Heal Thyself: Rolf Method of Structural Integration

In my search for body work that would help my shoulder issues, I came across Jessica Redding-Newhouse of Be Well Bodywork.  She advertised her services as the “Rolf method of structural integration (SI).”  I knew a little about SI from talking to friends and a little about Rolfing from my uncle.  I read through the website and finally gave Jessica a call.  She let me know that she typically recommends a 10-series package (pay-as-you-go) and that even if there is a specific area of pain, she works on the whole body because it’s all connected.  I have had enough body work in my life to know she was speaking truth and so I decided to give it a go.  You know, in case something in my foot was causing my shoulder pain.

It took me about 3-4 months to complete all ten sessions.  Perhaps the most valuable thing I got out of these sessions was working closely and consistently with one practitioner who helped me learn more about my body and how to take care of it.  It was a really organic process and the results are that my right shoulder is mostly pain-free and I now know how to take care of my left shoulder girdle to have pain-free days.  There is still pain in my body, but it feels more predictable and I have more tools to alleviate that pain.

During these ten sessions, I learned that I carry a lot of tension in my feet, that my QL’s (quadratus lumboum) are tight and that most of my left shoulder issues are due to posture or being over-worked, whereas my right shoulder issues are due to stress and inflammation.  I learned to be more diligent about stretching and massaging certain muscle groups and that I need to figure out a better work station at my job.  I learned that whole body structural integration does include having someone stick a finger up your nose.  And while it was something I “knew” in my 20’s, I learned that I will have this body my whole life, and that creating a balance between caring for it and pushing it to new heights is a lifelong task, so I may as well settle in for the long haul.

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