Client Testimonials

With recent changes to pain management laws, many physicians are looking to alternative methods. I myself was skeptical about Rolfing and cold laser therapy until I saw James Schwartz work on a post-operative patient. This patient had a total knee replacement and was on post- op day #9 when she saw James. He used a combination of Rolfing techniques and cold laser therapy on her and by the end of the session she was able to lift her leg without pain. The effects have lasted throughout her entire recovery period. She progressed much faster than her team of physician and therapists expected.  Physicians are often scientists at heart, so would then wonder at the accuracy of these results.  I have no data other than personal observation.  I can say that the patient involved is very exacting and would not hesitate to disclose her full experience. This patient is after all my mother.  I truly believe that with Rolfing, cold laser therapy as well as physical therapy and her own hard work, she will be walking without pain once again.

Dr. Melissa Tuck White


I’ve been working with James for about seven years.  I say, “working with,” because James knows how to get my body to cooperate, letting go of long-ingrained and destructive patterns. He’s made it possible for me to make great strides in my workouts, and to get a lot more out of life.  James possesses comprehensive knowledge of muscles, ligaments, bones and nerves, and how they interact and affect each other — a rare trait in a bodywork practitioner.  He’s a gentleman and a scholar as well — never before have I had such erudite conversations while stripped to my underwear.  My work with James is featured in a section on Rolfing Structural Integration in my new book, Crooked: Outwitting the Back Pain Industry and Getting on the Road to Recovery, published in May 2017.

Cathryn Ramin


When I was 21, I had a spinal fusion surgery to correct my severe scoliosis. Though the surgery greatly reduced my back pain and dramatically straightened my spine, I still had residual nerve and muscular discomfort, which was sometimes quite intense. I had not considered anything “alternative” like Rolfing to relieve my symptoms, but after spending an entire weekend in pain from a pinched nerve, I decided to take a friend’s advice and reach out to James. When I called him, he took the time to explain his work and shared successful examples of working with people with scoliosis and spinal fusions. The phone call encouraged me to at least try Rolfing; the positive effects are what keep me coming back to see James on a regular basis.

By the end of my first session, my body had relaxed in a way that I did not know was possible. The bound up knots and resulting pinched nerves had been released and I was left feeling limber and with a level of comfort and sense of normalcy that I had long forgotten. Unlike massage, which would alleviate my symptoms for no more than a day, I was pleased to find the results of Rolfing longer lasting. I have been regularly seeing James for over two years and am continually impressed by his skill, passion for his work, and professionalism. I now have a greater awareness of my back, which allows me to adjust my posture and behavior in between visits.

I would recommend James’ work to anyone with scoliosis or after surgery. Combining the two has allowed me to lead the active and pain free life that I want.

Jessie Rountree


I stumbled upon James Schwartz quite literally by accident.  I had been ambivalent about driving out to Northern California this month, but I decided that I would use the trip to get some craniosacral therapy and some Rolfing to deal with several stubborn, old traumas. Well, I got here and promptly made appointments with a favorite craniosacral therapist in San Francisco, but I never got around to getting a Rolfing tune-up, even though the cranial work didn’t really resolve the problems I was having.  But then I got into a little fender bender that reactivated and intensified the discomfort in my neck.  I couldn’t sleep, I couldn’t find my center, and I was not “myself” for about two days.  On the third morning, I searched for Rolfers nearby and found James and I was lucky enough to be able to see him that day. After my session, the distress was about 80% gone, and I decided to change my plans in order to get another session 2 days later, after which not only was the pain gone, but I felt much better in my body than I had in the previous two years since my last car accident (and bike accident).

Overjoyed, I decided to stick around into the next week to do two more sessions.  Now, I truly feel amazing, with considerable head pain and pressure gone, with more fluidity through my posture, and several other positive results from an increased well being in my gut to reduced tension in my lower body.  Truly I am much improved, not just from my latest wreck, but from my life. The car accident turned out to be quite a blessing in disguise (though I haven’t seen the car repair bill yet!).

