Some time ago I had a new client come in for a consultation on structural integration (aka, Rolfing). His name was Walter. Walter explained to me that he was 93 years old, and still working six days a week as an architect. He designed churches.
He told me when he turned 70 years old, he decided it was time for him to get into shape. So, he started working out regularly three nights a week. When I saw him 23 years later, he was still working our regularly three nights a week, yet he was concerned that he was starting to lean forward and his posture seemed to be collapsing. In other words, he had a forward head posture, rounded shoulders and a shortening of core abdominal muscles.
When he first came to see me, he was approximately five feet eight inches tall. By the time we were finished with his ten-session series, he had gained an additional three-quarter of an inch in height.
Walter reported much more energy and spring to his step. He was standing taller and he had a lot more lift at a deep core level of his body. His torso was no longer collapsing on his pelvis. He was now more agile, able to move more easily and walk with significantly more freedom. What had happened to Walter?
No matter what their age, people who have a similar structural and postural issues to Walter’s, may be experiencing a variety of issues with their pelvic diaphragm. In women, this may express itself as a prolapsed uterus, incontinence, sexual issues, pain and other concerns. Some of the things in men it can cause are lower back problems, sexual performance and functional issues like incontinence and other issues.
The ultimate goal is to help a person eliminate their symptoms and regain their sense of living in a body that cooperates with the demands they put on it. And, as in Walter’s case, rather than feeling like an old building ready to collapse, help him feel like one of the new buildings he has just designed.
In a much different situation, a professional basketball player came to me who was experiencing a chronic hamstring injury. This condition was limiting his performance. To compensate for the pain he was experiencing, he developed some patterns that ultimately reduced his ability to play to his full potential. It was resulting in a “losing game” (pun intended) for him.
He was now among the many professional athletes, who despite an exercise regimen to prevent injuries, had sustained a career-threatening chronic injury. Rather than using drugs with their limited effectiveness and hazardous side effects, he opted to try a more natural approach with Structural Integration.
Through Structural Integration, we were able to address the injury he was dealing with, eventually heal and strengthen his hamstrings, and add several more years on to his professional life.
A few years ago a friend of mine who is a Rolf practitioner in Dallas was working on a well-known running quarterback for the Dallas Cowboys. This football player wasn’t suffering from an injury at the time but he was looking for something that could give him an edge with flexibility and speed. He reported back to the practitioner that he was thrilled with the results.
In summary, many athletes use Structural Integration to help in healing their injuries and to offset their structural imbalances to prevent further occurrences.