So let’s take my mother-in-law, she’s a healthy, active 70 year-old woman. But she lives in the Midwest and tends to fall on ice in the winter. 3 years ago she fractured her ulna (the thin bone in the forearm). She was in a sling for 6 weeks.

The bone healed just fine, but she never regained full range of motion in her wrist. And in the last year and half she has developed some achy knots in her left shoulder and some strange pain around her right 12th rib in her mid/ low back.

There is no obvious cause to those symptoms, but it’s debilitating. She’s a gifted knitter and knitting in itself is hard on the shoulders and arms if you’re not careful. But now it really hurts. When I started working on her, long after the fall since I am in Portland and she’s not, I noticed that she wasn’t moving her right shoulder to its full range of motion. She didn’t hurt her shoulder in the fall, but because of the sling she couldn’t really use it either.

Immobility is our worse enemy.

If you can’t move one part of your body other places have to compensate, and usually it’s not pretty for the tissue.

Imagine a mobile. All the pieces have a certain weight, place and range of motion and they move harmoniously together but independently. But if you hold one piece the whole structure gets destabilized, shift the one piece you’re holding just a little and you create chaos. The other pieces can’t move the way they’re supposed to, they fall to the side, they intersect, and you end up with one big mess of knots.

That’s what your body can end up looking like and feeling like. Especially after an injury our body holds places to not be in pain and that creates more strain in other areas. Unfortunately bodies are not good at releasing those holdings and over time you develop those seemingly random pains that won’t go away.

With Rolfing we can change those patterns of holdings so that your body can let go and reorganize itself. We can un-tie the knots in the mobile one by one. At this point we don’t care what the original injury was, the whole body needs to be addressed.