Growing up, my family had their finger on the pulse of holistic modalities. When I was 11 years old, my father took my siblings and I to receive CranioSacral Therapy, as he had found out the benefits for young children. We went to see Elizabeth Swenson, who is also a Rolfer. It's safe to say that most people do not know what rolfing is, even in Colorado where naturopathy is more well known.
Even as a kid I was always curious about body mechanics and anatomy. I wondered things such as, why do tissues feel crunchy/stuck at times? Going to that appointment with Elizabeth took my curiosity to the next level by guiding me through what I now know as the Rolfing 10 Series.
Now I help my clients become free from pain, experience more mobility, increase self-respect and gain deeper connection to themselves. When you are experiencing pain, trauma or a deep level of stress, it can be understandably challenging to feel safe in your body. As a Rolfer, I am trained to identify the opportunities for balance and freedom which will lead to safety.
So What is Rolfing Exactly? Rolfing taps into your nervous system’s stress response and helps you move out of a “fight and flight” mode and into a calmer “rest and digest” which ultimately helps in restoring a sense of safety and improves many things including processing food, relaxation and sleep.
In 2014, I was thriving as a Head Chef and Co-Owner of Restaurant 415 and I had just become a new mountain biker. Life can change in an instant as we know and it did for me. One day, while out biking and testing my limits on not using the breaks, until I had to break for a rock and instead hit the rock and flew over my handlebars and found myself with a dime-sized brain bleed in the center of my brain.
It would be a 6 year process to my recovery, and in those years I was often in pain physically, mentally, and emotionally. I found my body to be a painful distraction. It wasn’t until a dear friend recommended I see his Rolfer, Heather Wright, that I would begin to hear the message my body had been trying to send me. Finally, with the relief from chronic pain, I realized for the first time in years that I could actually feel safer in my body again.
After 10 Rolfing sessions, I felt more fluid in my movement, my equilibrium had balanced, I felt reconnected to myself for the first time since the head Injury, and I was functioning better than ever! I knew I wanted to share this kind of experience while continuing to nourish my community somehow. So I made the life changing decision to attend The Doctor Ida Rolf Institute in Boulder, CO, and became a Professional Rolfer.
Something incredible happens when I tune into your nervous system and your breath. I track and listen to your body’s cues, avoid causing any pain which would only activate your flight and flight mode more. You are the boss on my table. Your safety is paramount. I encourage my clients to practice voicing what they feel, as this is a continuation of the integration and helps to reconnect the body with the brain.
The transformation is palpable as you go from feeling weighed down to having an excited, energetic vibe from the reduction in pain or trauma. It’s not surprising because Rolfing is deep work, emotionally and physically. Through our work together, we create better relationships between connective tissues, muscles, bones, nerves etc. and repair a sense of safety, integration, and wholeness.
Some experiences from clients include remembering traumas and voicing them and becoming completely free from back pain by doing so. One of my first clients gained back 1 ½ inches she had lost and cried release of joy! A recent client said she is running with so much more ease.
So now, let me ask you to tune into your body for a moment. If you are open to shifting, here’s how:
Begin by taking a deep breath, and allowing yourself to feel whatever sensation you feel in your body with curiosity and without judgement. (This is a great step for tuning into your body’s needs, and even if this is ALL that you do today, it is enough.)
Next, create a sense of safety by saying something to yourself like, “Hey Body, I’m listening, it’s safe here with me, what are you trying to tell me?”
“Where is there opportunity for more breath or mobility?”
“Do I feel truly connected to my body?”
“Who would I be and how would my life be different, without this pain?”
“Am I ready for a transformation?
Then take another deep breath and thank yourself for helping you hear what you really need more or less of.
How can you commit to giving yourself more or less of what you really need?
Finally, remind yourself “everyday, in every way, all is well, and I am safe!”
Amelia Mouton is a Certified Rolfer, Health Coach, and Personal Chef. She lives in her hometown of Fort Collins, CO. where she enjoys playing outside and being the town’s best ever Auntie. Connect with her at www.almrolfing.com IG: @almrolfing FB: @almrolfing mention article for a discount!