I have been to more than a half dozen Rolfers and countless other bodyworkers over the years.  James’s particular style just clicked with me, and I got far more out of his work than I have with any other work I have had.  He is quite direct, no-nonsense, and very efficient.  Rolfers are not known for “pussyfooting around,” but it turns out there are degrees, and James’ approach is the most direct (and effective) I have experienced.

David Goodman


I had been seeing James regularly for 3 years for everything from tennis elbow to numbness in my hands and plantar fasciitis with great success when one day he discovered a hard lump, deep in my belly and suggested that given the location, I should have it checked out by my doctor, who sent me for an immediate CT scan which revealed aortic and iliac aneurisms which fortunately were not in imminent danger of bursting. I decided to have the surgery soon after though and spent a week in the hospital recovering. I came out feeling very tired and very protective about my belly and the sutures – the last thing I wanted to have anyone touch it much less work there.

But my friend, who had originally referred me to James had other ideas. He told me he was taking me in to see James the day after I got out. James worked very gently on the area of the surgery which allowed me to lengthen my belly without fear and I felt much of the stress and exhaustion of the surgery melt away. He also released the cramping around my colon which completely relieved the painful post-surgery constipation within hours…

So, I highly recommend James’ work: my tennis game and surfing are better and pain free, not to mention I am still alive (a burst aneurism can just ruin your whole day…).

Clark Soave


A childhood history of violence and psychological warfare left me with a long term case of PTSD and at the age of 45 my body had developed long term patterns of hyper vigilance that left me with chronic neck and shoulder pain.  As an avid outdoors person I had also taken a few falls skiing and hiking that left me with injuries that physical therapy could not touch.

I was tenacious and fortunate enough in my search to find James and from my very first sessions I had high impact results. I realized how much my body was always braced for the worst. After Rolfing, I feel grounded versus bound to the earth, and when all of my trapped life force began to be released it was the most extraordinary feeling of homecoming.  My dreams were cathartic and old stories held in my body were released. I felt so relaxed and happy in my body it makes me want to dance! I always leave with a sense of profound joy and rest rising up through my body and my sleep and mood are greatly improved. James’ work is my best RX for  anti-aging.  Everyone comments on how beautiful I look after a session. I have traveled the world and have had many different types of body work but he is among the top five healers I have ever worked with. This work has truly been life changing for me.
K. Wilson


I first contacted James because back pain due to chronic stress was increasingly hampering my ability to have a healthy, active life.  From my first visit James treated me holistically; our conversation as he worked on my body gave me insights into my life experience so I have been healed in a deeper way than just my structural body. My family experience growing up was many things, but fun was not one of them and I realized that the stance I had adopted in my life to grind my way through this had a lot to do with the pain in my body. James mentioned that people often came in looking like they embodied where they had come from and what they had been through more than who they were in the present. That seemed very true and it felt like Rolfing was just what I needed to break through some of these old holding patterns but I was not looking forward to dealing with the dark feelings I knew were going to come up. What really surprised me in the first sessions was that instead of sadness and grief, what kept coming up was laughter and lightness in my body. This is not to say that everything resolved in a few sessions because some of this is deeply ingrained in me but each session seemed to reinforce a sense of fun and delight rather than seriousness and responsibility. I have seen James for many sessions spread out over 4 years now, and I still have times when my body hurts but it is actually hard to remember the person I was and the constant pain I was in when I started this process.  At first it took awhile to adjust to my “new” body after the Rolfing sessions – now it just feels like coming home…

A. Brown


This work has been life-changing for me – when I first started getting Rolfed 10 years ago on my daughter’s suggestion, I had constant pain and a lot of concerns over the progression of my scoliosis, which is somewhat severe. My chronic pain went away within the first few sessions and the flareups I would have from time to time have gotten much less frequent and less painful and do not last very long. Most of the time now I am in no pain at all. I went to see a spinal specialist recently and he painted a dire picture of what my future could be but I just didn’t buy into it because I have seen that with Rolfing and the exercises I learned in physical therapy I have more control than I have ever had over my physical well-being.

