Have You Ever Been Rolfed?

By Dr. Philip Cordova

July 9, 2019

I’m very interested in trying out therapies and devices that patients ask about or recommend. Chiropractic is awesome, but I do recognize that there are other beneficial disciplines, therapies, and modalities that can make a real difference in how people feel and in their overall health.

I don’t feel comfortable making a recommendation or an opinion on anything I haven’t tried myself.

I may still give the “I haven’t tried it but I’ve heard good things” recommendation, but that’s not my preferred method. When one of my patients told me they were trying rolfing (structural integration) and getting a good result, I was interested.

I scheduled with Bill Green, per my patient’s advice. The homework I did prior to arriving was learning more about what I was about to experience. The ideal scenario is to go through a series of 10 visits, where each one builds on the next. I thought I would just try one session to get a better idea of how things work, but after meeting with Bill I decided to go through the 10 series.

I asked Bill some questions to help us learn more about Structural Integration (my comments in italics):

Share a little bit about your background, then how did you first hear about Rolfing (SI)?

Becoming a practitioner was a long awaited blending of my personal interests and professional strengths. I studied psychology as an undergrad. Following in my father’s footsteps I then worked as a general contractor. During that time I continued studying psychology, kinesiology, and nutrition. I later became certified as a Health and Wellness Coach. While transitioning into wellness and out of construction, I found SI. I felt as if I had found my calling and immediately began my training!

(Bill does seem uniquely suited for this work. He is very patient and has a calm demeanor that makes the whole experience very peaceful. The room you go into is unlike any room I’ve been in before. It has white walls and is minimally decorated, but the difference is not something you can see. You can definitely feel like you’re in a very peaceful space.

I didn’t even mention it at first, but after a few visits, it was clear that something was different. Bill does “cleanse” the room after each client and keeps the space peaceful by design.)

Who is a good candidate for structural integration?

Dr. Rolf believed that this work was about unlocking human potential and helping people find the freedom and support that is inherently available to all of us. It is my belief that everyone can benefit from this work.

(A book recently recommended to me is “The Body Keeps The Score,” which I think gets to the point of why rolfing would be of benefit. Everything that’s happened to you gets locked up in the soft tissue of your body. It’s rare, but we have seen patients have an emotional release after an adjustment or working on their muscles. “I don’t know what happened, but I feel so much better now” is the response after a few minutes of tears.)

Who should not do SI?

People with recent injuries or surgeries should wait 6 weeks before beginning this work. People with an active illness should also wait until they are clear of symptoms.

(I would also add people that think they’re about to get a deep tissue massage. That’s not what rolfing is for. It’s as much a mental therapy as a physical one.)

What do you think the biggest misconception is about your work?

The biggest misconception I encounter is that this work is painful. There is certainly intense sensation during sessions but never a pulling away from what is happening as one would feel with a painful sensation. My clients are active participants in their healing process and always have complete control of their experience.

(I would say it’s painful at first, but then you realize you just haven’t given yourself a lot of word choices for what you’re feeling. He’s right, it’s more of intense sensation and it’s not pleasant. However, I think the biggest difference is you don’t feel like he’s injuring you. You know that something is breaking up and being released. You don’t feel the need to run away or fight back because despite the intensity, you can stop as you need to.)

Why do you think SI isn’t more popular?

This is a big question. I think the main reason is that the premise of this work is so elementary that it is often discounted or glossed over as anything real or important. Within the human experience we have our mental aspect and our physical aspect. The link between them has historically been discounted or misunderstood in western culture. That is changing and I feel as this shift continues this work will gain popularity.

(I think chiropractic links up in this way as well. It’s so simple to explain to someone what you’re doing with a chiropractic adjustment, yet the complexity of it is often lost. Patients can feel or hear a pop, but that doesn’t mean they totally understand the purpose behind what we’re doing. It’s an ongoing educational process.)

Anything else you’d like to add?

I would just like to welcome anyone who is interested to reach out for a phone consult (719-480-2587) so I can answer their specific questions and get them on the schedule. I will run a special for anyone who mentions this newsletter. First session is $100!

(If you have any questions for me about more specifics on how this will benefit you and/or complement your chiropractic care, feel free to ask at your next visit.)

More information about Bill Green and other services available at Integrate Houston can be found at:

Dr. Philip Cordova

About the author

Dr. Philip Cordova is a chiropractor in Houston, Texas. He grew up in Phoenix, Arizona and decided to become a chiropractor after hurting his back as a teenager and getting help from chiropractic care. He is speaker on health & posture. Click Here To Read His Full Bio

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