I first went to see Owen Marcus because I was suffering acute pain in the heel of my right foot. This was my first time I had gone to a Rolfer. I went on the suggestion of a friend.
I learned several things at my first visit, things that have helped me improve my life. I’ll share two of them:
First, the intense pain I felt in my foot did not originate from my foot. After nearly two hours of consultation and treatment, Owen had me relearning to walk. Due to being overweight, I had altered my gait so that it was putting undue stress upon my heel. More importantly, I had lost the sense of “natural walking”, that is, allowing gravity to move me forward, rather than willing my body to do something it was really not suited to do. After leaving his office, each day for the next several weeks, I consciously “re-taught” myself to walk in a more natural and less harmful (to my heel) way. That was a joy. It was easier to move around, much easier to get from A to B, which reminded me of all kinds of other things in life that I unconsciously had been making more difficult for myself. Minimum effort, maximum efficiency, was still a law that could work for me in a simple, practical way.
The treatment of my heel (the presenting problem) led to physical treatment of my entire body, with the acute realization that I felt pain in nearly every area that was touched. Yet, I observed, by the end of the course of treatment that day, that what I felt as “pain” an hour before now I felt as simply “pressure”. What I realized was that the pain was not from the pressure applied by Dr. Marcus, but was a direct result of my tightness, or resistance. I vowed that I would do everything in my power to let go of my resistance, because I knew that Owen was not “hurting” me, that I was “feeling pain” due to my own resistance, or fear.
Subsequent (two or three) appointments bore that out. By retraining myself to experience “pain” as simple release, and then “pleasure”, I actually came to enjoy the pressure applied throughout my body at our final appointment, accepting the treatment and experiencing no pain at all.
Therefore, my second lesson was that I was responsible for creating–not only through the movement of my body in unnatural walking but in how I held my body through tension or fear–the discomfort and pain that I would experience in my daily life.
It is difficult to adequately express the importance of this discovery in my daily life. I know now to relax, to allow my breath and my own thoughts to assist me in achieving maximum health and a life free of pain. Any healer that can use his/her art and skill to bring relief of pain and greater health to a client is a healer worth seeing. But one who brings to the client ways that the client can heal him/herself is invaluable. Owen Marcus as a healer is invaluable.
What amount of money would anyone pay to learn that?
And the method of learning, with Owen’s firm, reassuring hands and voice, allowed me to experience the truth of that lesson in dramatic fashion, with just three or four appointments.
I look forward to revisiting Dr. Marcus when I return to Sandpoint, setting up an appointment when I am NOT in pain, in order to learn where and how I am holding tension (fear) in my body, releasing that, in order to head off pain, illness, disease before it even has a chance to locate somewhere in my physical being.
Chris Buffalo Bricca
Business professional and human rights organizer
San Francisco, CA