Given the extent of my scoliosis, I still have to deal with weird things that seem to malfunction for no obvious reason but we seem to be able to resolve them more and more easily. Another bonus is that I look better – my wife always knows when I have been to see James because I look so much taller…

Ted Jarvis


I have had work from many Rolfers since I was trained as a Rolfer 37 years ago by Dr. Rolf – I have seen James for years when my body needs work because I really appreciate the way he combines the best of the work as Dr. Rolf taught it with newer techniques like Visceral Manipulation and in particular nerve work which has been especially helpful for me. I have referred many people to him for a whole range of issues because I have total confidence in his skills and experience. When he works on me, I feel taken care of on all levels…

Veronique Raskin


I have been in physical pain most of my adult life. I had been getting massages for years but the effect would only hold for a day or two at the most and the pain would come right back. Then I started working with James. It only took a couple of sessions for the changes to appear. It was as if he was able to unlock whatever was clamped down on the nerves and allow my body to regain some inner freedom. First and foremost for me was the neck. That seemed to be where all the pain started. From there it moved down my shoulder and I had a hard time turning, lifting and sleeping. I can now turn my neck from side to side. I sleep more soundly. My jaw isn’t always aching. What is particularly satisfying is how the changes stick. Instead of reverting back after a few days, I continue to be able to hold onto the adjustment for longer and longer periods of time. This has allowed me to get stronger which also helps to keep the pain at bay. James is a gifted practitioner who has an extraordinary sense of how to move within the deeper layers of the body.

K. Sloan


Just a quick note James to tell you how grateful I am for your help with my chronic plantar fasciitis. Before I came to you I went to Kaiser and they gave me exercises; I went to a podiatrist who told me the same thing; I borrowed a boot that I wore to bed for a couple of weeks; I purchased a pair of very expensive shoes that greatly challenged my sense of fashion (you can see how desperate I was…) – none of these gave me any relief. I saw you for one session and although it was quite tender for the rest of that day, by the next day it was gone – it was instant relief that has lasted for a year. Now when my heel starts acting up I head off the pain at the pass by doing a few simple stretches. I cannot thank you enough! Please feel free to pass my name on to any and all of your more skeptical patients – I would be more than happy to speak to them…

Marty Wickenheiser


Three years ago, after working as an esthetician for 15 years, I was forced to go on disability. My sciatica had become completely debilitating. My hip was stuck way out of alignment, my pelvis was locked and my lumbar curve was flattened out. Not only was I in excruciating pain, but I was deformed as well. I thought I would not be able to work in my profession again. I went to a chiropractor weekly for several months which helped a little.

A friend suggested Rolfing but I was concerned that it would be painful, but I was desperate. Calling James was the best thing I ever did – yes, there’s a little discomfort, but the relief that followed was immediate and profound. He has such a compassionate way about him, he made me feel completely safe. I have definitely had massages that did less and hurt more.

I started to feel better right away, but we had a breakthrough after about 5 sessions; that one session relieved so much of the acute pain that had me all twisted in knots that it allowed me to go off of disability. I still see him every couple of months, but my worst day now would have been my best day then. I feel like James gave me my life back.

Michelle Smith


As a fellow Rolfer who is quite picky about who I let work on me, James was my go-to Rolfer when I lived in San Francisco. I had chronic sacro-iliac pain and through his years of expertise of the body, ability to hold emotional stories that wanted to express themselves & his incredible nerve work, I am so happy to say that my SI is still singing about a year after receiving a series of sessions from James!

I miss him dearly & often wish I could snap my fingers and be transported from my new home on the east coast to his office. He is one of the kindest people I’ve ever met, & is able to hold so much space for healing that just being around him makes me feel better! Don’t wait, get a session with James…your life will not be the same.

