Working with the Cervical Spine
Favorable shift in this before and after picture from a single session. My client had complicated and detailed cervical spine surgery, so I worked very carefully into that area. Creating space in his upper shoulder girdle to allow space for his head to extend and rest more comfortably on his shoulder girdle giving more ease to his structure which translated into a better lateral line presentation as his chest expands and torso lengthens.
Basis of Support
A nice shift in this before and after picture from a single session. My client’s legs move to a better position supporting his structure more constructively. His left lower leg and foot had more lateral rotation and after the session is more congruently in line so that his weight is more evenly distributed throughout a much larger area of the plantar fascia of the foot and would be able to bear weight more efficiently. His right lower leg and foot have a different profile than the left with less lateral rotation and his issue is more in the medial arch of the foot, knee area and adductor compartment of that leg. After the session, his pelvis is more supported with both legs under him in a better alignment. There is more to do in the integration process of course and in the Rolfing® paradigm we are working with the basis of support and moving up the body.
Moving Toward Integration
A Before and after image of my client showing improvement in the low back area in a single session. My client is in very good shape and in the after picture she is showing a more horizontal pelvis and gains length on both sides of her body as her weight shifts from left to right and her weight is more evenly balanced through both legs. Most people that come to me for Rolfing have several areas where they are experiencing issues in their body, and we work at balancing and integrating their structure. The way I go about it is going to vary person by person although I use principles that can be similar. Coming here to Rolfing Iowa is a good idea for people who want to move with more fluidity and have less pain in the areas that are giving them trouble.
Balancing Weight in Structure
A nice shift in structure in this before and after picture from a single session. My client has been seeing a variety of practitioners using different therapies and she decided she wanted to try Rolfing since her progress had been limited before coming to me. My client was having trouble with walking and leading an active lifestyle like she had been in the past. Her walking is now improving, and she is experiencing less pain in the areas that were debilitating. We have been working on getting her right leg to bear weight and extend more into the ground.
As the pain has lessened, we have been making progress in that area. Because of all the issues in the right leg, you can see how she has off loaded her weight to her left side and in the after picture, more weight is allowed to transfer to her right side. There is more even weight distribution through her legs and her right leg is less laterally rotated with a more horizontal pelvis. Her shoulder girdle is more even and the distance on both sides of her body from the top of the iliac crests to the axillae more similar.
Pain and Structure
Nice shift in my client in this before and after picture from a single session. My client has been experiencing significant pain in the last few years and had some surgical procedures without success to remedy her pain. She remained in pain after this session even though she showed a good shift in her structure. In the end a torn hamstring muscle was completely missed in her prior diagnosis. This session was done prior to the torn hamstring muscle being revealed in a later MRI. This brings me to the point of pain and structure. In the after picture her alignment is significantly better and in past blogs, I point out what is better as I could in this one but it is beside the point, my client can only focus on her pain.
Traditionally the Rolfing series was designed for taking clients through a multi session protocol where their pain issues often resolved even though it was never the focus of a particular session. Most clients come to me about pain issues and in all the variety ways they present. Rolfing differentiates itself from the various other modalities that exist in this regard-it changes people’s structure and often the pain aspects of why they came are diminished or relieved. Spot work is necessary for some people before they are comfortable enough to receive the series and I can and will do that as necessary and although Rolfing was not designed for spot work it is still all things considered very good at it much of the time.
Moving toward Alignment
Great before and after picture here from a single session with my client. The process of establishing more of a lateral line is very clear in this example. Gravity is a powerful force and is either supporting you or working against you. We are attempting to let gravity flow through your structure to allow for a more energetic person. Her flexion in her thigh is greatly reduced which allows her pelvis and abdomen to move posteriorly and that movement continues up her body and lessens the rounding in her shoulder girdle. We are looking to make incremental changes in a client’s structure, and this is a significant shift so paying attention to what is different and how it feels different is part of the process to be able to keep the better alignment.
Classic Second Session
It is hard to overstate the importance of the legs in the Rolfing paradigm. Here is an exceptional example of a significant shift in direction of the fascia and muscles of the lower legs in a single session. In a second session, we generally introduce the importance of the feet and how the walking gait pattern are generated from utilizing the feet as the primary mode for movement to create a more contralateral gait pattern in the hips. Rolling through the feet and pushing off the toe hinge transferring weight from outside to inside activating a smoother walking motion. Of course, when you have this much lateral rotation in the legs that pull goes all the way up into the hips to be addressed in a later session. With the gastrocnemius medially rotated and facing forward and shifting to the back of the lower leg where they belong is a longer-term project which we will continue approaching going forward.
Often this much shift is too much, and one gives back some of this gain but encouraging tissue direction over time can transition for the new position to hold which allows the shift to go up the body and lays the groundwork to keep moving upward. We plan to get the connective tissue to be more supportive with ease and avoid the strain that would occur when doing these interventions in a stilted or artificial way.
Working with Asymmetry
Nice shift in this before and after picture of my client from a single session. One of the primary issues my client was seeking treatment for was aching in her lower left side of her back. In the after picture, you can see that she gets more space in her lower left side where there was more compression in the before picture. The length gained on her left side starts from the ground up to her head. Her left leg moves slightly medially supporting a more even pelvic girdle. More room in her left side between the hip crest and 12th rib area allows the length to go up her entire left side for a better shoulder girdle presentation left and right. In the process her head shifts left to right down the centerline for better placement. Here at Rolfing Iowa, I am working toward structural integration with people who come from all walks of life with different circumstances and hope to hear from you soon!
Working with Polio
Amazing shift in this before and after session from a single session from my client who contracted Polio or poliomyelitis at two months of age. My client has tried massage, chiropractic, and physical therapy and was finding them helpful only temporarily so she decided she would try Rolfing® Structural Integration. With my client I had an open-ended approach as to what connective tissue is available to shift and if it could be supported over time which is the challenge for all of us without regard to the difficult conditions like Polio which add immensely to the complexity. Some of my client’s goals are to be less stiff and more mobile and we are making improvements in those areas as well as structural issues where available. In this session there is a lot of shifts. Her pelvis posteriorly is rotating left to right which goes up her spine and the shoulder girdle is rotating left to right from behind and on her left side she has limited use of her arm. In the after picture her head is more down the centerline of her body and is in a more balanced position on her shoulder girdle.
Subtle Shifts Toward Integration
Very nice shift in this before and after picture from a single session. My clients right leg comes under her and adds more support to her structure starting at the right foot as it slightly rotates to a more parallel position which shifts the right lower leg's connective tissue, and that shift goes up and into the right hip as the entire right leg becomes more supportive in her pelvic girdle. This right sided shift allows more span or space into her left hip between the hip crest and 12th rib area which reveals a more horizontal pelvis which is one of the primary goals in Rolfing®. This movement in her left hip move all the way up to her left shoulder girdle area and her head shifts from tilting left to more down the centerline of her structure. This whole-body shift starts at her right foot and goes up her body to the head moving toward more integration in her overall structure which is the process-oriented bodywork of Rolfing®.