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  • Northeast Wisconsin
  • November 2017
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A breath of fresh air through Rolfing SI

Susan’s* thoughts of ever living a normal life again were all but gone. Six weeks of physical therapy following a bad fall did not seem to provide the relief from pain that she was hoping for. Susan searched the internet for other alternatives where she first heard of the terms “Rolfer” and “Rolfing Structural Integration” (or Rolfing SI). In her research, she learned that Rolfing SI was a unique system of bodywork and movement education that, at times, could feel like deep tissue massage. But what was separating Rolfing SI from massage was the focus of manipulating fascia — the body-wide web of connective tissue that surrounds, supports and protects muscles, tendons, nerves, bones, and organs — to restore balance, alignment and optimum functioning to the body.

Due to the trauma of the fall, Susan experienced intense pain flares and had little pain tolerance. She felt that she was running out of options and so she decided to contact her area Rolfer to try a session. Susan had to admit that her first experience with Rolfing SI was overwhelming and left her wondering if this treatment method was a good fit. Nonetheless, she kept experiencing little victories. By her third Rolfing SI appointment, she was firmly convinced that the process was helping. Just weeks after her first session, Susan’s pain was greatly reduced. She had more stamina, resilience and was sleeping better. She made a commitment to complete the ten-session series.

The “Ten Series” of sessions is done through hands-on manual therapy and through perceptual exercises that serve to “rewire” movement patterns and reeducate muscles within the fascial web. The cumulative goal is to balance the back side of the body with the front side, left side of the body with the right side, top to bottom, and inside of the body with the outside. When shortened areas are lengthened and restrictions are worked out of the tissue, proper joint tension is restored and nerves are freed to move through the tissues of the body in a more fluid manner. Sitting, standing and moving about one’s world becomes easier.

By the time Susan went for what she thought would be her final appointment, she felt that she was functioning as though she never experienced the injury in the first place. It was then that she also realized she was getting benefits far beyond pain relief. Her years-long struggle with seasonal asthma also appeared to be responding positively to the bodywork as it relieved the straitjacket constrictioning around her ribs and freed up her breathing muscles. She wanted to test her theory and continue with monthly Rolfing SI “tune-up” sessions into autumn, which was her worst allergy season and usually ended up with a trip to the emergency room for rescue medications.

With the continued tune-ups, Susan was impressed that she could breathe much easier and deeper throughout her most sensitive time of the year. Her dependence on medications was also greatly reduced, and there was no need for ER visits. These improvements in Susan’s health opened up a different set of new possibilities and opportunities. Susan continues Rolfing SI maintenance on a regular tune-up schedule and continues to gain benefits from this unique bodywork process. 

*Name changed.

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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