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“Where you think it is, it ain’t” Dr Ida Rolf

Ida Rolf (1896-1979) created the postural education and fascial therapy known as Rolfing. She studied osteopathy, chiropractic medicine, yoga, & the Alexander technique. Many of my tutors have quoted her to me.


Dr Rolf is always in my head when I treat people with deep tissue massage. Once I have ruled out pathalogical red flags and assessed the area of pain, I look above and below the joint it to see what might be the cause. This happened just last Friday with a lovely client who returned after saying that I had "magically" made the pain in her hip/side go away (her words, not mine) could I help her with her feet.


This time she had pain in her heels, which she thought was plantar fasciitis. This was a reasonable assumption given the location of the pain and her history of tight calves. I checked her plantar facia and found it not to be tight. I treated the calf, assuring her that if it was plantar faciitis, the heel pain would reduce. There was no change. I moved above the knee to the hamstring, assuring that there would certainly be relief if it was plantar faciitis. There was no change. I asked her to repeat how the pain felt in her heel. This time she used a different word, "it feels like a SHOOTING pain". There it was, all the info I needed to add two and two together. The dermatome associated with pain in the heel is from nerve root for S1 but I headed up further knowing a little about her posture lifestyle and ailments. I massaged her neck and the heel pain instantly disappeared. Sometimes it can take a while to figure out where the cause is, but when you do the relief the client feels is wonderful to be party to.


Here is another of those lovely Rolf quotes, it describes her Law of Correspondence –


‘That which is above is below, and as below so above’. For knee pain, look to the hip and ankle. For Elbow pain, look to the shoulder and wrist.


Thank you, Dr Rolf.


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