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Certified Advanced Rolfer™

Professor Pausch of Carnegie Mellon University once said, “It’s not about how you achieve your dreams. It’s how you lead your life. If you lead your life the right way the KARMA will take care of itself and the dreams will come to you.” I believe that. The quote has a nice sentiment that resonates many truths.


Growing up I was fortunate to have a wonderful role model to guide me in life – my mother. My mom, bless her soul, was a Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor. She would help people who had been displaced by a work injury regain their confidence and find new occupations. My mom exposed me to the world of people who help others. She volunteered me for different community events. At the time (when I was young), I wasn’t very fond of those experiences. As I look back, it was my mom and the experiences she provided that molded me, and my thoughts regarding society. I’m a firm believer that our society is woven together by people who help people. The volunteer experiences influenced me to study non-profit management, sociology, and youth development at Arizona State University where I earned a Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies.

During my college years, I became heavily involved in the sport of Ultimate Frisbee. It became my passion. I had played other sports, but there was something about Ultimate Frisbee that grabbed me. I felt like a dog chasing a ball. I just couldn’t get enough of it. It was a fusion of the community, the egalitarian rules, and the athletics that embraced me. As the years passed and I grew older, the injuries piled up.

Following college I entered the working world. I had several jobs that have all entailed helping others. A friend of mine refers to me as a “people helper.” I take pride in that. My last job prior to becoming a Rolfer entailed working with youth who had behavior problems and mental disorders teaching group and life skill development. I had worked with that population for about four years. It was challenging. Through this work I learned a lot about patience. I also learned that I am exactly what my friend refers to me as – someone who helps people.

Over the years I’ve had my fair share of physical and emotional hardships and I can honestly say that physical education and bodywork have guided me in the right direction to being physically and emotionally healthy. From experience I know that physical limitation due to an injury or just getting older puts stress on the mind, hampering one’s thoughts. I’ve had several significant injuries in my life that have morphed my body and left me with residual pain. Being in pain and seeing my body wrecked definitely hampered my thoughts about myself, and the world. It also drove me to continue to make positive changes in my life–proving to me that crises can be opportunities.

I hated being injured but I loved the rehab process. I was forced to learn about how the body works and how one repairs it. Being injury-prone and having sustained a number of injuries I’ve accumulated much experience working with different health providers. Unfortunately, despite my years of hard work repairing my body, I continued to re-injure myself.

One year, I tore my hamstring pretty bad. My leg felt like a cord of wood that just got split. This was yet another injury I had to overcome. Instead of going to the physical therapist I’d been accustomed to seeing, I decided to try something different. I began to see an Active Release provider. A friend suggested it and I thought I’d see if it would help. I’m glad I made the choice because I was able to achieve great success with Active Release. Due to my poor range of motion and tightness throughout my body, the Active Release provider suggested that I do Yoga or Pilates.

I read a little bit about Pilates and how it works with the core of the body and elongates the body. Having residual low back pain from previous injuries, it seemed a good choice. So I enrolled in a Studio One’s Pilates Beach Body Boot Camp. It was a two-week course that introduced to me a whole new paradigm of the interrelationship between the way in which the body is set up and the ways in which I could work mine to achieve my goals. It truly had a profound effect on me. For years, I had been working out for repetition and strength but paying little attention to form and how everything is connected. Although I was getting fit following that mentality I was also doing damage. This damage left me more injury prone and contributed to my poor posture. Once I started doing Pilates my posture improved and the pain wasn’t as prominent. Furthermore, I looked longer, taller, and younger.

From time to time, Paul Van Alstine, Studio One Pilates Founder, would talk about why he started his studio. In so many words he said he wanted a fitness program that correlated with and enhanced the work he was doing as a Certified Advanced Rolfer™.  At that time I didn’t really know much about Rolfing®, but I was intrigued by what he had to say. Determined to feel and look better and achieve greater success with regards to my body as well as staying injury free I decided to experience Rolfing®. So I went to the front desk of Studio One Pilates and they set me up with Ed Toal. He guided me through a fascinating and profound evolution known as the Rolfing® Ten Series.

Piece by piece, over the course of three and a half months, I watched my body become reconstructed through Rolfing®. With the transformation of my body came a great sense of confidence that comes from feeling and looking healthier. I’ve been enjoying the rewards of my new and improved body ever since. Aesthetically, I look better. In general, I feel better. I’ve got no pain and my circulation has improved.

Now, I’m a firm believer that everyone should go through the Rolfing® process. It is an awakening of the body and mind. Having had numerous injuries and faced a profusion of hardships, I can identify with people who live in pain and struggle to do the tasks of daily living. Rolfing® has made a big difference in my physical and emotional well being and thats what I pay that forward as a Certified Advanced Rolfer™, Instructor at the Dr. Ida Rolf Institute®, and a State of Alaska Licensed Manual Therapist.