Bethany M. Ward
approach to Rolfing
my personal experience with the ten-series had a strong emotional
component, as a Rolfer my focus always begins in the physical
realm. If clients communicate a desire to explore emotional
issues, or emotional stuff comes up, Im more than happy
to facilitate this work. But I see lack of physical motion
as one of the most significant health dangers in America.
I believe most of our health problems result either directly,
or indirectly, from lack of motion.
is my goal to help clients attain structures that are more
functional and more comfortable. One of my greatest challenges
is to help people learn to take advantage of Rolfing changes
by incorporating greater range and frequency of motion in
their lives. If they can do this, they will maintain and continue
to improve their physical alignmentand overall health.
To this end, I instruct clients in range of motion exercises,
stretching with a focus on alignment, and Rolfing movement
techniques throughout the ten-series.
How I came to Rolfing
My road to Rolfing has been an interesting one. Growing up, I experienced
a deep, nagging, sadness that I couldnt name. Like so many
in American society, I dealt with this pain by keeping busy.
graduating from the North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics
in Durham, I moved on to Davidson College and attained a BA
in psychology. Summer work in psychiatric facilities convinced
me that I wanted to work in a capacity that helped individuals
make their lives better. I began researching doctoral programs
in clinical psychology and, in the meantime, got a job in
the business world.
that were important to counseling and academia turned out
to be especially sought after in business. Being able to listen,
communicate, problem-solve, and develop strategy, allowed
me to excel. I worked in several manufacturing environments,
and eventually returned to graduate schoolbut not as
previously planned. I received a masters degree in Business
Administration from the University of Georgia in 1997. I specialized
in production/operation management and management science,
consulting at Delta Airlines as well as production facilities
you all this not to toot my horn, but to show you how I got trapped
in striving for continuous achievement. My definition of achievement
is very different today but, at that time, always staying busy allowed
me to avoid dealing with the hidden sadness. With my background
in psychology, Id tried a bunch of therapeutic approaches.
Cognitive-behavioral work was useful, but it only took me so far.
I felt stuck. Rolfing affected patterns that psychotherapy couldn't
graduation, I had a little time to take stock and decided
to try a very non-Western approach to working with my feelings.
I got involved in yoga and started meditating regularly. I
hoped meditation would allow me to access information I already
possessed but was ignoring. During this time, I was suffering
with a lot of neck and shoulder pain due to working long hours
at a computer. It had been going on for years, getting worse
and getting better, but never going away. I heard Rolfing
my first Rolfing session, something about that sadness shifted.
At this time, Id never heard about the psychological effects
of RolfingI just came to get my shoulder fixed! The deep sadness
didnt go away immediately, but somehow felt loosened. The
quality had changed to something I could work with.
addition to making it possible to start letting go of chronic
sadness, Rolfing relieved my neck and shoulder pain, improved
my posture, and allowed me to drop some unproductive habits.
For me, Rolfing was a catalyst for change. I'm convinced that
Rolfing can change peoples' lives for the betteron many
Why I became a Rolfer
After my profound experience with Rolfing, I realized I wanted
to be able to help people experience this process. I remembered
what had originally drawn me to counselingI wanted to
help people in terms of personal growth. During graduate school,
I was an instructor for Kaplan Testing Services and discovered
that I love teaching. My MBA focused on learning to make processes
run more efficiently. Rolfing combines all these loves: I
help people find ways to enjoy their lives more; I get to
teach about anatomy, physiology, and body mechanics; and I
work to find ways to make things run more efficiently (I just
work with fascia instead of assembly lines).