Northeast Wisconsin
  • Northeast Wisconsin
  • April 2018
Written by 

Getting back on his feet — One active man’s Rolfing SI journey

Bruce*, as a younger version of himself, never really felt comfortable in his own body. He always seemed to have difficulty with flexibility and balance. After a diagnosis with scoliosis in his early teens, his discomfort within his body only seemed to worsen. To cope, he became an avid practitioner of the martial arts. Throughout his 20s, training became an obsession of sorts as he felt that he had to train twice as hard to be half as good as most students.

He pushed himself for a long time. He seemed to suffer a constant stream of injuries. He managed his pain as it was something familiar to him since childhood; but when his body’s alarm bells started trying to warn him, he just would not hear them.

Bruce kept pushing himself. People all around Bruce had become accustomed to his kindness, generosity and helpful nature. The more Bruce gave, the more others kept expecting and taking. By this point, a 10-inch line of muscle had hardened along the left side of his spine. After a particularly busy weekend rush at work, he overextended himself and collapsed. For the first time in his life, he could not stand up because the pain was so excruciating.

X-rays and an MRI confirmed that Bruce had degenerated and herniated discs in his lumbar spine. The radiologist suggested that he skip physical therapy and go straight to surgery. With the possibility of being on opioids and not being able to work for months while recovering, Bruce was not happy with going under the knife for a surgery with only a 30 percent success rate. Bruce sought out other options and found some relief through a mixture of chiropractic, acupuncture and restorative yoga. After two months, his progress seemed to plateau. His chiropractor intuitively seemed to know there was more progress to be made so he referred Bruce to the area Certified Rolfer for a detailed bodywork experience and process known as the “Ten Series.”

The Rolfer interviewed Bruce and took a thorough body history. She observed him walk and noted how his body seemed to compensate during particular movements. She then explained how Rolfing Structural Integration (Rolfing SI) worked to help assist the body in finding its center of gravity or “happy place” so that movement becomes more effortless and free. Since Bruce was an extremely motivated individual who dutifully exercised and was actively practicing better self-care, he and the Rolfer decided that Bruce should come in for Rolfing SI every other week until he got through all ten bodywork sessions.

Upon standing after the first Rolfing SI session, Bruce’s body told him instantly that Rolfing “made sense.” The continued manipulation of restricted and tensioned areas kept shifting Bruce’s gravity center. Standing became much easier and he noticed that he was becoming much more limber and flexible. In addition to the softening in the hardened musculature along his spine, Bruce also noticed that he could feel his feet relax and legs soften and move in ways that he had not felt since childhood. In Bruce’s words, “Rolfing brought everything together and opened up the relationship [his] body had been trying to have with itself.”

One of the hallmarks of the Rolfing SI “Ten Series” is that it is a catalyst for changing patterns. Bruce began to notice that his acupuncture and chiropractic treatments became more effective and longer lasting. In addition to rediscovering his passion for yoga and martial arts, Bruce found all of his treatments together to be powerful and synergistic. And now an inch taller, Bruce could move about his world with renewed joy, better balance and a more hopeful, less pained existence! 

*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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