I have been dancing from a very young age. I followed classical dance lessons, and before that, it seems that in my diapers, I would get in front of a wall and watch my shadow dancing while I dance with it. As an organic transition, my teachers encouraged me to follow modern and contemporary dance classes and next thing I knew, I was doing workshops and auditioning for companies in Europe.
My first “noticed injury” was at the age of ten. Imagining I was an olympic gymnast, I was doing my version of a flic-flac and my mid back went into an spasm. Yes, it hurt. When I went to the doctor and he told me to stop dancing, I was taken aback.
Some years later, I had tendonitis in my foot. And another doctor told me to stop dancing. And I wondered… why should I stop moving if the body is made for movement? Over the years, in my career as a dancer I sustained several more injuries. Nothing dramatic, but hard enough to face. Torn ligaments 2 weeks before a premiere, displaced lumbar vertebrae, stress fractures, tendonitis… many times related to very stressful periods. Was it a coincidence?
A dear friend of mine lend me “Anatomy for Movement” book, by Blandine Calais-Germain. For the first time an anatomy book was clear and easy enough for me to follow. I went to a workshop about the spine, and I got hooked by the wisdom of the body. I started to define, understand and know what it was that my body was feeling. Many other anatomy workshops followed and the way I prepared my body for rehearsals and performances started to change.
Parallel to that and for a long time, I had problems with my digestive system, particularly with cramping in the stomach. I was the type of dancer that has an explosive physicality, but lacks stamina, and with difficulty “holding and moving from the center”. Whatever that meant. I guessed I needed to strengthen my “core” (whatever that meant too), so I studied for and became a No-Risk Abdominals® instructor and something became very apparent: Neither strength without mobility nor mobility without strength works in the long run. During that education, the discomfort in my stomach disappeared, together with the digestive problems. I was surprised that my body became more flexible and at the same time stronger. I wanted to continue researching the physical capabilities of the body and looked for a manual therapy that would resonate with me so I could help people in a way that was very close to me. I bumped into the word fascia: a 3D connective tissue that surrounds every organ, muscle, bone, etc… that connects everything, including the nervous system. I could relate strongly to this concept. It could also answer some questions, such as, why long after an injury has recovered, some pain still exists or why a posture that is not adaptable can lead to physical issues. I discovered Rolfing®, a manual therapy based on the manipulation of fascia.
I look at the Rolfing® process as a way to recover an often lost relationship between ourselves and our bodies and a way to help people live a life that is in peace with the wisdom of their physical body.