For anyone who copes with ongoing health issues, recovery from an injury, stiffness of movement, or some other type of trauma, the holistic healing therapy of Rolfing might be able to bring some relief. Sarah McClennen believes that this technique is effective because it gets to the root of the problem and helps people become more functional. In her view, health issues are due to both physical and emotional causes, and cannot be separated.
Sarah P. McClennen, Certified Advanced Rolfer and Rolf Movement Practitioner, LMT, CST moved her practice from New London to Andover at 9 Johnson Lane, next to Andover’s chiropractor, Dan Bezon. In fact, they share referrals, as one healing methodology complements the other in many cases.
The two practitioners have known each other since 1992, which is when she started doing body work. Sarah moved to New Hampshire in 1986, and also has a home office in North Woodstock, New Hampshire where she resides.
What is Rolfing? Once a misunderstood therapy on the spectrum of holistic healing, this form of bodywork has become more mainstream over the past 10 years. Founded by Dr. Ida Rolf, Rolfing Structural Integration, as it is properly called, “…is a form of bodywork that reorganizes the connective tissues, called fascia, which permeate the entire body.” This quote from Sarah’s website at FeelPeaceful.com is accompanied by a wealth of knowledge about the practice, as well as information about her work, hours and rates, resource links, and much more.
In general terms, “Rolfing Structural Integration aims to restore flexibility, revitalize your energy, and leave you feeling more comfortable in your body. The Rolfing process enables the body to regain the natural integrity of its form, thus enhancing postural efficiency and freedom of movement.”
Unlike massage, which Sarah practiced at first, Rolfing uses a firm steady pressure without the use of oils to manipulate the layer of connective tissue referred to as the fascia. This pressure sends a message to the brain and to the body’s internal healing mechanisms which then kick into action.
Clients are asked to wear, or bring, comfortable, loose-fitting shorts and for women a tank top or sports bra. Sarah’s technique is to observe the body movements of the person and determine areas that might be contributing to the pain, which may be different areas than where the pain or discomfort is felt. The goal is “functional alignment and coordinated body movement, which gives rise to comfort and ease of movement.”
The standard treatment begins with a series of 10 sessions which focus on body alignment and comfortable movement around a “center line.” This is different than the concept of perfect posture.
Also different from massage therapy is the aspect of “movement education” that completes each session. This helps guide the client to learn new habits to avoid repetitive habits that may have contributed to the issue.
A series of three sessions is also a possibility to address a more specific injury or issue. After the 10 sessions, tune-ups can be done to address new issues which arise or to continue the work started in the 10 sessions.
Rolfing can be useful in the treatment of a wide variety of ailments, from scoliosis, to pain from injuries and surgeries, chronic illnesses, trauma, stress, and more. The patient’s history of any impacts on the body is taken into account, including developmental, in order to arrive at a targeted treatment plan.
As a result of COVID, Sarah’s practice has now implemented an online booking system, complete with reminders, and forms that can be completed at home rather than in the office. This lessens the time spent in the office, and allows the in-person focus to be on the treatment.
All precautions have been taken for sanitation, including breaks between clients for stringent cleaning, no overlap of visitors, masks, and a high-powered air filtration system. Safety is taken very seriously by both Sarah and her clients, who are asked to cancel their appointment if they show any sign of illness or have been exposed to someone who is ill. Sarah has waived her usual 24-hour cancellation policy during this time.
Another technique available, recently acquired by Sarah and used either separately or in conjunction with Rolfing, is Brainspotting. This therapy involves the use of special music and eye position to help the brain release trauma.
This treatment is effective for anyone suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), as it involves “re-wiring” the brain stem, which is where trauma settles in. The body/brain does not differentiate between emotional and physical trauma. So Brainspotting is also effective when the body does not respond to bodywork to resolve long-held musculoskeletal issues.
For more information on Rolfing, Brainspotting, or other services, visit Sarah’s website at FeelPeaceful.com These treatment options just might open a world of new healing possibilities for you or someone you know.