Rachel Felson


I injured my back at the age of 19 (I am 60 now) and x rays showed a protruding disc at L4-5. I did heavy physical work (commercial fisherman and carpenter in Alaska) for many years after with ongoing pain and my back would go into major spasm periodically leaving me barely able to function for several days. I did get some relief from chiropractors (I have probably seen 15 different ones). A colleague tried Rolfing and I was impressed by the results he got so I decided to try it. That was 3 years and 100 sessions ago. When I first came I walked like a duck and had chronic problems with my knees and gastric reflux caused by a hiatal hernia. Both of these are much better from James’ work. My back is infinitely more relaxed and my spasms are far less frequent and less severe. My wife continually comments on my improved posture.
Rolfing has not been a miracle cure for any of these problems (I still come about every two weeks) but it has helped far more than anything else I have tried. Rolfing also combines well with the Pilates and stretching I do. It has dramatically improved my quality of life and I can go skiing and hiking without paying for it for days like I used to. In short, after being Rolfed, I feel better and function better (physically and mentally). To not be Rolfed would be an irrational choice for me.

Bill M.


James has helped me to feel alive in my body.  After playing Rugby for years, I have numerous dings that I learned to live with.  After only a few sessions with James, I started to realize how those dings had accumulated.  Under his expert care, I feel better, stand taller and have come to find the pure pleasure of being in my body.

Steve Monahan


I have seen James about 90 times in the last 20 years. I needed a lot of work because I have a serious scoliosis and over the years have had several serious work injuries including a sharp blow with a metal bar to my head. From the first session, Rolfing has been a godsend for me. I immediately stood much straighter and felt dramatic relief from the constant pain I have always felt in my back. I continued to do better for many years until a car accident really set me back several years ago, forcing me into early retirement as I could barely function, much less work. I was in constant pain and suffered from headaches and brain fog and exhaustion. But I wasn’t willing to give up and finally found a chiropractor who was able to get some movement in my neck and then I decided to try Rolfing again. In the last year, we have made a great deal of progress and my headaches are much better – sometimes I almost feel normal again. My chiropractor took xrays this week and compared them to ones we took a year ago and found a 6 degree change in my upper cervical vertebrae. He said that given the severity of the fixations in my neck when he first saw me, he would never have guessed it could change that much and felt it would not have without the combination of Rolfing and chiropractic work. I still have a ways to go but it feels so good to have hope again – I can’t imagine what my life would be like if I hadn’t found Rolfing. I tell everyone I know about it…

Real Leduc


As a fellow Rolfing Practitioner, I know James as both a colleague and a client.  Having had about 15 sessions with James, I have made progress in the way I walk and stand from years of soccer and other athletic endeavors.  His method is refined over 25 years of experience, and I always leave feeling better balanced and upright. I place James amongst the top Rolfing practitioners I enjoy getting work from.  Now if we could just get him to teach!

Greg Brynelson


My daughter developed Osgood Schlatter Syndrome when she was 11 years old, which is not uncommon in children who grow tall rapidly as she did.  She had to drop out of lacrosse and soccer from the intense pain she felt while running.  Her traditional doctor told us she would just have to “lay off and not run for 12 weeks” and ordered and an x-ray.  After 12 weeks she was no better.  So I brought her to see James Schwartz.  Besides being truly warm and engaging he is a master Rolfer.  Arianna had 4 or 5 sessions with James with dramatic results.  The sessions were a little uncomfortable for her, but not painful.  Soon she was running and playing soccer again pain free.  I was so impressed that I had James work on my own issues with my hamstrings and lower back.  Being a yoga instructor, I use my body for my work and cannot afford to be sidelined.  James again was masterful, working into my tissues with deep knowledge and a healing touch.  The results have been dramatic. I cannot recommend him enough!

Jean Johnson, yoga instructor


“When patients ask whether Rolfing would be good for them, I reply that it depends on the practitioner. If the Rolfer has the vision to see the body as it is, the hands to feel into the blocks, the heart to truly work deeply, and the reflection to honestly measure the results, I would definitely say yes. James Schwartz has it all, the vision, the hands, the heart and the reflection. Add to that a wealth of experience and a hunger to keep learning and one can hardly ask for more.”

