My Journey of Rolfing®: A Pathway to ‘Coming Home’

By Louise Almgren, Certified Advanced Rolfer® - Stockholm, Sweden 

I often reflect on my journey with Rolfing® Structural Integration, from both the perspectives of a practitioner and a receiver: how it began as a physical journey and unfolded into a way of life, a pathway of learning about and understanding myself, a cornerstone in creating support and acceptance. In my experience, Rolfing® is not only about relieving pain, but about uncovering and integrating who we are and where we belong– it’s about ‘coming home’.   

In reflecting on my journey, Dr. Ida Rolf’s words from Ida Rolf Talks deeply resonate with me. They emphasise the importance of finding the balance between leading and following when working together with a client and finding the patience to allow the body to unfold and integrate at its own pace:

There is one first rule of Rolfing: if you at first don’t succeed, get the hell out. Because if at first you don’t succeed, it’s somewhere else. There is no use in taking a hammer and tongs and trying to pull it apart. That’s not the answer. The whole trick of Rolfing is going around and around, and not barging through.”

– Dr. Ida Rolf

 

Experiencing Rolfing

My journey with Rolfing® began in my early 20’s; I was in pain, conventional treatments couldn’t provide a solution, and I was discouraged! By a stroke of good luck, I was introduced to Dick Larsson, a Certified Rolfer®, and the rest is history. It took twelve sessions for me to be pain-free, but within 15 minutes of my first session, I knew Rolfing would be my work. 

 

The Influence of Mentors 

Who you have as teachers points you in a direction of discovery of who you become as a Rolfer. My main influence stems from Gael Rosewood, Tom Wing, and Sharon Wheeler; they have laid the foundation of who I am as a practitioner today.

Learning from and mentoring with Sharon Wheeler from 2010-2019, however, has influenced my work the most. Her perspective of The Art of Rolfing, her unique training with Dr. Rolf, her understanding of bones and scars within the layers of myo-fascia, her curiosity and openness to possibilities, always thinking outside the ‘box’– to learn from someone with these perspectives over a nine-year period has been invaluable to me.  

 

The Power of Opening ‘Pandora’s Box’ 

My journey wasn't solely shaped by external influences; it was also gained through my own journey healing from various traumas.  

I have learned firsthand the power of ‘opening Pandora's Box’, of unwinding and integrating the layers of trauma to find healing and wholeness– a path that ultimately leads to profound growth and self- awareness. 

Dr. Rolf speaks of this idea in Ida Rolf Talks, that if one chooses to go so far, Rolfing® is a pathway to layers upon layers of potential healing: 

With ten hours, people get to a level which is comfortable and offers them much more opportunity for creative work; with much more than that you are opening Pandora’s Box."    

- Dr. Ida Rolf 

Opening “Pandora’s Box” is a blessing if that is your path. For me, it is. For most of the people I work with, it is. 

My understanding of this work so far is that Ida Rolf’s vision was to integrate all bodies; physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual. For each of us to mature into our normal state of being as we align with the gravitational field and the energies of life. 

This process takes time. I am still learning to listen better, to see better, to uncover the incredible depth of Rolfing. 


Author: Louise Almgren, Certified Advanced Rolfer® - Stockholm, Sweden 

Photos: provided by © Louise Almgren 

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