Thursday, March 28, 2013

what is it

Therapeutic system calls for cooperation, commitment

Structural integration is meant to treat patients suffering discomfort from chronic aches and pains, but Yonathan Hormadaly stresses that his system isn’t supposed to deliver an immediate cure, nor is it intended to make clients dependent on receiving therapy.
Structural integration is meant to treat patients suffering discomfort from chronic aches and pains, but Yonathan Hormadaly stresses that his system isn’t supposed to deliver an immediate cure, nor is it intended to make clients dependent on receiving therapy.
Though most people know it as Rolfing, Yonathan Hormadaly calls his practice “structural integration,” a therapeutic method aimed at helping a client’s body structure, movement and alignment in relation to gravity by working with the body’s soft tissue.
“By gradually and systematically releasing stress and tension in the connective tissue system of the body, breathing becomes easier, more length and space is felt in the joints, and significant changes in awareness occur as a result,” said Mr. Hormadaly, who has been practicing the technique for more than a decade. He opened his business in Ridgefield in November.
Structural integration is meant to treat patients suffering discomfort from chronic aches and pains, but Mr. Hormadaly stresses that his system isn’t supposed to deliver an immediate cure, nor is it intended to make clients dependent on receiving therapy.
“My goals aren’t about the immediate — it’s not like someone coming in here with a headache and me giving them a cure and it going away. It’s a lot more long-term than that,” said Mr. Hormadaly. “This method is not to make people dependent where they have to come in every week for treatment.”
In fact, the system is based on a 10-session series that can be completed over an unspecified period. After the 10 sessions are completed, Mr. Hormadaly suggests the client take a nine- to 12-month break from therapy — except for people dealing with complex circumstances such as car accidents.
Once a client commits to the 10 hourlong sessions, Mr. Hormadaly calls for his patient’s complete cooperation as each session builds on the last and prepares the person for the next.
“People don’t need to commit right away — most try one or two sessions and then determine from there if they want to go ahead for the entire 10-part process,” said Mr. Hormadaly. “But when they decide to do it, I need their cooperation as well as their commitment.
“When addressing the whole structure of the body, I need the patient’s time and I need their commitment, and this is why I have such a high success rate, because when people dedicate to the 10 weeks of improving themselves, it’s a pretty strong commitment and they have let go of that immediate judgment of ‘I took one session and it didn’t help.’ Instead, they are investing in the process of restructuring their body. This is why there isn’t usually a need to come back after the series is completed.
“It’s like investing in anything; you have to leave it for a while before you see a return, and a lot of my success comes from that patience to allow for the transformation to happen over time.”
The practice of structural integration, better known as Rolfing, was conceived by Dr. Ida Pauline Rolf in the 1930s. She founded the Rolf Institute of Structural Integration in 1971 with the goal of educating people about their body and its movements.
Although structural integration is aimed at benefiting people both physically and mentally, its touch and its intention make it different from other therapies, such as deep tissue massage.
