Why spend more on Rolfing than a normal massage?

A recent client interested in Rolfing recently asked me this question.  And it’s a valid question, as Rolfing does generally cost more than a normal massage (at least as long as you aren’t going to a “spa”–you’d end up paying more than for a Rolfing session).

Well, several answers come to mind.  One primary difference is that Rolfing isn’t really massage, and shouldn’t be equated as such.  Massage therapy schools require their students to train in multiple modalities–Swedish, deep tissue, spa-like treatments (hot stones, salt scrubs, etc).  This results in a practitioner who has some skill at a lot of different things.  As they go into practice, they may specialize in something or take classes for even more styles.

Rolfers, on the other hand, spend their ENTIRE training learning only Rolfing.  So we come out of school being really good at one thing.  And, such specialization/depth-of-training and skill level demands a premium.

Many types of massage are geared only toward relaxation.  This is a worthwhile goal in and of itself, but it doesn’t get to the root of body issues or help you to learn new patterns.  Other types of massage are designed with more of a therapeutic mindset, but they tend to miss the mark.  Rolfing is not meant for relaxation, even though many people find it relaxing.  It is meant to transform your body and evolve your structure.  And its unique holistic approach sets it apart from anything learned in massage schools or naturopathic colleges.  Make no mistake about it–Rolfing changes your body and the mind-body connection.

And duration of the effects is probably the biggest reason why Rolfing costs more than a normal massage.  Most people, even though who love massage, admit that the relaxation or muscle relaxation usually only lasts for a couple of hours or days.  In this regard, the massage acted more like an aspirin to dull a headache.  Sometime the headache goes away on its own, and sometime you need more aspirin.

The effects of Rolfing are felt for hours, days, week, months, and even years later.  People who don’t get additional work after a 10-Series can be viewed much later, and their body will have continued to improve over time.  Rolfing isn’t an aspirin for the headache, it’s helping to resolve the headache so no aspirin is needed.

Massage can be effective, especially if the body issue is recent or temporary (like a pulled muscle).  But for deep, chronic, systemic, non-local body issues, Rolfing is the way to go.  You often would need to constantly go to a massage over and over as the effects wear off and the issue returns.  This would be penny-wise and dollar-foolish.

I’m not going to say that Rolfing is cheap, but it is cost-effective and it’s an investment in your self.  You won’t be disappointed in the return on your investment.