What‘s that?

The belief that modalities are the source of our power, as in “I hear that craniosacral work is really good” or “What does Trigger Point work do?” is a widespread fallacy.  In our market economy, many people try to sell you their product and convince you that you need it.  The underlying social belief is this; the only thing worth having is what you don’t yet have.  ~David Lauterstein, The Deep Massage Book.

Personally, I think every modality which is Trademarked is a marketing tool.  It’s a system somebody built up and somebody is making money by certifying people in that particular system.  Certification system is good to maintain the quality of practitioners, while it doesn’t mean taking a weekend workshop or two allows a practitioner to be fluent in that modality.

Here is my personal experiences with some of them.

Reiki is not a Massage

I am Reiki II certified, just because my friend is a Reiki master and I wanted to know how it worked.   Here is what I know.

  • Reiki was founded by a Japanese man, but personally I don’t call it a Japanese technique, because in my old country, you don’t have to be certified to give Ki (energy, Qi, prana)  healing.  It’s about who you are and how you interact with others energetically.
  • One DOES NOT have to be a licensed massage therapist to practice Reiki.  One just has to be certified.
  • You remain fully clothed.
  • Some practitioners hover their hands over you without touching, others lay hands directly on your body.  It’s just a matter of personal style. (They are not allowed to manupulate soft tissue, though. That’s for LMT.)  If you are not comfortable being touched, you should inform the practitioner.  The effect is not supposed to be different.
  • Some feel heat and other sensation, others don’t feel anything.  Once in a while, one has a dramatic emotional reaction, such as crying.  You usually feel relaxed after a session.
  • If you have an issue with being touched and don’t like to get a massage, Reiki might be the modality for you.  Ultimately, if it works for you, it is the best modality for you.

What’s Rolfing?

It’s the Big Mama of Stuctural Integration.  You need to be certified by Rolf Institute of Structural Integration to call yourself Rolfer.  I asked a Rolfing practitioner if one needs to be a licensed massage therapist to practice Rolfing.   According to her, who is NYS licensed massage therapist, it depends on the State’s requirement and many Rolfers are not licensed massage therapist.  In other words, Rolfing falls into a gray area of massage legality.
I don’t Rolf because I am not trained nor certified by Rolfing Institute.  That’s clear.
I’ve never had Rolfing session but I took a two day continuing ed workshop designed for LMT to understand what Rolfing was about.  Rolfing is structured to have 10 progressive sessions in series.  We practiced various techniques on each other.

  • Basically the technique they employ is myofascial release, in which I am trained.
  • They do postal assessment and try to correct the imbalance they see in your body.
  • I felt pretty awesome for the first half of the series.
  • I volunteered as a model for the 6th session, and it was super intense.
  • You might have some emotional reaction.

If you are interested in Rolfing in NYC, this is the practitioner I got a sample session.  She was very gentle and it didn’t hurt at all.


What’s the difference between Rolfing and KMI?

KMI does not stand for Kinder Morgan Inc. here.  KMI (aka Anatomy Trains)  is another Structural Integration modality.  It’s developed by somebody who studied with Rolf.  I think it’s the same concept with Rolfing.  I’ve never had an official series of sessions.  I had one sample session and a couple of short demonstration.  It was pretty awesome.  One KMI practitioner demonstrated psoas release on me and he was very gentle.   That’s all I know.