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Frederick Rolfing
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Emily D. Gordon
Certified Advanced Rolfer™
(240) 575-0454

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Emily working on client.Doesn't it hurt a lot?

My clients remark that Rolfing "got a bad rap" for being painful. In the last 15 years, our approach has become more precise, and less painful. You may hear that "gentle Rolfing doesn't work", this is also a misconception.

I have a reputation as one of the more "painless" Rolfers. Precision, and working WITH my clients, is the key.

Can I use my health insurance, FSA or HSA?

Depending on your insurance, Rolfing can be billed as manual or myofascial therapy. Talk to your doctor about a referral. Most osteopaths, chiropractors, sports medicine doctors, and natural health practicioners know about Rolfing. If not, send them to www.rolf.org and www.fasciaresearch.com.

I cannot take direct insurance payment, but I can write a receipt for you to get reimbursed. In most cases, you can use an HSA or FSA for anything health-related. I don't have staff, or time, to deal with paperwork.

Do I have to do all 10 sessions? Can't I just have one appointment and you can fix my problem?

"Problems" tend to have systematic causes. Additionally, a physical problem may express itself in one place, but have its cause in another.

If your shoulder hurts because your hips are uneven, working on your shoulder exclusively, is a waste of time and money.

I do specific interventions for specific problems in the context of each session. Some people just need a few sessions, for others, the problem isn't so easy to unravel.

Classical Western Medicine tends to focus on symptomatic treatment to make pain, and complaining patients, go away. The systematic progression of Rolfing is designed to help the whole organism function better. The problem may in fact not go away, but the overall function may be so improved that the "problem" no longer has such an effect.

Philosophically, Rolfers are more interested in the total wellness of a person, rather than any specific dis-ease. We like to live in the solution, not in the problem.

Yes, it's work - but isn't anything worth having worth working for?

Why do people want to get Rolfing Structural Integration?

Surely there is no greater beauty or luxury than to stand effortlessly upright and move with grace?

The number one reason is usually postural. Something isn't working, there are problems and pain.

It doesn't matter how many times you tell yourself (or how many times your mom tells you!) to stand up straight, if your body structure cannot support you in that posture. Structural integration helps your body to rest more effortlessly in an efficient posture by reorganizing the myofascial structure itself. It doesn't matter how much you spend on your tan or your nails and hair, if you do not have healthy posture, your impression is still not as good as it could be.

Another reason is to find a solution for chronic pain. There are many things Rolfers can do for back pain, carpal tunnel, plantar fasciitis, shinsplints, hip pain, neck pain and whiplash and other problems, but as one practicioner says, we don't stop there.

Often the body's structure has set it up for a certain pain or problem, and without addressing the overall situation, this problem will either return, or migrate to another part of the body. A good example is the chronic shoulder pain of many desk and computer jockeys.

Treating the trigger points on the back of the scapula and skull may feel good and provide temporary relief, but until the tightness or imbalance in the the shoulder girdle, chest and neck is resolved, the pain will keep returning. This is the shortcoming of most massage and physiotherapy: it is only symptomatic and does not address the cause of the problem. As a former massage therapist, I know the frustration. This is why I became a Rolfer.

People also come for help recovering from injuries. Scar tissue becomes tighter over time, and can cause patterns of compensation and contraction throughout the body. Broken bones, sprains and falls, whether we seek treatment at the time or not, leave impressions in the body. If you are under a doctor's treatment, please talk to your doctor before you seek Rolfing sessions. I am always available to talk to your doctor and personally, or even pay a visit and demonstrate what I am doing for them.

Are you German or American?

Yes, I do get asked this question ... the answer is neither, I'm from Texas. ;-)

While my husband worked for the Army, we lived near Grafenwoehr. I am American, born and raised in Texas. My husband and I lived in Germany for six years while he worked for the Army there. 

How long have you been doing bodywork?

In 2000, I started massage school in Austin, Texas. I continued when I moved to Indiana to be with my husband, and passed the National Therapeutic Massage Board exam shortly before we left for Germany in May 2002.

In Germany, I discovered that I could enter training to be a Rolfer in Munich, was accepted and became certified by the European RolfingŪ Association in May 2006.

I am continued my training in visceral manipulation and osteopathy with the Munchner Gruppe (Dr Peter Schwind & Christoph Sommer). In December 2006 I attended their seminar with Dr. Alain Croibier on whiplash, trauma, and manipulation of cranial nerves. I got to attend several other classes with them, the last in November 2007.

I've since returned to Europe a few times, to enjoy classes with great teachers like Peter Schwind and other colleagues in Rolfing & Osteopathy, and to attend and volunteer at Fascia Research Congress events.

The Fascia Research Congress is a meeting of the minds between the bodyworker clinician and the laboratory scientist and researcher has been tremendously fruitful for everyone involved. I volunteered at the most recent Congress, which was in Reston, Va., last Fall.

How long have you been in Frederick?

We've been here since 2008, and have been enjoying getting to know Frederick and the Sharpsburg/Antietam areas. Fall is wonderful, and it's been great to see old friends again, and make some wonderful new ones.

Isn't it expensive?

The question isn't whether the work is worth it, but whether your health & well-being is worth it.

Imagine "feeling like a million bucks", for about one tenth of that!

It works.

Please don't expect any manual therapy to substitute for needed medical intervention.

Truly holistic medicine means that the most effective, conservative interventions possible are all considered.