Rolfing® Iowa


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Moving toward Integration

Posted on 12/30/2013 at 5:12 PM

In this particular example you can see in my client marked improvement  in these before and after pictures from a single session showing  less flexion in the thighs and  more verticality. She is showing a more lengthened structure more aligned in the field of gravity. Her head is better positioned on top of her shoulder girdle with less rounding.  Generally clients feel more energy and move better with less pain when working toward the Rolfing® Structural Integration process.  Check out my website’s internet special calendar page and take advantage of special pricing on a variety of time slots for past and current clients.

Boston Marathon 2014

Posted on 12/26/2013 at 5:10 PM

My client Cade ran the Boston Marathon earlier this week on 4/21. You can see the shift in the before and after animation from a single session that shows a clear improvement with a more horizontal pelvis and his weight going down each leg more evenly. Cade runs with a group of runners ( whose goal is to run a marathon in 50 different states in under 4 hours. He has qualified for Boston for two years and has PR of 3:07 during the time he has been working with me. He feels his times have showed consistency and improvement when he comes on a regular basis. In the process of working with Cade we have worked with different issues along the way. When I look at Cade from a Structural Integration a.k.a Rolfing® perspective there are things that I notice that I would like to change but without regard to how much “integration” gets done his sessions with me help with his difficult running schedule.

Structural Integration can transform shapes and create more balance in a person’s structure by inviting more awareness of what they are doing with their body both inside and outside of work. There are many ways a person changes, I help the process through manual manipulation of the connective tissue and the clients continue to shift by their awareness of how they position their bodies in the field of gravity throughout the day. Sometimes I can get a dramatic physical shift and the client does not feel it that much and sometimes I get little physical shift and the client feels it tremendously. Sometimes the pictures we take help the client feel the shift when they can visually see it and sometimes not.  Because this work is experientially based you have to try it to see if you like it and after a single session you will most often know if it is the kind of work you want to pursue and it has to make sense to you all along the way. It is arguably some of the best bodywork you can find in today’s marketplace of choices.

Horizontal Integration

Posted on 12/23/2013 at 11:16 AM

You can notice in an animation of my before and after pictures of a single session the improvement in creating a more horizontal presentation of the hips in my client Stephanie, an avid runner. The pelvis is critical in overall balance. In the Rolfing® Structural Integration paradigm a contralateral gait pattern is the gold standard--the human body is designed to walk and run so that the lower trunk and pelvis rotate and the upper trunk and shoulders counter-rotate. We don't have to teach the body to do this, which is natural, but at times this movement pattern is impeded by fixations of the connective tissue or perception. When the connective tissue fixation or perception is released, the contralateral movement often emerges quickly bringing economy of movement and a more qualitative motion.

12th rib to hip crest shortness (when "love handles" aren't love handles).

Posted on 09/25/2013 at 5:10 PM

My client who is 60 years old is in great shape with very little body fat. Often I come in contact with clients who are thin and present with some degree of “love handles” that have nothing to do with excess weight but rather the relationship between the 12th rib and iliac crest which is often short indicating a need for more span or space. My client had been an over the road truck driver for years which have compounded his problem.  Creating space where needed and changing relationships in a body are some of the themes of Rolfing® Structural Integration which offers its unique perspective on how to approach various issues that are causing distress with people. You can notice in these before and after pictures from a single session a more horizontal pelvis and increased space in his left hip between the 12th rib and hip crest significantly reducing the shortness in that area. Rolfing® Structural Integration is process oriented bodywork that can increase vitality and energy and pain issues often subside along the way.

Moving Toward the Vertical

Posted on 09/16/2013 at 5:09 PM

We are all on a journey toward becoming more upright. In Rolfing® Structural Integration we try to do this by creating the right spacing and support system that is unique for each individual. This is done in a way that creates the most verticality with support. Gravity becomes a support mechanism or alternatively tears you down. Just because we don’t feel it (gravity) for the most part, does not diminish the power it exerts over us. In these before and after animated pictures from a single session you can see in my client less flexion in the thighs and her torso better positioned over her pelvis with her head more on top of her shoulder girdle. It is often the case clients feel more energetic with a structure more aligned and supported in the gravitational field.

