Alignment Problems are Not Just for Automobiles

by Victoria L. Huss

With the fast pace of the highway of life, it is natural to rely on our built-in cruise control while taking a beating from the bumps and potholes along the way. Pressures and stress become like giant billboards or oncoming traffic competing for our attention. Our bodies and nervous systems do their best to fully process everything we experience as it happens. Nevertheless, it is common to slow down or experience unnecessary wear and tear because our bodies have lost proper alignment.

Anyone who has ever driven and maintained an automobile for an extended period of time has likely dealt with an alignment problem. The effects of a simple curb nudge, fender-bender or direct collision may create a misalignment that is not immediately obvious. We may notice that something is amiss only when the tires wear unevenly, the steering wheel pulls in a particular direction or the drag of worn tires decreases fuel efficiency. Our bodies are very much like automobiles—and we may not realize that our own alignment is off until an ankle sprain leads to knee trouble or the occasional ache develops into chronic pain or worse yet—we need a knee or hip replacement.

Just as automobiles have options for alignment correction at the mechanic’s shop, so do misaligned bodies at the hands of a Certified Rolfer™. A Certified Rolfer™ has completed a rigorous and intensive program considered ‘post graduate’ in nature at the Rolf Institute® of Structural Integration. This training includes in-depth study of biological sciences, physiology, anatomy, structural body reading, the theory of Rolfing® and extensive clinical work under supervision. Rolfing® is a dynamic system of soft tissue manipulation and somatic education that restores the body’s healthiest and most efficient alignment. It is not a simple procedure that can be taught in a webinar or weekend continuing education workshop.

A Rolfer™ looks at the whole person and works to make the body more secure within the field of gravity by focusing on the fascia—the connective tissue that surrounds, supports and penetrates all of the muscles, bones, veins, nerves and organs of the body. Alignment problems are addressed by working different fascial segments of the body in sequential order and by facilitating perceptual changes in how a client relates to his or environment. By balancing the right side of the body against the left, the top with the bottom, the front side against the back, and finally, the inside of the body against the outside, the entire person is balanced around a vertical line.

Correcting alignment can positively affect a person on multiple levels. As bones and muscles can finally do their proper jobs, energy is freed up and the body can now move more efficiently. Functioning of respiration, digestion, circulation and the nervous system is enhanced and the ability to process stress improves. Better balance and body symmetry can shift posture so dramatically that chronic pain often eases or disappears entirely. A person who receives this work often finds that it takes less effort to sit and stand upright. Overall, many folks who have undergone a ten session series of Rolfing® Structural Integration have reported changes in their physical structure to also affect them on the energetic, emotional, and spiritual levels.

All the incidents, accidents and challenges on the highway of life are inevitably going to affect how you function in the present. Consider an alignment tune-up with a Certified Rolfer™ to ease years of wear and tear and restore efficiency to movement. Your automobile may not be able to thank you for all of the time and money spent on ‘maintenance’, but your body will!

Rolfing® and Rolfer™ are registered service marks of the Rolf Institute® of Structural Integration.