Steven L. Katz, D.C., Chiropractic Orthopedist


Rolfing has taken at least 10 years off my legs. When I started working with James 7 years ago I was constantly sore and tight and struggled with hamstring, calf and foot problems. Right from the first session, I felt a dramatic difference in my recovery rate – I could work out harder, longer and recover much quicker. As my chronic problems got better, I improved to the point where I was able to maintain a running streak of over 400 consecutive days, something I have never been able to do without injuring myself. I was doing 50 miles of strenuous training per week including high intensity speedwork on the track, yet nothing was hurting. Later that year, I was successful in attaining a personal goal of running under 5 minutes for the one mile run at the age of 50 with a nationally ranked time of 4:56.39.

(Mike has just joined an exclusive club of runners who have logged over 100,00 miles in their career: “I have had just over 300 sessions of Rolfing in the past 12 years… If it wasn’t for James Schwartz there is no way I’d still be able to run…he has taken 10 years or 20,000 miles off my legs…seriously.”)

Mike Fanelli, competitive runner for 40 years.


Alón Sagee, an active athlete his entire life, sought me out after a major injury. “Five months ago, I had major spinal surgery on my low back. With the help of my diligent yoga practice, I had made what my doctor thought was a remarkable recovery, but I still felt that certain yoga postures that required a deep opening were all but impossible for me. I had been Rolfed years ago and had remarkable results, but it was so intense that I was not looking forward to going through that again. However, I felt resigned to the fact that this was the only thing that would work to open my body. James later told me I looked very serious when I came in for my first session. Really, I was just nervous – my previous experience with Rolfing was so painful. So, as my first surprise, it felt great! Don’t get me wrong – it can be challenging at times, but even then it felt like what my body had been wanting for years. I ended up laughing through most of the session because I could hardly believe what I was experiencing. It felt like I had just done six months of yoga in an hour! I could breathe fully – possibly for the first time – my back expanding easily with each inhale. Walking to my car was remarkable: My hips, knees, legs, back – everything James touched seemed to be lubricated, moving with an ease I had never known before. I hardly recognized my own body. I’ve now had five sessions with James, and the “conversation” that both of us are having with my body continues to expose and release old patterns, freeing me to flow through my day with a newfound calm. In my daily yoga practice, I now do stretches I simply couldn’t do before beginning this process.”

Alon Sagee


For years I have been suffering, and I mean suffering, with a pain like a needle under a callus on the main joint on the bottom of my big toe. I would see my physician and he would scrap off the callus and send me on my way. The pain would get so bad I could barely step on that foot. I bought a pair of foot cushions, used a pumice stone, and worked to keep the pain down. These things helped but the relief was only partial and would always become unbearable again. I went to a podiatrist who scraped the callus and said there was nothing more he could do.

Having a long term relationship with Rolfing and James, I decided to visit him. The results were, and I don’t say this lightly, miraculous. He felt that the pain was probably caused by a tethered and inflamed nerve and after one session with him, most of the pain was gone. Within a few days the pain was totally gone. I have continued to work with it on my own but have not needed another session and the pain has not come back. This has made a huge difference in the quality of my life.

Laury Ostrow


I cannot say enough about James’ work. After a long career as a professional ballet dancer, and three major orthopedic surgeries (the last being a total hip replacement) in the last six years, I was constantly searching for help in healing my body. I’ve tried a myriad of modalities over the years, including Rolfing, and I had begun to feel helpless about ever changing the patterns and restrictions that had set in after years of compensating to the injuries and surgeries. After one session with James though, I knew I was on the right path. He obviously had many years of experience, intuition and curiosity. This is not to say that a few sessions transformed my body – I wasn’t expecting miracles – but in every session we made progress. James is experienced, intuitive, collaborative, curious, and genuinely invested in my physical restoration. Restrictions and body patterns that I have long felt hopeless about are actually changing! I look forward to the continued transformation that future sessions will undoubtedly bring.

