Northeast Wisconsin
  • Northeast Wisconsin
  • January 2014
Written by  Victoria L. Huss

Anchoring the permanence of weight loss with Rolfing® SI

Anthony* was a man in his mid-thirties who had shed nearly 100 pounds on a very regimented weight loss program based on exercise and dietary changes. He felt good in his newer, lighter body, but still he knew on some level that he could look and feel even better. Not finding help or proper guidance available within the conventional medical community, he instead sought out the holistic system of bodywork and movement education known as Rolfing® Structural Integration (or Rolfing® SI).

When Anthony began his Rolfing SI sessions in the middle of winter, he was just starting to become used to moving, standing and being in his new body. Since he could more clearly see his frame, he noticed that he was in dire need of some postural correction. The accumulation of hours and hours spent sitting in front of a computer at work manifested as a forward head/neck position with rounded shoulders. Walking with so much extra weight for years may have contributed to the external rotation of his femurs (upper legs) and how his hips functioned. He also had a bit of torsion in his lower legs that did not help to activate the arches in his relatively flat feet, which turned out like a duck when he walked. Conversely, with nearly 100 fewer pounds to insulate and weigh him down, he found that his center of gravity had dramatically shifted. The combination of all of these challenges affected his ability to find grounding and secure footing — especially on unstable, slippery surfaces.

After Anthony completed his first Rolfing SI session, he was amazed at how differently he experienced his body. He felt his weight shift more toward the center of his feet, and he felt more awareness in his feet and knees. He also could really feel how it felt to hold his head and chest high with his shoulders down and back without exerting too much effort. All of these new ways of being inspired Anthony to pursue more sessions.

Each Rolfing SI session is like a class for the body and with each session the changes became more apparent. Anthony’s body continued to transform as he progressed through the sessions. One day while walking in the snow, he was feeling much more confident with his footing. He looked back at the crisp trail of his footprints and noticed that his feet “weren’t so turned out,” and that he wasn’t dragging his leg. He was walking with better functioning of his legs and feet, and his arches were becoming more activated. He felt stability. He now understood what his Rolfer™ really meant when she told him that he needed to get his feet underneath him.

Near the end of his ten sessions, Anthony also began to experience a shift in his relationship with his current weight. Having been a larger man for much of his life, he had become accustomed to taking up a lot of space or needing a lot of space to move. Now a much thinner man, he needed to embody and “feel” his actual size. The detailing, differentiation and integration provided by the Rolfing SI system and process helped Anthony to feel more awareness of the physical boundaries of his body and that of the space around him. With more awareness, Anthony could now connect with and consciously inhabit more room to elicit subtle movements that enlivened and brightened his demeanor. Through this process, he also shed some weight-related emotional baggage. This allowed him to feel safer and more comfortable in clothing that no longer just hung or draped on his body — but that gave him well-defined shape and form.

Rolfing SI helped Anthony along on his 120-pound weight loss journey by anchoring the weight loss transformation more deeply and permanently in his mind, body and spirit. Because of better alignment and grounding through his structure and by creating a new relationship with his personal space, Anthony felt that he could now more efficiently inhabit and live fully in his new body. Anthony credited Rolfing Structural Integration for helping him to feel more comfortable in his own skin, so he could finally come back home to himself.

*Name changed to protect privacy.

Victoria L. Huss, Certified Rolfer™ and owner of New Possibilities Integration LLC (in downtown Appleton) finds joy in helping people unfold and find freedom from rigidity and chronic pain. She also works to help her clients avoid pharmaceutical and surgical intervention. For a free consultation or more information, call 920-427-7653 or visit. Rolfing® and Rolfer™ are registered service marks of the Rolf Institute® of Structural Integration.

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