How Rolfing Tricked Me
There are few things in life that can deliver more than they promise. Breck Parker, a roommate of mine back in the mid 1970s in Boulder, CO, used his legal training to persuade me to experience Rolfing, a modality he was studying. Initially, I said no. He was a good litigator, thorough, and persistent. The fact that my body was very tense made his case for me being Rolfed. He hooked me with how my tibialis anterior (shin muscle) was not bone, but actually a muscle, so I was convinced to try one session.
Ten sessions and nine months later, I not only had a different body, I had a different mind.
If he told me that anything close to that was possible, I wouldn’t have believed him. He tricked me.
Rolfing gave me what I never had: a loose body. I lost 20 pounds of tense muscle and fascia and grew ¾” from the ten sessions. I went from not being able to sit in a chair and cross my legs to sitting on the floor with my legs fully crossed. In high school, my friends teased me about my duck walk. That walk was gone. It was like I was in someone else’s body.
The bigger miracle was what Rolfing did for my mind. During integrating my ten sessions, I learned how to relax. I never knew how tense I was until I began to relax. Having fun was a stressful experience for me.
Holding that level of tension in my body, you can imagine what my relationships with women were like. I was a nice guy, but so uptight, I could not make an emotional connection. Emotions were something that got in the way.
With my body relaxing, my emotions had room to be felt and expressed. It was as if someone just gave me a driver’s license and a sports car. It took a little practice to get up to speed, but what I thought would be scary became fun.
I could never have imagined that the most emotionally handicapped man in the room would, decades later, be teaching the other men in the room how to be emotional as a man. I have Rolfing to blame for starting this. It transformed parts of me that I didn’t know existed. It infected me with the bug to have the same happen for others.
For more than three decades, clients continue to accuse me of opening up parts of them that they never knew could change. These clients started describing their experiences as “transformational Rolfing.” I’ve had clients who changed professions, saved marriages, and found their passion – and they credit Rolfing.
There is no greater joy for any human, I believe, than to be a part of someone’s transformation. I’m selfish; I relish seeing a client come in to get his back fixed and a year later escaped from the life that had him bent under it. Sure, a person must work to get this level of change. This is a way to get us started.