If you've had a friend speak highly of seeing a rolfing therapist, you may be eager to schedule your own appointment and see if this hands-on treatment works for you. While rolfing shares some similarities with massage and physical therapy, it's definitely its own form of treatment — and that means that you might be uncertain about what to expect when you arrive at your appointment. Although individual practitioners can have slightly different approaches with patients, here are some things that you can typically expect to experience at your first rolfing session.
You'll Be Asked About Your Health Complaint
Whereas many people visit massage therapists for general relaxation, rolfing practitioners typically target a specific area. As such, you wouldn't likely visit a rolfing therapist for total-body care; instead, you'd make the appointment because you have a specific health complaint that you want addressed. Given that the session will revolve around this certain area, you can expect that your practitioner will ask plenty of questions about the issue. For example, you'll be asked how long it has bothered you, what specific symptoms you encounter, when the discomfort is worse, and other similar questions that will help the therapist understand your issue.
The Treatment Can Take Some Getting Used To
Rolfing is a different feeling than massage. Whereas some massage therapists rely on gentle techniques, many rolfing practitioners use deeper pressure as they manipulate the fascia beneath your skin to release the restrictions that are causing you discomfort. Some patients find that rolfing is similar in some regards to deep-tissue massage. While this type of treatment can take some getting used to, you'll quickly find that despite the deeper pressure, rolfing can be pleasant and even relaxing — and you'll appreciate it even more when it can help your issue.
You'll Discuss A Care Regimen
Given your practitioner's eagerness to help you through your health complaint, you can expect a discussion about a care regimen at the conclusion of your appointment. Many rolfing professionals will suggest how many appointments you'll need to book in order to experience a high degree of relief; although you may find relief after your initial session, follow-up appointments are also valuable. Additionally, your therapist will talk about self-care techniques that you can use to manage your discomfort between appointments. For example, you may be given a series of simple stretches that you can perform daily, which may help with issues that affect your range of motion.