Clients often ask “what is Rolfing?” How do you describe difference between massage therapy & Rolfing to clients?
If I had a dollar for every time I’ve heard this question I would not have to work anymore.
Sometimes I encourage people to do some research online about Rolfing. www.rolf.org is a good website. There are links from there were you can watch Dr. Oz on the Ophra Winfry show getting Rolfed.
Rolfing is a more global approach to therapy. An example I often use is the car wreck. Let’s say after the wreck the radiator does not work. You can send that car to a medical doctor who might prescribe chemicals (pain killers or anti inflammatory) to help it. Or to a chiropractor who might adjust it. An acupuncturist might put some needles in it. A massage therapist might rub it etc etc… A Rolfer would not focus on the Radiator but instead would just try and realign the whole car. Sometimes with better alignment things “magically” get better. Maybe the front bumper leaning on the radiator was the problem.
Rolfers focus more on fascia and connective tissue. A massage therapist works more with the muscles themselves.
How could a client identify themselves as a candidate for Rolfing therapy?
Clients quite often have done a full circle and have not had long term results with their injuries or pain.
I often see clients who have seen medical doctors, chiro, physio, acupuncturist, massage therapist etc and are ready to try anything. Coincidently I have seen clients who are getting their house renovated at the same time they are getting their selves renovated.
Sometimes I work with athletes who are looking for a competitive edge. Rolfing helps with their body awareness. Tension distorts movement with less tension they can be faster stronger etc.
You have been an athlete yourself, throughout your life, mostly as an endurance cyclist in the recent years. How does massage therapy support the recreational athlete?
If your goals are to go faster and longer, massage is very effective for a quicker recovery. This enables the athlete to be more consistent with their training
You are a massage therapist for the National Track Cycling Team. What are some of the highlights and challenges of this job?
I have worked a pre Olympic training camp in Pennsylvania and a national camp in Los Angeles. Some of the challenges are that you are giving a lot of massages which is a physical strain on the body. It also demands finding the right balance of being therapeutic and not fatiguing the athlete’s muscles for the next days workout.
The highlights are definitely watching athletes perform well pain free.
You can read more about Mike’s extensive experience on his website at mikecharuk.com
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