Structural Integration - Deep Tissue Bodywork, Posture and Movement Education

"When the body gets working appropriately, the force of gravity can flow through. Then, spontaneosly, the body heals itself."
Ida Rolf, Ph.D.

Rolfing Helps Relieve Pain of Lyme Disease Sufferer

May 31, 2013 : Blog, News

Before this article I had no idea relief was possible with Structural Integration for a person with Lyme disease. But apparently for John it has certainly helped with managing his pain. Perhaps one day I will get to give it a go. Here’s his story:

“When John Stoddart mentioned rolfing to a friend recently, her immediate reaction was, “Rolfing? I haven’t even thought about that for 25 years!”

Stoddart said, “And that was kind of what I thought at first.”

A series of deep-tissue massages that works on aligning different parts of the body, including the head, torso, arms, pelvis and legs, the therapy first came into public consciousness in the early 1970s. What founder Ida Pauline Rolf called “structural integration” was dubbed “rolfing” by her early students. Therapeutic benefits are thought to include straighter posture and better movement.

Stoddart came to rolfing after years of pain and depression.

He attributes the depression to his pain, which began in 1990 and wasn’t diagnosed as being a result of Lyme disease until 2007.

“After many years, it (the pain) settled mostly in my back, neck and head,” Stoddart said. “I gradually reduced, then stopped, cycling, swimming, running and other physical activities. Eventually it became difficult to walk and to do anything that required me to raise my arms. Even washing my hair and brushing my teeth became challenging.”

Lyme disease, a tick-borne infection, spreads bacteria in the bloodstream. If untreated, chronic neurologic symptoms can occur.

However, if treated with antibiotics, especially early in its progression, the long-term effects of the disease can be avoided.

By the time Stoddart was diagnosed, he fell into the late-stage category. But low-dose antibiotics, which he began taking after the diagnosis, reduced many of his symptoms “from disabling to manageable,” he said, “though chronic pain has persisted.”

To battle that pain, before and after the diagnosis, he has tried all kinds of different therapies, mainstream and alternative.

He came to rolfing in September of 2012, after meeting certified rolfer Barry Davison.

“I went into it (rolfing) with an open mind, but proceeded very carefully,” said Stoddart, who five years before had experienced great physical pain from a much gentler massage.

“What was really remarkable is that my body could actually handle the deep-tissue work Barry was doing.” Stoddart initially experienced “an exacerbation of the pain but after a period of a few days it was reduced. And halfway through the 10 sessions I experienced a very short window of quite reduced pain that was more evident at night. For a few nights, I was able to sleep more deeply than I had in ages. And I thought, ‘OK, there’s something very positive happening.’” ”

[ Read the rest of the article here. ]