How come Rolfing didn’t help my pain?

One of the biggest issues with any therapy that purports to help you is when the therapy doesn’t help you.  I hear stories from people about how Rolfing didn’t do anything for them or did only a little bit of good but wasn’t a great long term solution for their specific issues.  The big question is “why?”

The simplest answer is that Rolfing is great for loosening up tight body parts.  If your pain is a result of something being too tight and constricted, Rolfing is often a great way to loosen up the things that need to be loosened up so that better posture (i.e. balance of tensions across joints) can be achieved.  If, however, the issue is more complex than just simple tightness (a good example is pain that only comes during certain activities), Rolfing is probably not going to magically cure what ails you because you’re actually dealing with a series of compensations for weaknesses in other places of your body.

When that’s the case, the tightness is there for a reason, and loosening tight things is just going to destabilize the affected joints — and you need specially tailored exercises to help you restabilize.  Only exercise can make weak things stronger, and that’s why I’m not surprised when people don’t get 100% better with just Rolfing.

It’s why the approach at Upright Health includes corrective exercises that go for the muscle imbalances that cause your pain, once all the tightness has been addressed.


About the Author

Matt Hsu is a trainer and orthopedic massage therapist. He fought a long battle with chronic pain all over his body and won. He blends the principles he learned in his journey, empirical observations with clients, and relevant research to help others get their lives back.