Northeast Wisconsin
  • Northeast Wisconsin
  • March 2018
Written by 

One woman’s journey with Rolfing SI

Juanita* was a 73-year-old woman who was told to try Rolfing Structural Integration (Rolfing SI) after friends tired of her complaining about her aches and pains. An active, overworking type who often pushed her body well past its comfortable operating limits, Juanita just did not want to accept that age should slow her down, despite carrying the diagnosis of psoriatic arthritis, scars of a hip replacement, prior surgeries, and wear and tear in her knees caused by years of running. She was in some form of pain nearly 100 percent of the time and was tired of herself complaining too. Once she consulted with a Rolfer, she decided to throw herself in and try the “Ten Series.”

The “Ten Series” is both a process and an experience of Rolfing SI that helps to align and balance the body. A combination of bodywork (manual therapy) and somatic exercises through ten sessions helps to shift movement patterns and posture so that gravity, which has likely been a destructive force for an individual in pain, becomes a nourishing force that allows full grounding of the body while simultaneously encouraging expansion and lift. There is also an “uncluttering of the body suitcase” that naturally happens with this kind of sequential work as restrictions are eased and more efficient movement is restored.

One of Juanita’s first somatic exercises was to practice connecting with “Sky Hook.” She was surprised by what surfaced with this simple exercise. An abuse and trauma survivor, Juanita carried a lot of shame and this presented in her posture. When she practiced connecting with Sky Hook, she felt dignity and self-respect but she also felt uncomfortable and vulnerable standing so straight and tall. She was excited to take this kind of exercise out into her world so she could experiment with how it might shift her thoughts as well as self-esteem.

Juanita very much enjoyed the bodywork portion of her Rolfing SI sessions. After each session, she would feel lighter on her feet and able to better connect with Sky Hook. Outside her sessions, Juanita started to notice that she had greater flexibility and better balance in her power yoga classes. Her breathing had become easier and more natural. The pain in her shoulders, knees and back lessened to a degree where she found she could now be pain-free about 80 percent of the time. Having a break from the chronic pain also dramatically lifted her spirits and lightened her depression.

Juanita credits Rolfing SI in helping her to better understand how her body, mind, emotional self and spiritual self are connected, which was key to moving toward a less pained existence. As her body awareness increased throughout the Ten Series process, she became more conscious of her pain threshold and found herself less likely to over-exercise and push her body too hard. She actually began to start loving and nourishing her body with more gentle movement. The new way she moved about her world reflected how she felt about herself on the inside. She was standing tall, upright and dignified! 

*Name changed to protect privacy.

Victoria Huss

Victoria L Huss is the Certified Rolfer™ and owner of New Possibilities Integration LLC in downtown Appleton. She finds joy in helping people unfold and find freedom from rigidity and chronic pain. Victoria offers free consultations. For more information, contact her via phone at 920-427-7653 or on the Internet at Rolfing® is a registered service mark of the Rolf Institute® of Structural Integration.

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