Deep Tissue, or Swedish massages, which are popular – use oil as part of the treatment. Usually the person is nude, under a sheet, draped, and oil is applied and the body parts massaged.
Rolfing, on the other hand, requires the person take a shower prior to the treatment using a body cleanser devoid of oils, or moisturizers. The goal with Rolfing is to contact the skin, and be able to ‘intend’ deeper. Oils, creams, moisturizers block the Rolfers’ ability to access deeper layers of fascia/connective tissue. Subsequently, when working on someone who has applied lotion 2-3 days prior, the treatment can be more painful as the lotion has accumulated dirt and other pollutants, clogging the pores, and detracting from a meaningful session and treatment.
The attire for Rolfing is underwear – briefs and bra (women only of course). Treatment is performed on a client, then the client gets up and walks around, allowing body changes to integrate, and gravity changes to sink in. Treatment – standing and walking is repeated throughout the session. Breathing and movement cues “…foot up, foot down…” are integral to the Rolfing sessions and process of expansional balance.