The short answer to that questions is no, at least not in my office.
Rolfing® Structural Integration has a bit of a reputation for being painful and there are practitioners out there that contribute to that belief. Even though all of the Rolfers go through the same basic training, we all have our own personalities and belief systems and as such, work differently. I believe, and my experience has shown me, that it is much more productive to work WITH the person’s nervous system to help facilitate change in their body in lieu of working the clients tissue to mold it how I want it with disregard to the client’s comfort level. If I’m working too deep, too fast your body will naturally tense up to try to protect itself and we’ll be fighting against each other. I try to work at the appropriate depth and allow the tissue to open up at its own pace. With that said, we are trying to facilitate change in your body so we will be pushing your system some. But the idea is to work at a level so that you’re not tensing your whole body up on the table. The more you can stay relaxed and focus on the sensations, the more change will happen in your body.
Overall, there will be a broad spectrum to how the session feels. When I work with your organs or free entrapped nerves, the work will feel incredibly gentle. On the other hand, you might have patterns in your body that have been held for a very long time and the tissue might be sensitive to accepting change. Persistence and communication will be important in these cases.
At my Rolfing practice in Austin, TX it is always important that we communicate with each other throughout the sessions. I encourage every client to notify me when something is getting too intense. Every client’s sensitivity thresholds are different, so I need you to be my guide as I do my best to read what’s going on in your body. As long as we communicate, there should be no issues.
Please CONTACT me if you are interested in learning more about Rolfing or scheduling a session.