Randy Mack is a rare breed. If his uniform of breezy Hawaiian print shirts and laid back demeanor don’t tip you off, I affirm that Randy Mack is a tried and true hippie living in a modern world. His profession, called Rolfing, involves helping people overcome chronic pain by realigning their bodies to work with earth’s gravity instead of against it. He now runs his own practice, Randy Mack Rolfing.
Skeptics, seekers, and supporters alike, I urge you to read about Randy Mack’s Rolfing practice, how he began his Rolfing journey, and how his life is better now than ever before.
Read Randy Mack’s Q&A with Center 615 below:
What is Rolfing?
Rolfing, also known as Structural Integration, is a unique and uniquely effective form of bodywork/somatic therapy. Rolfers usually follow an initial ten-session series that goes through the entire body loosening, lengthening and re-shaping the human body so that it is more upright, balanced and moves more easily. We do this by manipulating the connective tissues of the body—ligaments, tendons and especially the fascia which is the stuff that surrounds all of the cells, bundles of cells, muscles, and muscle groups. Fascia is a colloidal substance, which means it’s like a tough, fibrous taffy. Colloids change when you add or subtract energy. Think of how taffy changes when it is heated or cooled. The connective tissues react to appropriately applied pressure by lengthening, softening, and unsticking from their neighboring tissues.
The goal is to help the body become better aligned to earth’s gravity field so that its force is less destructive on our bodies. After the sessions, people feel more relaxed and energized. After the series they tend to stand taller, have more flexible and fluid movements, and experience reduced aches and pains.
What makes Rolfing controversial is that sometimes the pressure, even when applied skillfully, is intense. The connective tissue matrix is tough, really tough, so it takes a fair amount of pressure to change it. It is different from other intense bodily experiences in that when the pressure is removed, there is no discomfort whatsoever. So it is not all like pressure that causes bruising etc.
How did you start your business, Randy Mack Rolfing?
In 1979 I started a practice in the Washington, DC area. There were only two Rolfers there so they sent me a lot of clients. I was busy quickly. That was a real blessing for a newbie. Since then it’s been word of mouth and people learning about it through the media.
I’ve been Rolfing for 43 years. My start date anniversary is March 9.
Where did you discover and study Rolfing?
A mentor of mine in Miami in 1977 told me about it. He had been Rolfed in California and loved it.
Why did you decide to learn Rolfing?
I was 29 yrs old doing landscaping work at a fancy gated golf community in FL. In 1968 I had been on my way to an Ivy League law school when I became a hippie and gave that idea up. Psychologists say that people really enter adulthood at around age 28. I was feeling an archetypal need for a real vocation. I couldn’t think of anything I wanted to do. Then through some fortuitous circumstances, I happened on the Rolfing. But since I was in a low paying job and had two toddler daughters, I didn’t see how I could ever make that happen. In the next month my wife died suddenly. A week before that a woman, whose grass I mowed and with whom I had become friends, offered me all the money I’d need when I told her I wanted to be a Rolfer. Her son had benefited greatly physically and psychologically from his series the year before. What a blessing for me and my girls!
Why did you decide to have your practice out of Center 615?
When I needed a new office, a friend and former client highly recommended I look at Center 615.
What do you enjoy most about being a Rolfer?
The integration of the human body is an endlessly challenging project. It’s also fun because my clientele are really interesting and upbeat.
Why do you have a location both in Nashville and in Maryland?
In 2018, my daughter in Maryland wanted me to be around her family more. I was single, and my daughter set me up with a female doctor friend of hers who liked Rolfing. The woman who my daughter introduced me to said that if I did a session with her, she might refer clients to me so that I could spend more time in Maryland. It worked out beautifully. On our first evening, we decided to see if we could spend the rest of our lives together. I traveled to Maryland to spend four day weekends every two weeks for nine months before I moved up there. I knew what it would take to have a love that would never end; she and I have it.
Do you personally practice out of both locations, or do you have another trained Rolfer?
Just me. There’s no other Certified Rolfer within 200 miles of Nashville.
What are the pros and cons of the Randy Mack Rolfing Nashville location and the Maryland location?
More work in Nashville. More love and fun in Maryland.
Did you know Dr. Ida Rolf personally?
No. As a student I was at the Rolf Institute’s annual convention where she spoke to us for the last time. I’m glad I came along to catch part of it. She was a genius and a terrible teacher.
What is your daily regimen to stay in good physical shape?
Be smart about lifestyle choices, especially now as I’m older. Avoid self-induced problems. Love openly and laugh freely.
Where are you from?
Planet or state or genetics?
When and why did you move to Nashville?
I lived on The Farm intentional community in Summertown for 30+ years because I identified with their values and thought it would be a great place to raise my children. It was.
What song has helped you stay motivated during tough times?
Not singing Happy Birthday. I’m an overaged raver. Love that 80-90s House and some EDM. I miss Avicii.
Center 615 would like to thank Randy Mack for allowing us the opportunity to spotlight him and his Rolfing practice.
Interested in learning more about the community of diverse businesses at Center 615? Schedule your tour today and see for yourself!