Rolfing brings balance to body
After Dave Sheldon injured his wrist in a skiing accident, he went through surgery and a long period of recovery. Although he tried various healing therapies, it was Rolfing that ultimately worked the best for him. “I didn’t know what to expect,” Sheldon said. “In the first session, my Rolfer worked on the upper part of my arms. The contact was slow and specific. The therapist went to the exact places that were stuck, and then the looseness went into my hands. I could feel my arms slowly changing. I could breathe easier and my range of motion was different.” Sheldon continued with Rolfing, which became a life-changing experience for him. Originally from Syracuse, New York, Sheldon moved to Fort Collins to study cultural anthropology at Colorado State University. He was an avid rock climber and became a free-lance writer in the outdoor magazine industry, and an editor with Climbing Magazine. After his third session of Rolfing, he became inspired to learn how to do it. He saved his money and enrolled in the Boulder Rolfing Institute, a two-year program. Rolfing Structural Integration is named after its founder, Dr. Ida P. Rolf, who recognized more than 50 years ago that the body is inherently a seamless network of connective tissue, rather than a collection of separate parts. Sheldon explained that this system of connective tissue surrounds, supports and penetrates all of the muscles, bones, nerves and organs of the body. Rolfing works on this web-like complex to release, realign and balance the whole body. After the internal lines of tension are released and balanced, a person gains a more finely tuned shape and posture. Freedom and ease of movement are also enhanced. Natural integrity is strengthened and so too is one’s health and well-being. Sheldon learned much anatomy and how to balance a person’s whole structure. He watched how one walks and learned a client’s unique history and potential for health. He understood that back pain could be caused by the legs and that neck pain could be related to how the hips are aligned. After graduating, Sheldon started a Rolfing practice in Boulder. Over the years, he gained many clients from the Nederland area who encouraged him to open an office in the mountains so they wouldn’t have to drive to the flatlands. “It was a good idea, from a business standpoint,” Sheldon said. “I wanted to give it a shot and in a couple of weeks it all came together.” Sheldon lives in Boulder but said if his new office becomes busy he would consider living in Nederland. While talking to his landlord he discovered that an acupuncturist was looking for office space, and the two of them will share the room under Off Her Rocker on First Street. It was a perfect solution for both of them. The office windows open creekside, allowing the burbling creek sound to create a pleasant, relaxing background melody — a place to let the cares of the world slip away as muscles relax and tendons loosen. Sheldon works lightly at first, feeling the tension in the connective tissue. He says to picture a tent with guide wires keeping it upright. If one point becomes too tight, the whole tent loses its structural integrity. In one’s body, the internal tension needs to be relieved to get back to normal. “Most people can tell within three sessions if Rolfing is helping them,” Sheldon said. “At that point we either come up with a plan for more work or a referral. Most people say keep on going.” Sheldon has made Rolfing his life career. He also rock climbs, skis and teaches at the Rolfing school. He continued his own Rolfing education and is now an advanced Rolfer. He emphasized that he applies a light tough or a deeper touch that stays within a person’s comfort zone, which, he said, works a lot better than inflicting pain. He has an introductory offer of a free 30-minute consultation for those who are curious about what Rolfing can do for them. Right now he is juggling office time between Boulder and Nederland and is available on a Monday through Friday schedule. For an appointment or more information, call 303-519-2412.