“A common misconception is that this is a deep tissue massage,” said Mr. Hormadaly. “Deep tissue massages have a short-term goal in mind and it’s about sliding across the superficial layer of skin, whereas my method is about what’s deeply below the skin and that outermost surface. It’s a different type of touch — that’s what separates it from other practices — and it’s also a different type of intention.”
In the first session, Mr. Hormadaly usually focuses on working past the superficial layer of skin and flesh. In the next lesson, he changes his attention to the ankles. He says the first seven sessions are about separating, while the last three are about integrating. The end goal is  adjusting the body’s structures in relation to gravity.
Besides the physical element, the system is about self-awareness.
“Psychological stuff is not a direct part of my work, but I’ve heard people talk about how this helps them with their thoughts and emotions, especially if they are coupling this practice with talking to a traditional psychologist,” said Mr. Hormadaly.
“Part of my goal is to have my clients have more awareness of themselves, and that’s where the psychological component comes into play — the mind is very involved,” said Mr. Hormadaly. “This isn’t like talk therapy; I am not trying to discover deep-rooted psychological issues.
“My entrance isn’t through the mind, it’s through the body. I don’t see the mind and body as separate, but my goal is to integrate the body’s structure over a long period of time.”
Mr. Hormadaly acknowledged that confusion may exist between what makes him different from a chiropractor. He said  Dr. Rolf’s method took a lot from osteopathy and its founder Andrew Still, which is the basis of chiropractic medicine. However, the two schools of thought vary in their intention.
“Dr. Rolf didn’t want to be a doctor like a chiropractor, who diagnoses certain elements or focuses on curing certain diseases,” said Mr. Hormadaly. “Rather, her goal was about working with the soft tissue, whereas chiropractors deal with the spine. We see the soft tissue as what puts the bones where they are; it’s a different way of working with the body.”
Born in Delaware, Mr. Hormadaly has lived in Rhode Island, New York and Connecticut, but received his training at the Guild for Structural Integration in Boulder, Colo.
He originally became interested in the system through doing martial arts as a child. What started as a curiosity about his body and its movement led to his studying such systems as the Feldenkrais Method of Somatic Education.
The real moment of inspiration came when he picked up  Dr. Rolf’s book about structural integration.
“Her book is what really drew my attention to this specific field,” said Mr. Hormadaly. “I hadn’t practiced it or experienced it yet, but I knew it was my calling once I put the book down. I got the treatments after that and then enrolled in the training at the guild in Colorado.”
Mr. Hormadaly returned to practicing in Connecticut, where he is licensed, after a hiatus when he studied different methods of healing and spiritual philosophy. He likes the area because of its foliage and feels relaxed working in the area.
“Fairfield County always felt comfortable, and the people I was working with here liked the work I was doing for them, so it’s a natural fit,” he said. “My intention is to learn more and get better at it and help more people along the way.”
He said he has a wide range of clients of varied age and gender.
“My connection with my clients has ended up being over a very long time period; they have gone through the 10 series and then we take a break, and then they usually want to come back for more work,” he said.
His practice is open from 9 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. on Wednesdays and Thursdays in the Osteopathic Wellness Center on 158 Danbury Road.  His website and the phone number is 845-674-7721

