The path of energy work involves a lot of personal transformation. It’s not just a collection of techniques, it’s not a quick zap. It’s a path into and through the unknown, the possible, the dream. It requires a commitment to exploring a world beyond the ordinary, beyond the limits of your current thinking.
Donna Thomson and Bob Schrei Since its introduction to the Rolfing® Structural Integration (SI) community in a weekend workshop in 2004, SourcePoint Therapy® (SPT) has had a consistent allure to Rolfers and structural integration practitioners. One of its co-founders, Bob Schrei, is himself a Certified Advanced Rolfer. The other founder, Donna Thomson, is an intuitive and meditation guide with a master’s degree in social work, and the primary author of SourcePoint Therapy: Exploring the Blueprint of Health (Merlinwood Books, 2015). This book’s appeal to practitioners of SPT is that all the basic principles and practices of SPT are included. It also holds some real gems for Rolfers and other bodywork professionals.
SourcePoint Therapy came out in 2015 and I’ve been practicing the work since 2006, but I keep coming back to the book for clarification and for the meditation exercises. These are not only written into the text but are also available on-line. The book is an overview of the perspective of SPT, but not a how-to manual. The authors are very clear that learning the work requires a personal introduction, which is offered through their international workshops, found on their website, www. sourcepointtherapy.com. The website also contains audio meditations from the book. These short experiences (usually around ten minutes) are helpful to SPT practitioners as well as those who seek a supported contemplative practice. Author Donna Thomson produced these, and they make either a vital addition to one’s existing meditation practice, or a point from which to begin down the path of mindfulness.
SourcePoint Therapy, like Rolfing SI, revolves around the information of the ‘blueprint’. Dr. Rolf talks about a blueprint in her book, Rolfing: The Integration of Human Structures (1977). She is never quite explicit about defining the blueprint but does mention it in the preface: “A joyous radiance of health is attained only as the body conforms more nearly to its inherent pattern. This pattern, this form, this Platonic idea, is the blueprint for structure” (Rolf, 1977, pg. 16).
The blueprint in SPT is defined in the book as “a specific, ordering, organizing energy field within this universal energy field [the matrix] that contains the information that gives rise to the human body and maintains its health” (pg. 3). The hallmarks of the blueprint are order, balance, harmony, and flow. In the practice of SPT, the practitioner connects with the information of the blueprint, him or herself, and the client in a triad formation. (The book has a beautiful drawing of this on page 62.) The triad, the means by which the information is conveyed, is a central feature of the work, and underscores one of its most prominent principles, getting out of the way.
Getting out of the way is one of those general terms that we often hear when we are learning a skill. It is that discipline of allowing things to unfold even as we work within given parameters. Anyone who has studied music can identify with this quality. Musicians can have lovely technique, but will not truly master the instrument until there is sufficient musicality to their playing. Musicality could be thought of as the quality that arises when technique is in the background and the inherent order, balance, harmony, and flow of the music are in the forefront. In doing Rolfing SI or any other bodywork modality, we also strive to get out of the way. This phenomenon becomes evident when a session simply unfolds; when the work guides itself; when, at the end of the session, both client and practitioner are able to integrate the work and feel as though the sum of the session was greater than the parts.
The triad also makes explicit the relationship of the practitioner and the client in a way that Rolfers who seek to work transformatively need to cultivate. It keeps us out of the realm of projection by moving though the layer of our own or our client’s story as well as any mechanical rationale for where and how to treat. In fact, SPT also provides some tidy answers to the question posed by Jeff Maitland: “Where do I start and what do I do next?” It does this via a system of scanning the client’s body. These scans are discussed, but again, not taught, in the book. Scanning for the location of blockages to the flow of the information of the blueprint is central to the practice of SPT. The practice parallels Rolf’s adage, “Where you think it is, it ain’t,” as the blockage may be anywhere in the system, likewise the effects of moving through or around these blockages.
Perhaps the most salient touchstone between SPT and the practice of Rolfing SI is the sacrum. The book discusses at length the structure of the human system in both geometric and energetic terms, describing the body and its surrounding matrix not only as muscle, nerve, bone, and organs, but as a series of ellipses, rectangles, spheres, and triangles. It is organic architecture and sacred geometry all at once. It finds its physical manifestation in that ‘sacred bone’, that upside-down triangle, the sacrum. In the Rolfian universe, the sacrum is both key and doorway to freedom of movement. We hold it at the end of every session to free the breath, for, as Rolf said, “The body is solid material wrapped around the breath.” In SPT, too, “The sacrum is the gateway between the energetic domain and the physical structure of the human body” (pg. 40).
SourcePoint Therapy is recommended reading for any practitioner who seeks to deepen the integrative component of Rolfing SI, or for SPT practitioners who want to affirm their own practice.
Rolf, I.P. 1977. Rolfing: The Integration of Human Structures. New York: Harper & Row.S