Maurya Kerr


I met James back in 1997 after reading and hearing about Rolfing and how it can help align the body for better posture. I was attempting to qualify for the Boston Marathon and have always had stooped posture, making breathing a challenge when trying to increase my running speed. At my first visit with James he went right to work on my loosening my back and shoulders to free up my rib cage. I can’t say I enjoyed the process but I sure did enjoy the next run when I felt taller and my breathing was so much easier… Consequently I was able to intensify my training and increase my speed and I did qualify for and run the Boston Marathon. I continue to see James every year whenever I come up with a new challenge, like when I decided to run a 100 mile race. I think he doubted my sanity on that one but he worked with me and not only did I finish within the time limit but my recovery was amazingly easy. I doubt that I could have ever done this without the Rolfing sessions…

Marcy Shone


I have scoliosis and due to the amount of computer work which I do I am constantly struggling to maintain good posture. Over the years I have tried every modality under the sun: chiropractic, Alexander technique, Swedish massage, Physio-Synthesis, yoga, etc. Far and above the rest Rolfing with James has produced the most immediate, most dramatic, and most durable results. I forgot how flexible and relaxed my back could be! After about 15 sessions or so I can honestly say that I feel like I have my college body back. I am positively giddy at times as I walk down the street and feel the lengthening of my spine and the free movement of my legs, hips, torso, and arms. Words don’t quite capture the feeling. It profoundly influences one’s (my) attitude and confidence. Rolfing has made me a more relaxed, more balanced, and more aligned person both physically and mentally. And others notice it too. Obviously my wife has noticed the changes. Sometimes I come home from sessions and she says wow you’re taller!

There has been another interesting development since taking on this work with James. It is subtle but I do think the connection exists and I find it an interesting one to explore. I give lots of presentations through a public speaking group called Toastmasters. Over the last few months I’ve been noticing quite a difference in the way my audience receives me. I don’t think over that period I have really improved my presentation skills that much. I think that actually what has changed most is the way I carry my body in front of the crowd. Its subconscious but people pick up on that. To put it bluntly I probably used to come off as uptight and professorial, now I’m much more relaxed in my body and that allows me to be more creative in my expression.

Nick Rohan


My wife, my daughter and I have all seen James for over a decade and have had the same experience so many times we can now laugh about it. Typically something seizes up and we pretend that maybe if we just give it a day or two or some Advil the problem will just go away. Inevitably we wait too long, and then when things look really dire, we hobble into his office and he somehow straightens us out, usually in one or at the most 2 sessions. We then resolve that next time, we will call James before total strangers start walking up to us on the street asking, “Are you okay…?” but of course we still wait too long again and repeat the cycle, but somehow, no matter how bad it gets, he never fails us…

Steve Perry


Thanks to James I have been able to train and race successfully into my 50s. I have been a patient of James for more than 15 years. In that time I have had many injuries and setbacks and James has been instrumental in getting me back on the trails and track.

As a high school cross country and track coach I have referred several of my runners to James and he has been helpful in making sure my athletes are ready to race in the big meets of the season.

I have also referred many of my running friends over the years so I would highly recommend James to anyone looking for an experienced Rolfer.

Linda Gill

“Linda Gill, a former UCLA cross-country and track athlete, tried Rolfing to recover from a nagging hamstring injury. After several sessions, she noticed that, ‘Rolfing really helped my overall body mechanics; the tension I historically felt in my shoulders was gone, my hamstrings felt great and breathing became easier as my chest opened up.’ Six months later, Linda won a Black Shirt (given to the first 35 finishers, out of the approximately 1000 runners) in the famous Dipsea, a cruel 7.1 mile race in Marin County California, and the following year was the fastest female finisher. (Excerpt from “Where’s the rub: Purge your trail-running imbalances with Rolfing” Trail Runner MagazineJuly 2005)