Free to move

Why I love the Rolf Method

By Lisa Marie O’Neil, WAC Rolf Method Practitioner

Years ago, I found myself facing a potential lumbar fusion procedure following years of competitive javelin throwing and professional firefighting. In pain and desperate to avoid surgery, I stumbled upon the Rolf Method. After my first 10 sessions—the length of a typical introductory series—I was able to alleviate my chronic pain, regain my sense of well-being, and say no to the knife. So impressed was I by the power of the Rolf Method that I began studying it myself. Now, as the WAC’s new Rolf Method Practitioner of Structural Integration, I can’t wait to share this powerful healing modality with you.

The Rolf Method of Structural Integration manipulates major muscle groups and surrounding connective tissue by applying slow and steady pressure while calling for small micro-movements. Through this process, tissue is liberated as new patterns are learned. Areas of our bodies that have felt stuck forever can glide, chronic pain is alleviated, and movement initiates with extension rather than contraction. By releasing core holding patterns that no longer serve us, the body moves freely and we feel lighter and younger.

When your body is no longer in a permanent state of stress and constriction, healing can happen as a sense of grace and ease liberates the psyche and soma. As Rolf movement specialist Rosemary Fetis noted: “When bodies function appropriately, balance is free to happen, there is a spring in the step and a sense of well-being that is infectious.”

If you are suffering from long-term pain and have ever wondered if the Rolf Method might help, I invite you to give it a try. Just as our fascial tissues adapt to trauma by shortening and thickening, so too can those same tissues be re-taught efficient movement, freeing our bodies from chronic pain and delivering dramatic life improvement.

Lisa Marie O’Neil competed in the 1984 Outdoor Track & Field NCAA Championships and holds a spot on the University of Washington’s all-time outdoor track & field performance list for her athletic achievements as a javelin thrower. Lisa is available by appointment on Wednesdays from 1–7 pm. Reach her through the WAC Wellness Center at or 206.839.4780. For more information, visit

As published in the September/October issue of WAC Magazine

—Posted September 11, 2018

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