Northeast Wisconsin
  • Northeast Wisconsin
  • June 2011
Written by  Victoria L. Huss

Easing my grief with Rolfing® SI

I was at Garden of the Gods Park in Colorado Springs when I got the phone call. The caller asked if I was sitting down because she had grave news. I listened and braced myself for the impact. As she shared what she knew, my traveling companion could tell that something was very wrong by my shaking hands and trembling voice. By the time the call ended, I was completely devastated. The woman who had given birth to me had died at the age of 49.

I cried for days straight right up until her funeral. Reading a letter to her and saying good-bye just did not seem like an appropriate resolution to our rich and complicated history. I had been torn open by shock and white hot grief and found little solace in the condolences of family and friends. A week later, I returned to my life and attempted to keep pace with everyone else. Ruminating in a thick soup of despair, I only found my entire body wracked with pain.

Unable to cope with such an intense physical reminder of my loss, I sought out relief through Rolfing® Structural Integration (SI). I will never forget the sensations of my body when I first lay there on the table. My body felt like a gigantic cubist Picasso painting. As the Rolfer™ set and held space for me, I could finally feel how energetically disembodied I was. My arms felt as if they were pulled out and floating on the ceiling. My legs were also disconnected and pulled into different corners of the room. I could not feel my feet. I began to realize that my mother's death had literally fractured and shattered me.

As my Rolfing® SI session progressed, I could feel the fractured and disembodied parts of myself begin to connect and integrate. Once integrated, I could finally release and transform deep sobs of grief that had previously kept me swirling in such a disorienting cloud of despair. When I stood up for the first time after my session, I was clearly back 'on my line.' I could feel the support of the ground beneath my feet for the first time in weeks. Regaining my footing helped me to find peace and relief from my grief.

Dr. Ida Rolf, the founder of Rolfing® SI had once said, "Emotions are intimately involved with our muscular tone. They reflect the state of balance or imbalance in our bodies, i.e., the relationship of our body to the field of gravity." The intense emotions I faced in the two weeks after my mother's death had pulled me out of balance. Trying to cope by ignoring and burying these emotions pulled me even further out of balance. By aligning my body, I was better able to align my mind and fully process my emotions in a much more healthful, healing way. With the help of Rolfing® SI, I returned to my life as an active and vibrant participant.

In honor of Susan Ann Gottlieb. Thank you for giving me life.

Victoria L. Huss is a Certified Rolfer™ and owner of New Possibilities Integration, LLC, located inside the Zuelke Building in downtown Appleton. She finds joy in helping people unfold and find freedom from rigidity and chronic pain. Victoria offers free 30-minute consultations. For more information, contact her via phone at (920) 427-7653 or at http://www.wisconsinrolfing.com. Rolfing® is a registered trademark of the Rolf Institute® of Structural Integration.

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