orking with clients who are aware of their bodies, and appreciate improved performance, is really fun. I enjoy working with elite athletes, and people who just like to track their improvement. So I developed Sport Rolfing from my knowledge of Rolfing applied to the rigorous study of what allows the body to perform at its highest level.
Two key factors bring an athlete to Rolfing: recovery from injury and performance enhancement. Most athletes, from beginners to professionals, try a new therapy because other treatments aren’t meeting their needs. Most acute conditions have their roots in a chronic condition. Sometimes these chronic problems are well-known, and other times they are “sub-clinical” or not yet producing symptoms.
The key to shifting or alleviating either an acute problem or chronic condition is to look beyond the areas where the pain is manifesting in the body. Rarely is the real cause of a problem located where the problem is manifesting. This doesn’t mean the symptom area is trouble free; it just isn’t the main cause.
Understanding that the whole body adjusts or compensates for misalignment, injuries, uneven use and asymmetrical activities is crucial to understanding how permanent change is possible. Just as a good contractor will not keep patching a cracking wall—he would shore up the foundation—so must a Rolfer shore up the imbalances of an athlete’s body.
Chronic knee injury, the type often experienced by runners, is a common example of how a reoccurring problem can be treated through Sports Rolfing. Ask most runners with this problem if they had experienced a traumatic injury to the knee, and they would probably say, “No, the pain just showed up and continued to get worse.”
If you looked closely at how these runners walk or run, you would see that their knees aren’t tracking straight. It doesn’t matter which direction the knees point; the cause is in the upper legs and pelvis.
Because of an unbalanced strain pattern above the knees, the lower and upper legs will not travel in the same direction. When a knee points in, the lower leg will usually turn out. The knee is caught in the middle and takes all the strain. It is only a matter of time before the knee wears out.
Rarely is the real cause of a problem located where the problem is manifesting.
Typically, the pain will start laterally on the outside of the knee and travel up the iliotibial band of the thigh. Over time, the pain will worsen to surround more of the knee and then travel inward to the meniscus (cartilage of the knee).
This instance of repetitive motion injury must be treated as a part of a large pattern. Simply alleviating the pain in the knee won’t work. The misalignment must be corrected, as well as the movement pattern that caused it. Once the leg’s soft tissue is organized and the leg is aligned, the knee can begin to heal.
After the leg is straightened to heal the knee, a higher level of order is created in the entire leg. This improved order is immediately translated into improved performance! The bones, muscles and connective tissue of the leg can now move in the intended manner.
The local and global increase in organization allows the body to achieve levels of performance that were never before realized.
REASONS FOR BEING ROLFED
|By releasing chronic stress and aligning the body, Rolfing has successfully offered enhanced performance and relief from|
“I had just gotten back into running, and was afraid of having knee pain again. After just a few sessions with Owen, I was running in a completely different manner. It’s easier, I run much faster, and I have no ‘morning-after’ aches. Also, if I start to slip back into old habits, I recognize it before I experience any pain. It just feels weird—off—and I make immediate adjustments.”
When I had my holistic medical clinic in Scottsdale, AZ I trained other Rolfers in Sports Rolfing. Russell Stolzoff, who I never trained, has an excellent video of Devin Taylor, DE of the Detroit Lions explaining his benefits of Sports Rolfing. Russell’s site has other great videos of athletes explaining how Sports Rolfing benefited them. Every élite athlete I had as client saw a noticeable improvement–when the body is free to move like it’s designed to move it performs at its highest level.