Monday, November 30, 2009

Rolfing Redux

I said earlier that I would give periodic updates on my regimen of rolfing. I began the 10 session realignment about 6 sessions ago (it is actually going to be 11 sessions, because we spent one working exclusively on my right arm, where I have chronic tennis elbow).

The results of rolfing so far have been positive and noticeable. I still breathe much more easily than I did before beginning the series. I have also dramatically improved my PRs in running. I have knocked, no kidding, 2 + minutes off of my morning 2 and 3.5 mi runs - a feat that seems incredible particularly for the quick 2 mile runs. I have dropped my 10K time by 4-5 minutes. I do realize that the more I run, the better my times would potentially be. However, the drops have occurred literally the day after some of the sessions. And the time drops don't happen gradually, but dramatically. It is really impressive.

That being said, rolfing does hurt, and it is a major discomfort at times. I have lain on a table thinking that I just can't take any more pain. Just as I reach a pain threshold, however, a breakthrough happens as muscle pulls away from fascia, and an odd wave of relief and a new feeling of flexibility take over. This has happened repeatedly, and feels like a triumph when it occurs.

Rolfing, as I stated above, is attended by some uncomfortable moments. Last week for instance, after finishing work on my inner thighs (a bit disconcerting), my rolfer put her hand up my ass-crack so that there was only a thin layer of underwear between my vertical smile and her fingers. As one can imagine, I jumped a bit. She explained that she was working on the fascia that surrounded muscle around my tail bone. So for five or ten minutes, she dug away down there as I lay on my side and thought about the weather. It was very disconcerting, but I must say, when it was over, I felt great (and not just because her hand was no longer up my crack). There is such a nerve center around the base of one's spine, that any body work there is sensitive. But if it is done right, the movement and tightness that one may not even be aware of back there is alleviated. I, for instance, wasn't aware of it, but I was aware of it when it was gone.

So far, that's the best and worst of rolfing. I'm still very committed to the experience. I have worked with my rolfer to achieve the benefits that I have experienced. And while it is not for the faint of heart, if one perseveres, at minimum, there will be a greater awareness of how the human body fits and works together.

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