K9 Rolfing…What is it and how can it help?

Written By Jan Skadberg, RN, BHSP and Brennan Healing Science Practitioner, Energy Healer

Honey is a 5 ½ year old Swissy who rescued me last November.  She has been a work in progress with multiple emotional and physical challenges;

  • Bloat 3 times,
  • Little socialization, hookworms that don’t want to let go
  • Pretty severe mulsculoskeletal issues that make walking and getting up and down an effort, with little stamina

Her diet for the first 5 years consisted of a bargain brand kibble whose first 2 ingredients on the label were corn and a corn derivative. She’s now on a raw diet, weekly B-12 shots, is supplemented with digestive enzymes, essential oil therapy, flower essences in her water, probiotics, DGP and N-K9.

She also receives acupressure, massage, chiropractic and weekly energy work.  She still had a spine that has no flexibility from T7 on down to her tail- it’s as though it was  fused together.  Chiropractic adjustments would afford her a day or two of pain relief, but then the bones would revert back to their malpositioned alignment.  She slept on one side only, further contracting her muscles.  She was spending more time on the ground than she was sitting or standing up.

As I was leaving my own monthly rolfing session (for my back), I asked the practitioner if this could be performed on dogs and she said yes! She gave me the name of an advanced rolfer and we had our first appointment last Friday and the change in Honey has been pretty dramatic.

What is Rolfing?

Rolfing is a system of deep manipulation of the connective tissues that aims to restructure the fascia (the sheath of tissue that surrounds a muscle) and relieve physical misalignment.  Through this form of deep tissue manipulation the connective tissue is released and reshaped, allowing the body to become re-aligned and more efficient, essentially giving the body more space to realign.  The rolfer follows tension patterns in the body, beginning on the surface and progressively works into the deeper layers of connective tissue.

Honey has a degree of scoliosis and every centimeter of her spine and skin was bound so tightly you would have thought it would snap.  She had ridges all along her back and walked/pranced with a 10 degree angle from her spine to the back legs.  After this first session the ridges were gone, her back was straight, and the pain relief was so profound she looked 3 years younger.  The first day the dog needs to walk on a leash, as they can over do it and strain muscles they haven’t used in years, they feel that good.  It was interesting to watch her move the next day as her old habitual way of walking and the muscle memory oftentimes got confused with the new space and flexibility of the released fascia.  The third day she ran with abandon and such joy, the first time in the 6 months I’ve had her and most probably her life.  She now sleeps on both of her sides, is able to sit up with greater ease, and it has opened up her rib cage noticeably to where she is more relaxed in her breathing.

Bottom line: Honey is much happier!

And, so much more at ease in her body!  And, pain-free!

We will continue monthly sessions as long as she needs them.  The sessions are cumulative, so they build upon each other as she gets stronger.  If this is a healing modality you would like to try out, I highly encourage you to find a licensed, certified advanced rolfer: they have techniques in their tool box that makes the session pain-free.  We paid $120 for a 1 hour session and it was worth its weight in gold.

It keeps me pain-free and now it’s keeping my best friend more flexible, happier and pain free.

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