It is my job to look at a client’s body and observe what structural changes could help the person move more easily, breathe more freely, and feel more comfortable.

In the safety of my office, it is easy to do. I am wearing my Structural Integration glasses. My view is focussed on the arrangement of bones, muscles, fascia, and viscera. The questions of how and why the arrangement happened are largely left to the client. Was a particular twist in a hip the result of a fall? A sports injury? A belief?

As curious and inspired as I am to understand and live in every cell in my own body, I leave the story of how something came to be to the responsibility of the client. Not everyone wants to know why something exists. Just fix it!

In this workshop, entitled Survivors, the exploration of events that are considered “less than nurturing” from ages one to 17 are examined, talked about in a group setting, and provided with feedback.

The story behind who a person is today is partially answered by these events which are often too overwhelming to be processed at the times when they occur. Listening to others share their stories was as interesting to me as when a client reveals his or her structural twists, rotations, scars and misalignments. Listening to the life stories was an entirely different approach to healing than what I am trained to do.

Telling my own story was a little like being Rolfed for the first time. My Rolfer touched me in a way no one had and put her hands on the exact places in my body that needed to change. She guided me to make movement so change could occur just as the Survivors counsellor asked appropriate questions to elicit new thoughts or perspectives about my personal history.

I have great respect and appreciation for the many ways of connecting to one’s Self. The joke of the week when someone would ask, “how are you doing?” was “surviving”. In reality, by understanding how our past has created our present brings a level of understanding and acceptance that makes life and the relationships we form more than survivial, but personal evolution.