Monday, February 14, 2011

Rolf Me, Baby

Tonight I got rolfed. And oh baby it hurt so good!

Rolfing is a type of deep tissue massage that manipulates the myofascial tissue to bring the body into proper alignment, create efficient use of muscles and release pent up tension and emotion.

It's a really DEEP massage. A "is this supposed to hurt" massage? A "yes I am breathing" massage. A "am I going to be able to walk again" type massage?

I've been having trouble with an impingement in my traps and rhomboids for a little while now. It was causing me some minor pain and a weird burning sensation. But most of all I'd lost a lot of flexibility in my right shoulder. Where six months ago I could grasp fingers together on both sides of go mukhasana (cow face pose), all of  a sudden when my right shoulder was externally rotated my fingers weren't even  close.

I'd been talking to a massage therapist I know and every now and then he'd give my shoulders a quick five minute massage, always telling me I "needed work."

Tonight I had a little extra time between classes, and he had some extra time, so I hopped up on his table and told him to have his way with me.

As soon as he laid hands on my shoulders he said "Girl, you're holding on to some stuff aren't you?"

Yeah, you think?

I could feel the knots being pushed along my shoulder blades, taking deep breaths as he pushed deeper into the tension to help release it.

I knew we were getting into the myofascial tissue when I started getting really queasy. Nausea is a common side effect since the underlying myofascial tissue is essentially being torn.

Again, he told me I need to take time for myself and take care of my body. Again I reminded him how much yoga I did and how many classes I taught. Again he emphasized the take time for myself part of the equation.

"How are you doing since your mom died?", he asked. Immediately my shoulders tightened up again.

"I'm fine."

"Your body doesn't lie." And he pushed deeper into my upper back, along my shoulders and down my arms.

Before I got down off the table I couldn't resist testing myself. So I twisted my arms and tested my flexibility. My fingers touched!

As I gathered my jacket to leave I practically begged him to schedule me for another session. I may in fact start stalking him and throwing myself down in front of him whenever he walks past.

Maybe I'll even take some time for myself and let my body rest. Or deal with some emotions I've been denying. But for now I plan to memorize his schedule and be conveniently available when he has openings.


  1. I think I need this rolfing! I keep all my tension and stress in my neck and shoulders! Do you feel better and less tight?

  2. Sounds amazing....where does he work...