Your body is a remarkably resilient structure. But injuries and stress can cause pain that resists traditional treatment. will help restore order to your body, assist in easing any pain you have—and even treat conditions you thought were untreatable. Athletes use Rolfing for nontraditional results to help them gain an additional edge in their performance, and to shorten their recovery time from injuries.
What is Rolfing?
olfing® focuses on bringing order to your body’s structure so that it’s structurally integrated and aligned with gravity. Through a series of 10 one-hour sessions*(see note below), the soft tissue (muscles, tendons and fascia) of the body is remolded into a looser and straighter shape. This procedure of sculpturing is a slow, firm manipulation of the soft tissue. As pressure is applied to the tissue, the body releases tension as it relaxes.
Each session focuses on specific goals and areas of the body. These sessions are cumulative, as each session builds on the results of the previous session. As the body is reordered, so are its movement patterns. New, more efficient habits enhance the structural changes, preventing the likelihood of a re-injury or the return of old tension.
Owen fixed my posture. I thought I was standing up straight, but after years of chronic back pain from a congenital spinal defect, several car accidents, and bad posture habits, I was actually leaning back, walking duck-footed—and throwing my body out of alignment with every step. After just a few sessions with Owen, he taught me to walk and run correctly. He released all the old tension, and I took minutes off my running time. My lower-back pain is gone, and my knees and hips stopped aching after running.
Theresa Renner, 37
Releasing stress in the body
Most often, the need for Rolfing is stress-related. It may be due to stress resulting from an accident, athletics or repetitive motion; or it may be the psychological stress that we all endure. For example, an old childhood injury may be compounded by a sports injury and then accentuated by a minor auto accident. Six months after the auto accident, in spite of all that has been done to get well, pain still lingers.
Many therapies treat recent conditions with success, but a chronic condition may actually underline the most recent injury. To relieve the pain of the recent injury, the chronic tension needs to be released. When your body is tight, and it experiences one too many traumas, it no longer has any resilience. Simply put, even the healthiest body will reach a place where there is no more room for stress. Your body will remain tense until the older trauma is released as well as the more recent trauma. Rolfing addresses these long-held traumas as well as the more recent traumas.
Rolfing transforms the body through slow, precise release of chronic stress.
Keep informed about Rolfing and what's happening with Owen Marcus's practice
The Best Rolfing in the news and on TV
The Oprah Winfrey Show devoted a section of their program to Rolfing. The million people who have been Rolfed, until now, have driven the growth of Rolfing’s popularity. It was only a matter of time before Rolfing became main stream. Oprah’s show will likely be a major contributing factor. Oprah is known for investigating and scouting relatively undiscovered phenomenon that can help people. Oprah´s allure is base on her ability to discover the next beneficial wave. Vogue magazine is also touting the benefits of Rolfing.
Not only did Dateline NBC do a story on Leon Fleisher so did the The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal write about the success of Nathaniel Kahn’s documentary Two Hands. The film is about classical pianist Leon Fleisher return to performing. Fleisher used Rolfing as one of his therapies to recover from extreme focal dystonia. [Here is a video of from Dateline NBC of Fleisher describing his Rolfing.]
Good Morning Spokane did a segment on mine pilot study on Rolfing and cellulite.
The New York Times article on Rolfing speaks to the growing trend beyond just fixing problems to enhancing performance. As the former Rolfer for The Arizona Ballet Dance Company and for professional athletes I can attest to Rolfing’s ability to take an athlete to a new place. The NBC Today Show had one of my old friends on their show explaining why Rolfing is growing in popularity. NPR did an excellent story explaining Rolfing’s resurging popularity. As always we need more clinical research explaining why Rolfing gets the results that clients report.
Then there is the Sports Illustrated article about Jake Plummer former quarterback for the Phoenix Cardinals and the Denver Bronco’s commenting on his Rolfing SI experience with me here in little old Sandpoint, ID. Even Elle magazine is righting about Rolfing. This US News magazine article speaks about the growing body of research on Rolfing. One of the best articles on fascia, the tissue we work on as Rolfers is this Runner’s World article.
Then there is Andrew Weil, MD, the father of holistic medicine speaking about Rolfing. Many years ago, Andy worked with us on our Scottsdale Institute for Health and Medicine. From day one, he’s been a fan of what Rolfing can do for a client.
The structure of the Rolfing series
Basic Rolfing usually consists of 10 sessions performed between twice a week to once per month. After an integration period, which may be six months to a year, clients often return for a short series of advanced Rolfing. One-session tune-ups are conducted to alleviate new problems.