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Whom have I rolfed.

King Juan Carlos III of Spain
Dr. Jacob Teitelbaum
Zubin Mehta, conductor of Tel Aviv philharmonic
Paul Simon
Bjorn Borg
General Leonidas, head of Brazilian army and an Olympic pistol marksman.
Marc Chagall
James Bond (ie Sean Conery)
The girl from Ipanema (Heloisa Eneida Menesezes Pais Pinto, whom the song was inspired by)
Swami Vishnu Devananda
Countess Anna Von Hatzfeldt
Nathaniel Rothschild, 4th Baron Rothschild
Count Van Canal
Lady Gillian Foley
Princess Hohenzollern  
Adnan Kashogi (richest man in the world at the time).
Head of Osteopathyic manipulation department at the Chicago School of Osteopathy.

The largest group of people I have rolfed has been workers in the health professions including doctors (212), nurses, physical therapists, psychotherapists, massage therapists, occupational therapists, acupuncturists, chiropractors, and osteopaths.  The next largest group includes performance artist: dancers, actors, singers and musicians.  Following that group comes athletes; mostly runners and golfers.

I have rolfed people in 24 countries from 6 months old to 92 years old.


 Endorsements for Rolfing
Athletes   Michelle Kwan and Elvis Stojko, 1998 Olympic Silver Medalists,have found they have a competitive advantage by working with a team of specialists that included Helen James, Physical Therapist, and Certified Advanced Rolfer. Elvis Stojko introduced Helen James, Certified Advanced Rolfer to Michelle Kwan in July during the Campbell Soup Tour of World Figure Skating Champions. Stojko, who has benefited from James' physical therapy and Rolfing expertise says, "Rolfing helped me to find my center of balance for competition; it puts my body in place." Working with Olympic and world champion figure skaters is nothing new for James. She says, "It's key for figure skaters like Michelle and Elvis, to find an exact balanced position in space. Balance and integration are the primary goals of the Rolfing process. Athletes find they have fewer injuries and recover more quickly through Rolfing work," says James. "They feel lighter and have more energy because they're not working as hard. They perform and complete their jumps with more ease."
 Bob Tewksbury, pitcher for the Minnesota Twins says, "I have received many benefits from Rolfing. In 1991, my massage therapist recommended it as a way to get a deeper level of work. Although the benefits of muscle work come and go depending on when and how regularly I get Rolfing work, I have noticed long lasting benefits with regard to my breathing, my posture and my body awareness. I have used Rolfing mainly in two areas, for my lower and upper back to help with flexibility and stiffness and to enhance my performance. I plan to use it again."   
The Phoenix Suns were the first major NBA Basketball team to have a Certified Advanced Rolfer on hand, Jeffrey Maitland. "Phoenix Suns guard, Danny Ainge, who has received Rolfing for years, recommended the therapy to (Charles) Barkley. Other Suns, Mark West and A.C. Green, also have been Rolfed...with satisfactory results," reported the Arizona Republic, May 1994.  
Sarah Will, 1998 US Paralympic Gold Medal Skier, a member of the US Disabled Ski Team is a paraplegic athlete that credits her five gold metals to Rolfing. Will's says that "Rolfing gives you a competitive edge as an athlete."  
Sharon Sander, ranked #2 on the US Pentathlon team, who's preparing to compete in the first women's Olympics pentathlon, says, "I recommend Rolfing for any athlete who has ever had trouble with injuries or doesn't feel like they are reaching their potential."  
Joe Greene, two-time U.S.A. Olympic bronze medal long jumper says, "Rolfing works. It really makes a huge difference. I've been in track and field a long time and wish I had known about it sooner. My stomach tenses and my hips tighten when I jump. The Rolfing bodywork helped me to breathe and I felt taller."   

Craig Swan, former N.Y. Mets pitcher, says, "Bodywork can extend athletic careers," says Swan, whose career ended from an sports injury. "I truly believe if I had been Rolfed in the early part of my career, I would still be pitching."Swan’s recovery from a pitching injury inspired him to become a Certified Rolfer and help others.  
Leon Fleisher, virtuoso concert pianist: "When a crippling hand injury ended his performing career, Peabody pianist, Leon Fleisher went down a different musical road. Thirty years later, he's turned up an unexpected corner (when he met Certified Advanced Rolfer, Tessy Brunghardt)...The (Rolfing) results were remarkable." John Hopkins magazine, 1995.  
Levar Burton - "The Rolfer works on fascia which is the thin sheath of white tissue that covers the musculature. By manipulating the fascia you manipulate the musculature, and in turn the skeletal structure, so you bring alignment to the body... It can be very healing, cleansing and balancing for the body." Oprah - July 7, 1996  
Willie Nelson, songwriter: "My wife recommended (Rolfing) highly", says Willie Nelson, "...The first of ten sessions fixed (my back pain)," reported the New York Times, on Feb. 23,

