of repetitive use.  So far so good!

I’m gonna Rolf on with Patty and my bad self!  And I will keep you informed of my progress!


Patty Murphy completed her massage training at Somerset School of Massage Therapy in 2002 with training in Swedish Massage, Myofascial Release, Sports Massage, Hydrotherapy, Prenatal Massage and Reflexology. Over the years she expended her knowledge to include Morpho-Lympho Drainage, Neuromuscular Therapy, CrainoSacral Therapy, Neural Manipulation, and more.

If you would like to contact Patty Murphy, Certified Rolfer please call her toll free number at 1-877-641-5708, e-mail her at rolfingbypatty@yahoo.com

And please visit her website at – http://www.rolfingbypatty.com/index.html

To learn more about Rolfing in books, click here!

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