Please Note: No longer Practicing
After 40+ amazing years of helping thousands of clients in Arizona at my clinic then in Idaho, I am focusing on my new passion, helping men. EVRYMAN, a B Corp committed to bringing emotional wellness to men around the world is now a growing community of men.
Much of what I learned about the body and our emotional physiology is woven into EVRYMAN. Through our groups, courses, and content, men are transforming their lives and relationships.
Videos on Rolfing
Here I am explaining Rolfing in an interview with Lindy Lewis.
My external life has changed as well
Owen Marcus and his approach to Rolfing has had transformational affect for me. For years I’ve felt a niggling that all the reading, meditating, coaching and spiritualizing I’d been doing wasn’t getting me very far. Unless I could re-route the old patterns in the body I wasn’t going to really let go of the power of the mind.
My Rolfing experience proved my suspicions to be true. I feel like my body is finally catching up to my mind and I’m actually living and experiencing a true synchronicity between mind and body awareness. And as my internal life changes, my external life has changed as well – all for the better.
Owen brings his certainty and expertise to the Rolfing table, combining it with his compassionate and wise bedside manner. He embodies the expression ‘capable hands’ as a Rolfer and as a human being.
I can walk and hike without pain
Injuries from a motorcycle accident more than 30 years ago and a great deal of stress made whole body tight to the point that walking was painful. After being Rolfed by Owen, who also taught a new way of walking, I can walk and hike without pain, and my whole body is more relaxed.
I didn’t have a problem
I have problems with my neck. Last year  I got Rolfed one time, and I didn’t have a problem the whole year.
I can now move with a freedom I have not known since my early youth
I was Rolfed one and a half years ago at age 61. I am physically active but had accumulated two chronic pains that had been with me for 25 years. There was pain in the back of my neck and in one hip, all the time. Both became worse when I played hard. Muscle relaxants and or chiropractic treatments provided only temporary relief. Acupuncture felt good but didn’t get to the core of the issues, especially the hip. In addition and of course related, I had very tight legs and a locked up pelvis. Funny thing, I had always though my hard athletic body was a big plus. It turns out that hardness does not equal strength and my hardness came with both physical cost (pain) and emotional cost (pain).
Rolfing with Owen Marcus changed my life for the better. The chronic pains are now gone 95% of the time. They come back like a reminder when I over work or play too hard. The miracle is my body self heals in a day or two. My body is now loose enough to take care of itself.
I can now move with a freedom I have not known since my early youth. There is less effort and more flow. It is like swimming in air! I ski better with less work and greater joy.
The bonus is that people relate to me in a softer way. Instead of me encountering them with a body that appeared to be poised for attack I appear to be and I am more relaxed. People are more receptive to me.
Recommend Owen without reservation.
As a physician who works with patients who present with chronic, recurrent pain problems such as arthritis, chronic fatigue syndrome and others, I found his work helpful personally and professionally. I recommend Owen without reservation.
I surprised myself as to what I am actually able to physically accomplish
For the first 40 years of my life I was physically able to run fast, jump, and do any lifting that I needed to do. I must say that I have often accomplished the latter activity in particular with a fair amount of unconsciousness over the years. Since I was thirty, I have been a teacher in a private school system, but still active as a gardener and a landscaper at home, and professionally.
Once I started experiencing pain I took greater care in how I moved, went to various kinds of chiropractors, acupuncturists, massage therapists and movement specialists. I knew about Rolfing but did not try it until I was about 50. By then I was generally in constant pain and my movement was limited by two herniated lumbar discs and sciatica.
I finally chose to be Rolfed on a regular basis for a while by Owen Marcus, which I continue today, three years later, on a periodic basis. I feel twenty years younger, and am able to do many of the activities that I love to do, especially in the garden. I have sometimes surprised myself as to what I am actually able to physically accomplish.
Through Rolfing I deepened my understanding of how the emotions affect the physical body. Besides being able to move without pain, I have more energy, strength and move differently. My experience of being Rolfed has been an integral part of a new experience of life and an approach to it that I feel is positive and invigorating. I am extremely grateful for the experience.
Recover from a 10-year dance with chronic pain
Owen, through Rolfing, helped me recover from a 10-year dance with chronic pain, the result of multiple abdominal surgeries and intestinal dysfunction. I had tried numerous other Western medical and alternative therapies and none ever approached the lasting effectiveness of Rolfing. It felt like blood flowed again to muscles that usually just ached. I have wholeheartedly recommended Owen as an expert and caring practitioner to many of my friends.
