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Why Your Insurance Probably Won’t Pay for Rolfing® Structural Integration

When I was a newly minted Rolfer™ back in 1984, the first several prospective clients who called were talking about how they just couldn’t get their heads around the fact that Blue Cross/Blue Shield had taken the stance with them that Rolfing was “merely preventive”.

I personally didn’t get this “merely preventive” stuff, either. After all, my own history and much anecdotal evidence confounded that judgement. As I began to know more of the history of science, which was sparked by my first anatomy and physiology course at Boston College, I realized:  there is a serious problem here.

There is denotation, the naming, the study of the words and techniques and parts and domains of the body’s function and the “codes” for insurance that cover each part.

And then there is connotation, the poetry and the art and associational power of those words representing pragmatic naming, the poetry and art of the way the flow of the body and its parts can go together. This is not the language of insurance.  Not so far, anyway, do we have insurance code: 112.6 Frisking.

To my mind, there is a pragmatic distinction between the two words, denotation or naming, and connotation, the language of the putting together of the denoted, the connotative language of poetry.

As long as Rolfers are talking about how the body/mind is put together, and how it can have flow and overall function without impeding itself to the point of pain and dysfunction—–this is not the language of insurance.

When would-be Rolfing denotative minds begin to talk that de-notional technical language which may or may not have to do with our techniques as in: myo-fascial release, neuro-muscular integration, deep tissue massage, “like chiropractic except using the soft tissue to line up the bones”, visceral manipulation, cranial/sacral work, blah blah” then we are in insurance territory.

This denotational stuff is a long way from where I want to get to for a client, though every now and then someone’s Rolfing is covered by insurance, and since we all pay a bunch for that insurance, well and good. (I can talka dat glenoid fossa lingo.)

However, to be forced away from our connotative practice, the poetry, the art of association of those denotative particles into the insurance world—-YIKES!.
I’m not buying the idea, and I hope you are not.


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