How Rolfing stopped a war.

Recently, a client reflected on her experience of the Rolfing process: “I’m not at war with my body anymore”, she said.

She had come in looking for relief from nagging neck and hip discomfort which had not responded to conventional treatments. Doctors could not find any pathology and she’d had no recent injuries.

She had begun to think of herself as defective and wanted her painful body parts done away with. “I just want it cut out!” It’s a familiar refrain from many in chronic discomfort and a sure sign that the war is well underway. The lines of communication between disparate parts of her body had broken and the war became all consuming; it was as if her entire bodily experience stayed in her neck and hip–she could notice little else in her body. It was now consuming enormous amounts of mental energy and left her feeling powerless.

The goal of Rolfing is to evoke bodily peace and harmony by getting seemingly disconnected parts to wake up, communicate and work together to enliven your embodied self. Important parts of you will wake up and assist you on your path to health, well-being and healing.

We agreed that she might find support to relieve her discomfort by working with her whole body and creating new lines of communication to restore her sense of wholeness. Throughout the process, she was often surprised at how unaware she had been of the many tight and constricted areas in her body.  In one session, we focused work on her legs and slowly released deep tension from her feet, ankles and knees which had been clenched tight for years. When she stood up, she noticed a wonderful sense of solidity in her body that seemed to come up from the ground. This clear, grounded signal transmitted through her feet, and her hips and low back, upon feeling the message of support, finally relaxed—her hip discomfort suddenly disappeared.

She then realized that she could make choices about what she noticed. More importantly, she realized that some choices cultivated harmony and wholeness while others created war and dissolution.  At this point, she saw that the war could end. Her sense of solid ground and support opened lines of communication and gave her body permission to unclench and relax.

Her true health began to emerge, resulting in a feeling of harmony and well-being throughout her mind and body. Instead of wanting to cut out cranky body parts, she began to drink in the small pleasures of her her alive and healthy being. Her renewed capacity for awareness and attention allowed the lines of communication in her body to quickly resolve occasional aches and pains. The parts of her that had felt dim, disconnected, isolated and hurt, opened up and began to work together as a more harmonious unit.  Peace had arrived.