Rolfing changes lives

In a series of 10 sessions, generally taking place over a period of six months, a rolfer uses her hands, arms and elbows to lengthen the hardened, shortened and thickened connective tissue in your body.

by Deanna Melnychuk —

When you experience chronic pain (from an accident, overuse, poor posture, etc.), you may elect  to take, or be advised to take, painkillers. The painkillers probably have some side effects, such as drowsiness or stomach upset. Because you no longer feel the pain as sharply, you may go back to work without realizing that the pain is only masked; the original problem has not been corrected. As a result, there is a distinct possibility you might re-injure yourself because you no longer have the pain to guide your actions.

As the pain begins to jab at you again whenever the painkillers start to wear off, you may find yourself curtailing your activities. It becomes too difficult to take a walk or visit with friends, and your life narrows. Any activity requires too much effort and your energy level drops. You notice old friends have moved on with their lives while yours has simply stopped.

When will all this pain pass? It might take months — and you may never feel like you did before the chronic pain took over your life. What a great time to consider alternatives. Rolfing, or structural integration, is such an alternative.

In a series of 10 sessions, generally taking place over a period of six months, a rolfer uses her hands, arms and elbows to lengthen the hardened, shortened and thickened connective tissue in your body. During the evaluation portion of the session, the rolfer will ask you to walk so she can see your body’s restrictions. She may ask questions, such as, “Where is the weight in your feet?” in order to help you reconnect with your body. Pain is a great dis-connector.

During a 75-minute session, you may be asked to make micro-movements or breathe into an area that is “stuck.” At times, there is discomfort in working with tissues that are held in restriction, but you always have the option of saying, “that’s too much.” Most people say, “that hurts so good!” as they feel connective tissue loosening and achieve a greater range of motion.

Rolfing gives you a greater awareness of your body and how it works. You are encouraged to sit, stand, walk and breathe differently, and to change your relationship with your environment. When you are moving with greater ease and the pain has lessened, you will notice you have a renewed interest in activities and spending time with your friends. You may start to decrease your pain meds because your pain level has dropped so dramatically.

After rolfing, you are more flexible, better coordinated and you start to examine other aspects of your life you would like to change — your diet, your reading, your exercise program. Don’t accept pain and limitation as inevitable. Rolfing can change your life.

 

Deanna Melnychuk, B.Sc., is a certified advanced rolfer and rolfing® movement practitioner, licensed massage therapist, Reiki Master, craniosacral therapist and reflexologist. 602-404-8685.

Reprinted from AzNetNews, Volume 25, Number 3, June/July 2006.

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