The First of Many
I've been meaning to start a blog for quite some time now. In the commotion following my graduation from The Rolf Institute in the fall and opening a new practice in Boulder, there has not been much time for structured recollection of the experience itself. As is usually the case it is quite difficult to see the forest when you're amidst the trees. At least not in a way where any explanation of the experience is understandable to others.
However, several people have requested that I start writing down thoughts on my experience and encouraged me to share these thoughts with them. I believe there is a great deal to be shared within the Rolfing community (both the Old Guard and new graduates alike) as well with others outside of Rolfers and those who have been Rolfed. To be honest, the Rolfing world has been relatively mum when it comes to advertising and self-promotion. We like to keep to ourselves and avoid attention.
There is a lot of reasoning behind this that I won't get into at the moment. Needless to say, it is complicated. The focus of this blog, and my writing in general, is to explore the world of Rolfing from the viewpoint of a new graduate. Not to necessarily bemoan the struggles of opening a new practice and detail the challenges one encounters when opening a new business. I don't feel there is much benefit to taking that approach.
Instead, I want to go ahead and jump into some of the topics I cover with my clients on a daily basis and how I incorporate new information into my practice. Altering the traditional Rolf narrative is not an easy task and I don't think it is my place to try to push for a paradigm shift. But I do think there is lots of room for growth and acceptance of new information and altering our approach a little bit.
Whenever I run into someone who has had Rolfing before or known someone who has gone through the 10-series, there first reaction is that the work itself was quite painful. I know that in the early days of Rolfing painful manipulation was seen as a sort of necessary evil in order to get the body in alignment. They were working with the information they had at the time and it made sense in a way to try to alter the body physically by inputting a great deal of force and moving stuff around. The emerging research of late has put that notion to rest. We should consider ourselves very lucky that the body is not so easily manipulated and adjusted. A good fall could make us fall apart if our bodies were essentially a collection of human clay and sticks.
I interpret the work I do as being very informative. On all levels. Human contact provides people with an outside stimulus that allows them to alter their felt sense on the inside and behavior, which can in turn alter their posture and positioning. Seeing it less as manipulation and more as sensory-loading allows me to work less aggressively and provides the person being worked on an opportunity to feel more because they're not actively trying to keep from crying. Trying to dig into fascia and move tissue is a full-on assault of the body and I don't think it provides people with the restorative process they were looking for. Any relief they feel is likely from having survived a traumatic experience. Working softer and smarter, interacting with their sensations with more finesse, this gives them a restored and intricately detailed body map. Better maps provide better directions. I also rely heavily on changing the thinking process and their "Feelings" toward their body, as well as feelings in their body.
Altering people's perception of Rolfing is one of my biggest tasks at the moment and one of the key reasons for starting this blog. Building a better narrative for how and why Rolfing works is what I aim to achieve. Arguing about science doesn't interest me much. I've read a lot of the research (and I'll be linking to much of the stuff I relate to) but arguing over the nitty-gritty details doesn't interest me. I would like to provide insight into how I see my own work progressing, demonstrate my reasoning for certain approaches and claims, and introduce some new concepts and tools I've come across that I feel might benefit other Rolfers, young and old.
Feel free to bookmark the page and hopefully I'll find a way to allow subscriptions in the near future. Thanks!