Northeast Wisconsin
  • Northeast Wisconsin
  • January 2016
Written by 

Adapt to transform: The system of Rolfing Structural Integration

It is January and we are entering the thick of winter. This a very different scene than the one we woke up to just three months earlier, and nature just seems to take it all in stride. Have you ever seriously pondered the resilience and adaptability of nature? Can you resonate with this transformative power in your own body? Our bodies and lives are capable of great transformation if we create the room and space for change to happen.

Rolfing Structural Integration (or Rolfing SI) is a transformative system of bodywork and movement education that can help the body release old patterns and inefficient ways of moving, standing and being. Habitual patterns may have served us wonderfully in the past by helping us to recover from injury, survive a stressful environment or assist us in performing a particular job or repetitive activity. Oftentimes, the body may unconsciously hold these old patterns even though the injury may have healed long ago or we left that repetitive job or abusive relationship. A portion of us could literally be stuck in the past while we struggle to function in our day-to-day lives. Until we work to consciously release old patterns, we are not fully operating in the present.

Rolfing SI helps to create new movement opportunities and pathways for motion by directly addressing restrictions held within both the perceptual field and fascial web of connective tissue that surrounds, supports and protects all muscles, organs, nerves and bones of the body. The secret to the work lies in the process and approach to releasing restricted tissues. Any hands-on intervention is performed with a healthy center of gravity in mind so that the body is able to more fully adapt and integrate the new changes. So, if a person has ongoing neck and shoulder issues the legs, hips and pelvic girdle are also likely to receive attention and vice versa.

The systematic and integrative nature of Rolfing SI helps recipients of the work find that they are better able to sit and stand upright with greater ease and awareness. This can have profound effects on posture and how one relates to his or her world. For instance, a very tall gentleman with neck and shoulder issues may finally understand and realize that he doesn’t always have to look down in order to relate to people who happen to be shorter. A woman with similar complaints may have survived a string of abusive relationships or emotional disappointments but can now more fully comprehend that she does not need to move about the world physically protecting her heart by collapsing her chest or slouching her shoulders. And then there is the athlete who badly injured her knee and had to have surgical repairs — she needed help getting her body to regain trust in the new knee so that her gait and, therefore game, could improve. There are so many variables and ways of falling into or being locked into patterns that, ultimately, do not serve us down the road.

How does one know if he or she may need or want to experience Rolfing Structural Integration? The answer varies with each individual. Some folks know that they do not move the way they used to, and they want to feel lighter, more flexible and more fluid (and younger!) in their bodies. Others realize that they may not have been as active as they once were and crave a healthier lifestyle. Some people are on a life-long journey of learning to care for their bodies, minds and spirits and want to release bodily clutter, old attitudes and stuck emotions that prevent them from being more present and resilient. Or maybe someone suffers from some form of discomfort or pain and they have tried everything but Rolfing SI. Regardless of the reason for seeking out the work, usually everyone who seeks out Rolfing SI desires some form of change.

So as you walk outside this January and take in the amazing ever-changing natural world surrounding you, take notice of how your body feels. Does your body also beg for transformation? 

Victoria Huss

Victoria L. Huss, certified Rolfer™ and owner of New Possibilities Integration, LLC (located in the historic Zuelke Building in downtown Appleton) practices Rolfing® Structural Integration and teaches Alignment Yoga. She finds joy in helping people unfold and find freedom from rigidity and chronic pain. For a free consultation or more information, call 920-427-7653 or check out her website at Rolfing® and Rolfer™ are registered service marks of the Rolf Institute® of Structural Integration.

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