Your Practitioner Your Practitioner

My life has gone through many transformations, every experience adding depth, texture and skill. I began life in the Mountains of Montana. I learned to ride almost before I could walk. Long days in the saddle honed my sense balance, which carried me easily into gymnastics, later Judo, then Tai Chi Chuan. I grew up in the country, making mud pies and playing in the trees and grass. I learned much from my father; working cows, training horses, the use of a forge and anvil. With an easy relationship with math and physics, as well as several Science Fairs under my belt, I entered the Montana State University engineering program. I soon discovered that to continue, I must resign myself to corporate projects, and would never have the opportunity to build. As a man of my hands that was not to my taste, so I switched to the Trades. I worked as a Carpenter, then as a Traditional Blacksmith. I reached the point in my life where I could build most anything I could envision, given the materials and tools for the project.

However, I couldn't find peace in my body. A severe sledding accident when I was ten had left me with chronic hip and back pain. The heavy physical labor only made it worse. Over the course of fifteen years, when none of the practitioners I had visited could help, I had resigned myself to the pain. Even my Yoga and Taiji Chuan practice provided only slight and temporary relief. Then I met a woman who practiced Structural Integration. She took one look at me and said, "You know, I think we could do something about that... " I was rather surprised to hear this, since I hadn't even told her about the pain I was experiencing, but I agreed to let her try. Much to my surpise, she did! Over the course of Ten Sessions, I experienced my body and life changing radically. The pain I had lived with for years faded. My errant right leg derotated and lengthened. My ability to handle stressful situations increased. I felt like I had been born anew. I became fascinated by how the tissues of the body could be molded like the hot iron that I had become so familiar with. Physical problems need not be permanent! Finally, I had found a path I could truly believe in. With a letter of recommendation from my Practitioner, I began my training at the Guild for Structural Integration.

Today, I find that everything I have learned along the way has formed a strong foundation for my Practice of Structural Integration. From Physics and Engineering I have aquired the knowledge to understand structural systems, force vectors, leverage potentials and design. I can look at a load bearing structure and see its strength and weakness. In my minds eye, I watch force and tension transmit through the body. From Blacksmithing I developed the ability further. I found that I was able to build entire projects in my imagination, molding order and harmony out of hot steel where every intervention effects an entire system. Looking at the body, I see all the potential for strength, agility and grace and the places where it has become stuck. From working (and playing) with horses, I have found the sensitivity needed to work with the highly tuned nervous system, where communication occurs with imperceptable gestures, shifts of balance and intention. With this level of perception I am able to very my quality of touch to work with the soft form of a child, or the hardened adult who says that noone has ever been able to get in there quite deep enough. From the Taoist art of Tai Chi Chuan I have learned the advanced and subtle body mechanics that allow strength to be expressed without effort; where, as it is said in the Tai Chi Classics, 'four ounces of pressure can deflect a thousand pounds of force'.

All of these skills and abilities, I bring into the service of the Rolf Method of Structural Integration.

"It was wonderful to meet you and to work with you.  You are a visionary, skillful, soulful humanitarian and artisan.  I meant it when I revealed to you that I thought your entire upbringing and early career as blacksmith was all to prepare you for your destiny to sculpt living flesh and cure human hearts as they sublimate through phase changes....." ~ Jane S., Rolf Practitioner

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