Conceived of by Ida Pauline Rolf, rolfing is a form of bodywork that attempts to align the human form through soft-tissue manipulation so gravity can flow unhindered through the body. Donna Jo Cross has been practicing this modern modality for 32 years, employing structural-integration techniques to loosen up restrictions in the fascia and body tissue, thus aiming to root out the cause of pain, stress, and ice-cream headaches.
Deanna Melnychuk's mission is to recalibrate the human body. As a certified advanced rolfer, she scouts for gravity's compressing effects on connective tissues, and unwinds fascia that have shortened due to tension. With sessions that focus on complete body realignment including areas such as the lower back, legs, and neck, she plies stiffness from muscles as clients conduct synchronized motions. Each appointment aims to enhance flexibility while subtracting physical and mental stress.
Deanna also guides clients through Rolfing Movement Integration—a program that identifies potentially inefficient ways of moving and helps explore alternatives. After a walking analysis, she points out established habits such as hunching or sliding on your back when your legs get tired. She then assists in setting a goal for new modes of getting around that can increase comfort and range of motion.
Sircle Pain Clinic's wellness and pain professionals understand that chronic pain can have more than one cause. It can be the product of muscle strain, work-related stress, nerve damage, sleeping posture, or any combination thereof. As such, these complex issues can't be solved with a simple, one-sided approach, such as taking pain medication or convincing yourself you're a robot that does not feel pain. Instead, staff members use the Sircle program, drafting a measurable milestone recovery path based on the client's health history and other information they find during consultations and video otoscopy assessments. The resulting treatment plans address issues one step at a time and could include weekly visits, neuromuscular re-education, and relaxation exercises. During these programs, clients could achieve their personal goals over a span of 12 weeks or more, whether it be overcoming muscular pain or boosting their overall health with improved nutrition.
During the eight years she taught anatomy, physiology, and therapeutic massage, Patti Selleck was frustrated. On her website she discloses the reason: "As much as I could affect with massage, I couldn't make permanent changes." So she sought therapies to enhance the results she could provide for clients, traveling a path that led her to enroll in The Rolf Institute in Boulder, Colorado. Rolfing, the commercial name for structural integration, relies on gravity to release tension patterns after sessions in bands of connective tissue called fascia that, when tight, strained, or french braided, can cause joint and muscle pain and imbalances throughout the entire body.
Selleck connected with the practice because it built on her strengths, as the healing process stems from consultations with clients—a specialty of hers since she is a chaplain and a certified lay counselor—and requires a massage therapist's deft touch and detailed understanding of the human body. More than a quarter-century after learning massage in 1985, she revels in work that can have a transformative effect on her patients' lives, enabling them to achieve emotional and spiritual balance through physical alignment.
At 16, Jenna Syverson could barely lift a glass of water. Her hopes for a collegiate swimming career were also dimming, all because of a shoulder injury that caused intense pain. Her physical therapist, chiropractor, and massage therapist were all flummoxed, but after one session of Rolfing, she was back in the pool with no pain. She continued treatment, swam through her degree in exercise science at the University of New Mexico, and wasted no time enrolling at the Rolf Institute of Structural Integration just two weeks after graduation.
Today, she helps others shuffle off pain with Rolfing, a massage modality that focuses on restoring alignment. During first sessions, she assesses each clients’ past and present health, as well as their goals. Patients perform simple balance tests that involve standing, sitting, and dancing the charleston on a treadmill so she can observes patterns of movement that reveal inner misalignments. This guides her bodywork, which focuses on manipulating the fascia to ease nerve inflammation, free restricted tissues, and encourage unimpeded movement.