Life in Balance
Feeling achy, slouchy or out of whack? You might want to give Rolfing a crack!
Rolfing is a therapy involving soft-tissue manipulation and movement education that realigns your body in harmony with gravity. It may increase your range of motion, decrease stiffness, improve coordination and promote relaxation.
"Rolfing isn't just about me working on you," said Jessica Welch, Certified Rolfer, R.N. "It's figuring out what went into creating a physical issue for you and letting you know what you can do to feel well even after you leave my office."
Welch is the only certified Rolfing practitioner in Acadiana. A registered nurse who worked in traditional hospital and home health settings for years, she said it was her own physical aches and pains that fueled her interest in this alternative art outside of the realm of mainstream medicine.
"I've played the violin since I was six, and the repetitive motion of standing or sitting pitched over a heavy instrument created an imbalance in my body," she explained. "Oftentimes it's not an accident, like a car crash or a fall, which causes injury, but everyday things like sitting in a car all day or hunching over a desk for long periods of time. Rolfing can help.
"It was just this sort of injury that prompted weightlifter Matthew Richard, who owns
Anytime Fitness gyms in Crowley and Rayne, to seek Welch's assistance.
"I was in chronic pain and was scheduled to have ulner nerve surgery for chronic pain in my arm and shoulder," recounted Richard. "I had a bad feeling about surgery and tried different things — physical therapy, chiropractic, deep tissue massage — but nothing helped."
Richard learned of Welch's local Rolfing practice and decided to give it a try.
"Jessica was able to really find the root of the problem," he said. "After the first couple of sessions with her I started to feel relief. By the sixth or seventh session, I was amazed. By the tenth session or so, I was completely pain-free. I feel like we are so lucky to have a Rolfer here."
Rolfing therapy involves a series of bodywork sessions with a practitioner. Welch describes these as "sort of a cross between massage and physical therapy." It also includes instruction on exercises and changes of habit that clients can practice on their own.
To learn more about Welch's practice and Rolfing, in general, visit her website at www.lafayetterolfing.com.
Rolfing may offer relief from the various postural strains that drive acute and chronic pain, including:
• impaired mobility
• post-surgical complications
• repetitive stress injuries
• recurring athletic injuries
• postpartum imbalances
What a woman!
Ida Rolf (1898-1979) earned a Ph.D. in biological chemistry from Columbia University in 1920, then studied mathematics, atomic physics and biochemistry in Switzerland and France while working in research laboratories. A devoted wife and mother of two, she developed Structural Integration, now known as Rolfing, in the 1940s. All that in an age when most women stayed in the home!