Rolfing, Anxiety, and Chronic Pain: Treatments that often carry permanent results


When looking for treatments that offer permanent results for Anxiety and Chronic Pain, it is Rolfing that we see gives our clients relief almost immediately. And when finished with a 10 session Rolfing treatment, a body transformation typically occurs because the body has come into proper alignment, not only lifting the head and shoulders, but the internal spirit to is lifted and a consistent sense of enlightenment is witnessed.

We have often noticed how clients coming in with chronic painful conditions also suffer from anxiety, and how both get relieved evenly and at the same time. In Rolfing®, relief from anxiety and pain are seen as side effects, while the real goal is using gravity as support for the whole body’s structure, and using improved awareness and new habits for effortless, graceful posture and movement patterns.

The Dr. Ida Rolf Institute®  has been instrumental in fascia research and finding out how exactly our treatments can have these powerful, often permanent results.

While in the past we thought it was all about bringing the fascia into better shape, now we know that most of the issues are not in the tissues, but in the nervous, hormonal, and immune systems.
Working directly on the body in different depths gives the brain clear feedback on sensations that go from very pleasant to mildly uncomfortable. In a safe setting the client often processes psychological problems through physical sensations.

Manual therapy in general has been proven to relieve anxiety, and the reduction of stress hormones has been shown in various studies. In Rolfing, the additional work with posture and movement encourages clients to change the way they face the world, using their experience of gravity as a grounding force that not only keeps them upright, but also empowers them to thrive.

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Receptors in the Skin, Muscles, and Fascia

There are many receptors that process social touch (about seven times more than to process potential danger) in our skin. Particularly Ruffini receptors process slow touch in stroking motions. Deeper layers are addressed by receptors processing stretches and muscle tone, and all these are activated by the slow strokes typical to Rolfing and other myofascial treatments.

The stimulation of all these nerve endings in a setting and by a practitioner that feel safe and welcoming has a profound effect on the hormonal system, releasing hormones that directly reduce anxiety and pain.

 Holding Space

 By providing a nonjudgmental, patient, compassionate presence the practitioner makes use of ancient response of our nervous system to allow processing stress responses and trauma. Rolfers are particularly trained in holding space

Lu’s personal experience in working with clients who have anxiety

 “I have been working with hands-on techniques for over 20 years, starting with my training in naturopathic medicine in Germany, where I am licensed as a physician. I noticed that hands-on treatments were a lot more reliable than acupuncture in relieving pain when applied slowly, with calming, but deep touch. When I started working as a Certified Rolfer I did not particularly consider working with anxiety, but I noticed that most of my chronic pain clients also struggled with anxiety and panic disorders, and that these symptoms would dissipate at the same time as the pain.”

Find out more:  has a lot more information about Rolfing in general.
Here is Lu explaining her approach in a series of short videos.
If you are in Central Florida, you can schedule Rolfing appointments with Emma at Lu’s clinic, Balance Orlando, via or by calling 407 704 8867 (staff answers seven days a week).

When Lu is not teaching at the Rolf Institute, you can also schedule with her–just ask staff when she is available. While Lu is out of town, or if you live elsewhere, you can also schedule a call with her. (Look for “20min phone call”).

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