CAPA structural integration - 2004-01-12-Winter-December

Case Presentation

Pages: 20
Year: 2004
Dr. Ida Rolf Institute

Structural Integration: The Journal of the Rolf Institute – Winter/December 2004 – Vol 32 – Nº 04

Volume: 32


Glen came to Rolfing with primarily psychobiological goals. He was hoping that the work would help him be able to adapt to changes happening in his life. He also wanted to have more awareness of his body, and to “facilitate reintegration at all levels,” in his words. As the series progressed, his goals moved into the structural and functional realms as well – as he progressed into more awareness of his body, he noticed his body moving in different ways. He reported some pain between sessions 4-7, but reported that it went away during 8-10. As the series neared its end, Glen seemed to be able to combine the functional sense of his body with his energetic awareness. He felt that he wanted to be able to heal the places where he had been “at war” with his body and come to a place of acceptance.



Glen’s pelvic girdle has continued to develop more support. Diagonals at his joints have been reduced, and the “bunching” of tissue around his knees (due to patterns of muscle tonus and bone torsion) has lessened. His lower back lengthened as his pelvis was able to move closer to horizontal. In his chest, we achieved a greater sense of space in all three axes. His shoulder girdle was able to become more differentiated from his neck and chest, and his arms more free at the joints. We were also able to get length through the spine, most noticeably in the cervical vertebrae, where his hyperlordosis was markedly eased.


The functional concerns I had during earlier sessions concerning Glen’s ankle and knee pain seem to have alleviated. He reported that the pain in his ankles had gone away, especially after movement education that focused on using his toe hinge only to the point of structural ability. The knee pain was still present after strenuous exercise, but to a lesser degree than was reported before. Movement education allowed Glen to have a sense of push in walking, especially when taught to push into his sternum through the ground via the toe hinge. This movement allowed an easier, freer walk, and allowed him to land without locking his knee first. Structural release and movement imagery has allowed Glen to breathe with more ease into his upper chest and back, although he still primarily uses his abdomen to breathe unless attention is brought to his thorax.


Glen feels that the emotional and energetic goals he had for his sessions were fully met. He reports a much greater sense of awareness in his body, and more body mind spirit connection. He feels that he is able to be much more adaptable and open emotionally. He reports feeling vulnerable several times between sessions, which would have previously made him try to escape the feeling through entertainment or heavy exercise. Now, he says he is able to sit with his emotions without escaping, even if they are uncomfortable.

He has also experienced great changes in his attitude toward his body. Before experiencing Rolfing, he would often take an adversarial position toward areas of pain. He associated the pain, especially knee pain, with getting old. After the ten series, he reports that he is able to acknowledge pains in his body without identifying with them or fighting against them. Instead, he is able to note the pain and move on. He also reports that his attitude toward activities has changed. Instead of worrying about the outcome of an activity he is able to enjoy the process of doing it.

In his Client Report, Glen describes his experience with Rolfing as about integrating his life processes – spiritual, mental, emotional, and physical and showing his relationship to those processes as “Creator” of the four, rather than victim or observer.


Glen has many resources in his life that I feel will be able to help him in his goal of further coming into awareness of his body. His Chi Gong practice will be a great resource for him to keep the flow of energy as well as grace of movement that he found during the sessions. He feels that he is able to keep a great sense of awareness during his physical activities, and I believe that he will benefit from continuing with these from a sense of joy in the sensation rather than the goal.

I had planned to leave Glen with a small movement series to take with him, but during the closure session I felt that it was more useful for him to express his experience of the sessions and the changes in his life during the series. Because of this, I did not have the time to introduce him to the movements. However, I did recommend future movement (as well as structural) work for him once his body had settled into the changes that will continue to happen for six months or so. I gave him the contact information for a practitioner who I believe would be an excellent fit for Glen, to provide him with a resource for future work.

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