Rolfing Virgin No More

While I was away on the yoga retreat, my teacher Chrissy recommended that I go see a person name Maya Ray to help with the muscles in my neck and back, as well as my 24/7 cracking of my neck. She told me she was a Rolfer and I was all, “Huh?” Rolfing is basically like a chiropractor session for my muscles, as opposed to your bones. Chrissy noticed that while lying in shavasana, my collarbones looked uneven, perhaps contributing to my neck pain.

I made an appointment right after I returned from Catskills for a consultation. Maya was incredibly knowledgable and looked at me and said she thought she could help. I had the means and the time, and nothing to lose, so I made an appointment for last Wednesday. I knew it would hurt and be a little uncomfortable, but it actually wasn’t as bad as I was anticipating (cue Christian Grey: the pain is in your mind).

I had to wear a bra and boy shorts for the session so she could get a good look at my alignment. I’d told her that I’d fractured two ribs as a child and she thought this might be the reason for my very slightly misaligned collarbones, since you can’t really set your ribs to heal how you want them to when you fracture or break them.

She worked on my back, neck, the muscles on top of my rib cage, and my hips. Why my hips? All this stuff is connected and if my hips are tight, it could make my back tight (which she said my entire back was tight, 100%). 

She also noticed how I breathe could be the culprit. I grew up taking voice lessons where we learned to breathe through our diaphragms and the correct way to breathe, apparently, is into all four sides of our body. People usually breathe only into the top part of our lungs, which isn’t good for our necks either.

So, her prescription was this: use therapy balls to loosen up the muscles in my back now and then, pay attention to how I’m breathing, and call her in two weeks. Rolfers usually require 10 sessions to see any improvement but for whatever reason, she’s not strict like that (probably because it’s cost prohibitive). 

It was like a more intense and painful massage that included mild movement. It was an awesome 75 minutes. I’ll likely go back for one or two sessions more as I’ve noticed some slight improvement since going last week.

I haven’t used the therapy balls as much as I should have so I have to get better about that. They’re so painful but so useful as far as tight muscles go. Have any of you tried rolfing?