I recommend him to anyone
Owen Marcus is the Rolfer’s Rolfer. His techniques and skills are the best. He has treated me for five years and literally has changed my life. I recommend him to anyone.
Rolfing that healed my neck
After neck surgery and therapy, it was only Rolfing that healed my neck.
Change in short order
His ability to effect significant change in short order is, to say the least, impressive. I highly recommend Owen to anyone.
I’m now hooked on Rolfing
Rolfing enabled me to get back in shape.
Chronic hip pain was making it difficult to ski and play other sports. Owen’s Rolfing enabled me to get back in shape.
Restore my balance and stamina
Rolfing helped me regain my balance physically, as well as mentally, after multiple foot and ankle surgeries. The psychological impact of losing my active lifestyle was equally as bad as losing the physical activity because of pain and imbalance. As a consequence of Rolfing, a lifetime of stress melted away, as Owen helped restore my balance and stamina.
Giving me back my flexibility
Years of sporting activities, injuries and a stressful career were having an impact on my physical mobility. Rolfing helped bring my body structure back into alignment while giving me back my flexibility.
Owen's techniques and skills are individually-tailored to treat a variety of disorders. He offers excellent therapeutic manipulations, exercises and advice that make a noticeable difference. I cannot recommend Rolfing with Owen's abilities enough. He is a wonderful community resource who provides outstanding services for chronic health difficulties
What amount of money would anyone pay to learn that?
I first went to see Owen Marcus because I was suffering acute pain in the heel of my right foot. This was my first time I had gone to a Rolfer. I went on the suggestion of a friend.
I learned several things at my first visit, things that have helped me improve my life. I'll share two of
First, the intense pain I felt in my foot did not originate from my foot. After nearly two hours of consultation and treatment, Owen had me relearning to walk. Due to being overweight, I had altered my gait so that it was putting undue stress upon my heel. More importantly, I had lost the sense of "natural walking", that is, allowing gravity to move me forward, rather than willing my body to do something it was really not suited to do. After leaving his office, each day for the next several weeks, I consciously "re-taught" myself to walk in a more natural and less harmful (to my heel) way. That was a joy. It was easier to move around, much easier to get from A to B, which reminded me of all kinds of other things in life that I unconsciously had been making more difficult for myself. Minimum effort, maximum efficiency, was still a law that could work for me in a simple, practical way.
The treatment of my heel (the presenting problem) led to physical treatment of my entire body, with the acute realization that I felt pain in nearly every area that was touched. Yet, I observed, by the end of the course of treatment that day, that what I felt as "pain" an hour before now I felt as simply "pressure".
What I realized was that the pain was not from the pressure applied by Dr. Marcus, but was a direct result of my tightness, or resistance. I vowed that I would do everything in my power to let go of my resistance, because I knew that Owen was not "hurting" me, that I was "feeling pain" due to my own resistance, or fear.
Subsequent (two or three) appointments bore that out. By retraining myself to experience "pain" as simple release, and then "pleasure", I actually came to enjoy the pressure applied throughout my body at our final appointment, accepting the treatment and experiencing no pain at all.
Therefore, my second lesson was that I was responsible for creating--not only through the movement of my body in unnatural walking but in how I held my body through tension or fear--the discomfort and pain that I would experience in my daily life.
It is difficult to adequately express the importance of this discovery in my daily life. I know now to relax, to allow my breath and my own thoughts to assist me in achieving maximum health and a life free of pain. Any healer that can use his/her art and skill to bring relief of pain and greater health to a client is a healer worth seeing. But one who brings to the client ways that the client can heal him/herself is invaluable. Owen Marcus as a healer is invaluable.
What amount of money would anyone pay to learn that? And the method of learning, with Owen's firm, reassuring hands and voice, allowed me to experience the truth of that lesson in dramatic fashion, with just three or four appointments.
I look forward to revisiting Dr. Marcus when I return to Sandpoint, setting up an appointment when I am NOT in pain, in order to learn where and how I am holding tension (fear) in my body, releasing that, in order to head off pain, illness, disease before it even has a chance to locate somewhere in my physical being.
After an automobile accident
After an automobile accident, I had a tremendous amount of pain in my neck and back. Medication and chiropractic sessions were not handling the problem. After one session with Owen, I immediately felt relief.
For more client testimonials go here.