Certified Advanced Rolfer
Certified Rolfing Movement Practitioner
Faculty, Rolf Institute of Structural Integration
I discovered Rolfing® in 1980 while recovering from back surgery. The surgery allowed me to walk again but I often still had severe pain. Rolfing alleviated my ongoing pain by resolving old injuries (football) and compensations which lead to the crippling back pain and eventual surgery. This experience and an ongoing interest in the human body and movement as an athlete and ski coach lead me to begin my Rolfing training in 1985. I received my basic certification in 1987, finished my Advanced Rolfing Certification in 1993, and received my Movement certification in 2002. I have been on the faculty of the Rolf Institute® since 2004 and have conducted classes with students from all over the world.
I also have over 1200 hours of training in biodynamic craniosacral therapy. I have spent the last 20 years integrating this knowledge into a whole body approach to the Rolfing paradigm.
My initial Rolfing training involved an assertive / direct approach to the myofascial system. I am now able to help bring balance and organization to the body with a more integrative and comprehensive approach. I get more done with less effort.
Because of my years of back pain, I love helping folks who are in chronic pain. Particularly rewarding is helping people to resolve severe trauma and working with those who thought they would never be comfortable in their body again.
As a native Coloradan, I’ve spent most of my life in the mountains and now live in Steamboat Springs, CO. My passions include biking, skiing, rafting and hiking. My most rewarding work is teaching massage therapists, physical therapists and Rolfers about how to more easily help the body rediscover its inherent grace, order and freedom of movement.
Thomas Walker, a faculty member for The Rolf Institute, talks about his journey to incorporate a biodynamic understanding of embodiment and treatment into the Rolfing model. Listen to Episode 22 – Thomas Walker – Rolfing, Biodynamics, and the Quest For Greater Fluidity.
Certified Advanced Rolfer
My first experience with Rolfing was through my work as a professional seamstress and designer. By trading sewing for Rolfing, I received my first Rolfing series. As the series progressed I experienced a profound shift in my self-awareness and self-esteem. I came to recognize that my physical body was not monstrous and ungainly but actually beautiful in ways I could not see before. The depth of this shift planted a seed and I determined then to help others become more comfortable and functional in their bodies. After three babies and several life transitions this seed sprouted and sent me to Rolfing training from which I graduated in 1990.
My work as a Rolfer has been a wonderful blessing and a simple vehicle for me to bring help and support to my community and people I meet in my travels. The way I was trained, unfortunately was very hard on my hands. I had compressed most of the joints of my hands and sprained my thumbs in my first few years of my practice. To this day, 27 years later, I continue to struggle with the damage I did to my hands early on.
Early on I also realized that I wanted/needed to know more about the head than I had learned in my basic training. I took a weekend cranial workshop a few years into my practice. It was a bio-mechanical training about how to check movement of the cranial bones and then make them do what I think they should do. I could find no way to use this information in my practice, but I did learn that I could feel subtle movements in the body IF I could lighten my touch and not override the movements with my pressure and intention. I also learned more about how to “get out of the way” of healing, as was mentioned in my basic training.
Years later my partner Thomas and I took an opportunity to go to a presentation at an “alternative grand rounds” about Osteopathic cranial work by a renowned Cranial Osteopath, Dr. James Jealous. There were many things he spoke about in his presentation that resonated deeply in me and I recognized that the work Dr. Jealous described was the work I wanted to learn to augment my Rolfing training. Unfortunately he only teaches osteopaths, MDs, DMDs and so my only access to his wisdom was to take every opportunity I could to listen to his public presentations.
It took a few more years for us to find a cranial training that met our criteria for the work we wanted to learn. We trained with Michael Shea, who is an excellent, entertaining and brilliant teacher. Another bonus was that the Michael had been a Rolfer, so he brought a familiar background, view point and language into his training which helped us to integrate parts of that cranial work into our Rolfing practices.
A huge turning point came for me while doing my homework sessions between our cranial class segments. I was amazed to experience that a tight, stiff shoulder I noticed in my check in with my client was completely resolved by doing the very subtle listening, not “doing” and keeping “out of the way” I was practicing in my homework sessions.
This was the true impetus for my long and continuing journey of softening my touch and changing my intention and attention. As I refine my contact skills and presence, always exploring ways to work with my clients that honors and supports their own healing process, my work becomes more broad. My hands continue to heal and immediately alert me to any heavy handedness on my part and the work I do has a wider end result in easing the difficulties my clients bring to my table.
I know so many Rolfers, massage therapist and PTs who have hurt and continue to hurt themselves in the way they do their work. For both practitioners and their clients this training we offer will be of great value to hands on healers. Because of the value I have experienced for both my own wellbeing and my ability to help others, I believe the skills and knowledge that Thomas and I have been refining and deepening into are of tremendous value to folks who use their hands to bring healing to others.
Our intent for the classes we teach is to offer the understanding of how to most effectively address the very sensitive self-healing aspect within our clients and how to practice our healing arts without overriding our client’s inner wisdom and inherent health and so we can more easily serve our community and clients. We look forward to sharing this work wth you.