Dr. Ida Rolf Institute

Rolf Lines – (Genérico)


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These are pictures of Dominique.

Dominique was suffering from a severe scoliosis caused by Muccopolly Saccaridose /Syndrome of Scheie. Very little is known about this condition: cartilages, heart, lungs, and spleenare affected. Dominique’s pharynx was larger than normal, and she had very abundant and thick mucus. Because of that, and because of the compression in her lungs, due to the scoliosis, her breathing was difficult and noisy. The bones of her skull we relarger than normal.

Dominique was five years old when I first met her. She was this bright little girl with an impossible body and with eyes full of spark and humor.

She had been treated by various doctors for the various aspects of her problems.

When she was three years old, she had surgery to implanta rod in her spine. Dominique’s mother sensed her daughter was not comfortable with the rod; eventually the rod dislocated, and the surgeons had to reopen Dominique to remove it.

In addition to homeopathic remedies to help with excessive secretions in her ears and throat, Dominique’s current treatment was to wear a plastic corset (a velcroedon, rigid shell that fully enwrapped her body from hips to armpits) all day long to help support her structure and maintain sufficient inner space for her organs. Her body exhibited various sores where the corset was rubbing against her skin (hips, sternum, etc.)

At night she was supposed to be in traction, attached to herbed with a system of straps, weights and pulleys that immobilized her and exerted traction on her spine while she slept.

Also, approximately once a year, she would spend about five weeks in a specialized hospital: two weeks for tests, measurements, and fitting her in the next corset; the other three weeks were spent in constant (day and night) traction. She would come out of these traction periods noticeably elongated, but her body would eventually collapse into the scoliosis again.

Dominique was being seen by the most eminent doctors available, and everything was being done to help her.

When we started Dominique’s Rolfing, she had just finished her last period of intensive traction, a couple months previously. Her mother had begun to occasionally skip the nocturnal traction, so Dominique could enjoy a bit of freedom when she slept.

Dominique responded well to Rolfing, and after a few sessions, I suggested that she stop wearing the corset. It was nearly summer, lots of playing out-of-doors, half naked, so the moment seemed appropriate. We also decided to stop the nightly traction altogether. Her mother agreed to keep a careful eye on Dominique to make sure all was well, to avoid fatigue and aggravation of her condition.

Working with Dominique was a very intense experience. Although the first session went easily enough, she absolutely refused to let me touch her when she came in for her next session. I felt uncertain as to what I should do. I talked with Dominique’s mother, asked some fellow Rolfers for their opinion, and finally decided to seek Byron Gentry’s advice.’ His perception was that Dominique definitely needed the work, that we should continue with it; and he gave me some useful tips as to the areas of her body which most needed work.

We dove in. Some of these sessions were extraordinarily intense. Dominique’s refusal was absolute. She would scream and cry, implore and injuries, and physically do her best to escape the work. Then I would ask Dominique’s mother to help me; she would climb on the table and softly but firmly hold her daughter while I worked. Dominique would eventually relax into a calmer, trance-like mode. She would emerge from this deep state at the end of the sessions, sweet and affectionate, fully reconciled with us.

Because most of the sessions followed the same rather dramatic pattern, we decided Dominique’s Rolfing would take place at her home. Here she could benefit from a familiar and secure environment; her older sister, whom she often called for in times of profound disarray, was more likely to be present to comfort her; and in this setting I did not have to worry about what neigh boring therapists and their clients might imagine was going on.

I want to say here that even when Dominique was most totally out rage dat being Rolfed, her body always felt like it wanted the work, her tissues moving openly under my hands. I chose to trust that. My intuition was that all the expressed rage had to do with frustration, the immense anger she felt from having to live in such a mis functioning body.

I don’t know how many sessions of Rolfing Dominique received in all. We started with the basic ten, and because she was responding so well, we decided to continue. I saw her approximately every two weeks, except for one interruption of a few weeks. I worked according to what I felt was needed. The sessions were generally short: they lasted about forty-five minutes each, including time for Dominique to rest a little, walk around, do whatever she needed to do in order to make this experience acceptable for her.

Five months went by between the two sets of pictures shown here; the first one is the classic “Before Session One” set. In my opinion, they show Dominique’s condition was significantly improving, especially considering that she hadn’t been wearing a corset, no sleeping in traction since we had started.

I was now thinking about designing mini yoga exercises for Dominique, so she could begin to participate in her structural autonomy. I sensed her body’s mobility had improved well enough, and she would be able to do yoga softly without peril for herself.

Well, it was time for her yearly appointment with the specialist. Dominique’s mother showed him the pictures. Apparently he was not impressed. The measurements showed that although she had not gained any length since her last test, she had not lost any either, which, in my opinion, was significant, considering she had not been wearing her corset nor sleeping in traction since he had last seen her.

He decided to put Dominique under her usual period of intense traction any way, as a preventative measure, and to make her a new corset. Dominique was on the machine for three weeks. She had only a few more days to go when she stopped breathing one night and died in her sleep.

I think she simply got tired of it all.

That was two years ago. Lately I was doing some cleaning with my files, and I couldn’t bring myself to just throw Dominique’s pictures away. So now I am sharing this story with you.

As I said, the whole adventure on many levels was a very intense learning experience. I certainly feel more strongly than never that Rolfing can do a great deal for children, especially impaired children.

Marie-Jose Leclerc is an Advanced Rolfer in the Canadian city of Outremont, Quebec.

1 Dr. Byron Gentry is a chiropractor in private practice in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. He was trained as a Rolfer by Ida P. Rolf, Ph.D. in the 1950’s and assisted her in a number of training classes. Dr. and Mrs. Gentry will present a workshopon “Human Energy Dynamics” during the Rolf Institute’s 1990International Conference in Boulder.Dominique

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