Health Professionals 
Larry Dossey, M.D., best-selling author: "There is one major reason to take Rolfing® seriously: it works. Not only can it dramatically change people's bodies, it can transform their lives as well. Rolfing is powerful stuff."  
Jim Mongomery, MD, an orthopedic surgeon in Dallas, Texas, often refers his clients to Rolfing. "I send a variety of my clients to a Certified Advanced Rolfer, Nicholas French. People with shoulder and elbow problems, with scar tissue resulting from injury or surgery, chronic hamstring problems, low back and cervical spine problems. People that have had chronic problems that have not been helped by anything else. All those people can be helped with Rolfing."   
Karlis Ullis, MD, (team physician for 1992 summer Olympics), Sports Medicine and Anti-Aging Medical Group in Santa Monica, CA: "Athletes always need help with chronic injuries, muscular strains and overuse. The Olympic athletes wouldn't have as many injuries if they had appropriate soft tissue therapy. Rolfing is valuable for athletes in high level competition to address the build up of scar tissue and disarrangement of myofascial tissue that occurs from training, competition and injury." Dr. Ullis has provided medical expertise to athletes at five Olympic games, including Lillehammer, Albertville, and Barcelona, in the fields of figure skating, cross country skiing, bobsleigh, biathlon, track and field and other sports.  
Certified Advanced Rolfer and MD, Dr. Bret Nye, speaks about alternative/complementary medicine, a cost effective, alternative to surgery and drugs - "Demand for the services of health practitioners like Rolfers is growing as evidenced by the Nov. 98 JAMA estimate of $21.2 billion being spent for alternative medicine in 97. Integrative health care, is a new trend, that combines Western and complementary medicines to offer the best technological advances in health care. Health insurance companies are increasingly becoming interested in therapies like Rolfing not only as potential cost effective alternatives or complements to traditional modalities, but as opportunities to provide coverage for services that will distinguish them in an increasingly competitive market place of providers."  

what's it all about alfie

Rolfing® — A holistic approach to health

A person who feels out of alignment probably will have aches and pains and will often turn to anti-inflammatory drugs, muscle relaxants and painkillers.
A person who feels out of alignment probably will have aches and pains and will often turn to anti-inflammatory drugs, muscle relaxants and painkillers.
by Deanna Melnychuk — 
What does rolfing do that other complementary therapies do not? Why is it considered holistic?
Rolfing is more than a feel-good or fix-it alternative therapy. When connective tissue has been injured through accidents or invaded and cut via surgery, its nature is to create more connective tissue in the damaged area. This is a good thing, as the new connective tissue supports and strengthens the areas which are threatened. However, this is a problem when the internal and/or external connective tissue becomes so thick that it inhibits movement or actually pulls bones out of alignment.
A person who feels out of alignment probably will have aches and pains and will often turn to anti-inflammatory drugs, muscle relaxants and painkillers. There are times when these work, simply masking the real problem, and other times when they do not work.
If pharmaceuticals do not work, or if you prefer not to take drugs, it may be time to consider Rolfing Structural Integration. Each session in a 10-session rolfing series lasts between 75 and 90 minutes. The first three sessions create a base or foundation for the body’s unwinding over the next four sessions. The last three sessions integrate the physical changes into a holistic realignment.
Using hands, fingers, elbows and arms, a rolfer stretches and lengthens connective tissue which has been shortened, thickened or dehydrated. Fortunately, connective tissue is very resilient and, with appropriate deep touch within the structured series, old restrictions and body patterns are released. Following this up with cues about how to walk, stand, sit and move, the rolfer guides you to a new place of health and body awareness. Your body, once it is out of pain and is more vertically aligned in gravity, quickly begins to heal itself.
After rolfing, you may experience fewer colds and flu symptoms. One client remarked that her PMS was gone, while another was amazed that his digestive system was now functioning regularly. Still another was able to stop using his asthma inhaler.
Rolfing is not guaranteed to fix problems like these, but when your body’s immune system is working at an optimal level, you may be surprised at what spontaneously heals itself. As one 75-year-old car accident client said, “I feel lighter — like I’m floating.”
The benefits of rolfing include changes in the body’s physical structure to encourage improved posture, more flexibility, wider range of motion, enhanced athletic performance and greater body efficiency and vitality. At the same time, a sense of well-being develops as old patterns drop away. Greater emotional balance and expanded awareness also can occur. Rolfing is a body-mind-spirit experience — a holistic approach to health.

Deanna Melnychuk, B.Sc., is a certified advanced rolfer and rolfing® movement practitioner, licensed massage therapist, Reiki Master, CranioSacral therapist and reflexologist. 602-404-8685.
Reprinted from AzNetNews, Volume 25, Number 1, February/March 2006.