Pain not Required

Posted on 09/07/2013 at 5:11 PM

I have been working with my client Johanna off and on for the last 18 months and even though she is in the fitness industry and in very good shape she has benefitted from the work we have done together both in the Rolfing®Structural Integration work in combination with Pilates and with each separately.  She says,

“While I don’t have any major issues or ailments, I believe it is beneficial to have structural integration every now and then to help get the body into a healthier state. I also have enjoyed the private Pilates sessions with Frank to be beneficial to the mat-based classes I teach and take. I have referred several friends to Frank and all have had wonderful experiences. If you are feeling like you might be out of alignment or want to get your core in better health, consider a Structural Integration session and a Pilate’s session!”  Johanna’s web site is

In these before and after animated pictures from a single session you can see improvement  with less anterior tilt, less flexion in the thighs and less tension in the lower leg. Her trunk and shoulder girdle are better positioned over the pelvis and overall a better Structural Integration a.k.a. Rolfing line.

Johanna raises an important point in her quote above in relaying that she came to me without having any “major issues or ailments”.  Although I often see clients with pain issues, people can benefit greatly from this work without any particular complaint and this is something not everyone is aware of.  A person has to try a session to see if they like it-20% off in May for all new clients that book and pay for a session.

So you want to be a professional Ironman Triathlete?

Posted on 04/25/2013 at 5:12 PM

One need not be a professional Ironman Triathlete to benefit from the Rolfing® Structural Integration- but if you are you can certainly benefit. I have been working with professional Ironman Triathlete TJ Tollakson for a number of years. In these before and after images from a single session you can see the improvements. His left side is longer from the hips to the axilla and his trunk rotates right to left to enable his weight to go more evenly down his center. I asked TJ about his routine and he had this to say-

“As a professional Ironman triathlete I put my body through an arduous and demanding physical regimen that includes 13 miles of swimming, 300 miles of cycling, and 50 miles of running each week. I train about 30 hours per week during the season and 10-15 in the off season. Over my 10 year career as a professional I have logged thousands of miles in each sport and have battled injuries and overuse. I've had 3 hip surgeries to repair torn labrums, I fractured my clavicle in a cycling accident, and I have two bulging discs in my back. I rely on the Rolfing® Structural Integration from Frank Epstein in Des Moines IA to keep my body functioning at 100%. I am amazed at the results from every session and the before and after pictures that we review which help me confirm the changes I can feel and then see in the represented digital images. This comprehensive way of working with me helps my alignment and balance enabling me to perform at my best. I find it amazing how a very small change in body alignment affects the rest of your well-being. Being my best every day is what I get paid to do, and being my best means I need to see Frank Epstein on a regular weekly basis to make sure my body is optimally performing. I've been seeing Frank for almost 6 years and continue to make improvements in my results, that all stem from being more aligned and balanced.”  You can learn more about TJ at

Very few people lead a grueling physical schedule like a professional Ironman but most all of us can benefit from the Rolfing®Structural Integration although this kind of work remains relatively unknown in many areas of the country. Many people seeking to feel better in their bodies can at least try a session so give me a call to set up an appointment and I think you will be pleasantly surprised.


Mild Cerebral Palsy

Posted on 03/25/2013 at 11:19 AM

In this case my client was having significant trouble with his left leg extending in the walking motion. You can see in the before and after picture of his session his hips become more horizontal and much more even. After the session he felt much more range in his left leg and had more balance walking without his cane.

Since Rolfing® Structural Integration is experientially based one has to try it to see what is possible. Rolfing®Structural Integration has a more global perspective involving the fascia unlike the perspective of many other forms of bodywork concentrating on the local perspective dealing mostly with individual muscles. Clients mostly respond positively with increased fluidity and often less pain.

Femoral Acetablular Impingement

Posted on 03/25/2013 at 11:17 AM

After having surgery for femoral acetabular impingement in early December 2012 professional triathlete TJ Tollakson began the process of rehabilitation. These before and after photos from a session approximately a month after surgery in January 2013 show how the right leg after the session was more able to fully ground or extend and give weight. When an area is injured through impact trauma or surgery it can be a slow process to feel confident in using the area that was damaged. The Rolfing® Structural Integration process of working with the client is unique with its focus on the fascia rather than the individual muscles. One does not need to have surgery to benefit from Rolfing® as it is both educational and participatory. People have come from all ages and backgrounds to find how this kind of work has improved their performance in daily activities.

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