Last month’s topic was Does Rolfing Structural Integration Hurt? As I mentioned there, I speak with just about every new client and acquaintance about why it shouldn’t. Usually when I have this conversation with new clients, it’s pretty quickly followed with something along the lines of “well, I have a high pain tolerance anyway, so do what you gotta do.” This is a similar, but slightly different topic, and I think it’ll be a great segue into a little bit of technical information about the process of Rolfing Austin TX. But first, a bit on our thought processes.
While I think most people understand that Rolfing Structural Integration needn’t hurt in theory, in practice we often come up against a mental construct that tells us the way to achieve major change in our bodies (or lives, or careers, or relationships, etc. etc.) is to exert ourselves more. Working harder yields greater results, right? Our experiences often support this idea – whether in school, at work, at the gym, etc. – and our culture most certainly supports that notion as well. Take a look anywhere in the media and you’ll see a bevy of messages about working hard, playing hard, always living life to the fullest, not resting, and on and on and on. See ads for 5-Hour Energy, Nike, or anything else that encourages you to never kick back and relax. Especially on the weekend. Like this one! (I especially love that it adds in the guilt — way to hook us in even more!)
Now, there are many examples where this notion breaks down – overtraining syndrome, adrenal fatigue, pulling an all-nighter to try and actually learn something, expecting quality production from someone consistently working 90+ hours a week (that one’s a nod to my previous career in investment banking!), and repetitive stress injuries to name just a few. But until you’ve experienced one of those situations, you may still believe that “more = more.”
So, I may clearly explain to clients that “pain does NOT equal gain,” but the expectation is often still there. To get significant change in the body, we must be about to work hard. Right??
Wrong. We’re going to work smart.
A Rolfer friend of mine once told me that a client described our work to him this way: “Massage is like the boy scouts, and Rolfing Austin TX is like the Special Forces.” With apologies to my many LMT friends out there, I love this. As a Rolfer, I’m constantly looking for the most efficient way to help your body move easier and feel better. That doesn’t mean I’m going to hammer away at that already-in-pain part of your body with some greater level of force (that’s what most people think Rolfing Austin TX is – a “deeper-tissue” massage). It means I’m going to make gentle changes to the organization of your entire body so that your pain will resolve itself. If we work smarter, we don’t have to work as hard. Your body will come into a place of better balance, and the pain symptoms will very often resolve.
Many, many times this has happened – at the end of a session a client expresses their surprise for how mellow our work was, and when they return for their next appointment, they casually say something like, “Now that you ask, I guess I haven’t really noticed the pain that much since our last session.” It sometimes catches them off-guard, and they almost can’t believe it’s true. Both of these things are the result of an expectation coming up against a different reality.
Holistic methods – like Rolfing – ask the whole of your body to become healthier so that symptoms can resolve. This isn’t always painful or “challenging.” We’re often more used to palliative methods that seek to fix the very-specific thing that’s wrong, and those can often (not always) be very challenging – surgery, physical therapy, pharmaceuticals, Airrosti and other, more-forceful manual methods.
In the next installment, I’ll get into a bit of a technical description about how Rolfing Austin TX works in order to explain why it doesn’t need to be among the challenging therapies and hard work we’re used to. In the meantime, I’d love to hear from you – where have you been surprised by the greater effectiveness of less effort in your life? Leave a comment below!