I’m glad you asked!!
Most massage temporarily reduces pain, eliminates muscle spasms, soothes sore muscles, and promotes relaxation. However, Rolfing has enduring effects since it addresses the underlying causes of pain, imbalance, and restricted range of motion. The Rolfer does this by assessing each person in movement and gravity prior to each treatment (and frequently during and after, too). Rolfing improves the overall functioning of the body through structural changes that tend to last for years. Additionally, Rolfing sets into motion many changes that will continue long after your series is completed.
To be clear, both have intrinsic value, it just depends on what you need at the time. Here’s a table that compares the differences between massage and Rolfing in summary form. We can discuss what your goals are so we will know what you need. Also, please keep in mind that there are about 100 different types of massage, so they each have different therapeutic value as well.
|MASSAGE – temporary||ROLFING – long term|
|Chases pain||Eliminates the causes of pain|
|Improves range of motion||Eliminates the causes of mobility restrictions|
|Passive for recipient||Active for recipient|
|Sessions are discrete and isolated||Series is intentionally interconnected|
|Free form||Structured and purposeful|
|Client lead||Follows the method called the “Rolf Recipe”|
|Treats where the client asks||Assessed in movement and gravity|