"Bodies need to lengthen and be balanced, and a balanced body will give rise to a better human being."
~ Ida P. Rolf, Ph.D.

We brought Joey to see Briah in January, 2004, when he was seven years old. He had started having difficulty in school in kindergarten when his teacher said he was having trouble following directions, paying attention and finishing assignments.

Joey’s always been an active, social, oftentimes moody child, who has always been easily frustrated. As a third child with two older sisters, we anticipated that Joey would simply fall in line with the rest of the family’s activities. However, that was never the case.

Shortly after he started first grade, we decided to ask his teacher for her opinion if she felt he should be evaluated for ADD/ADHD. We also contacted our pediatrician’s office who sent out the information and forms for the family’s and teacher’s evaluations.

Upon meeting with Joey’s teacher the second week of school, she was already very inclined to have him evaluated due to his distractibility in class. She told us that Joey was already telling her he was “dumber” than the other kids in class and we were mutually concerned about how the challenge in school would affect his self-esteem. He was also having difficulty in reading and was assigned to work with a reading specialist. This only further served to fuel his belief that he was “dumb”.

Through the ADD/ADHD evaluation – a combination of family/teacher evaluation and medication-testing – we determined that medication did help him focus in school. Working with his pediatrician, we started him on medication. Although this allowed him to focus and complete his schoolwork, the side effects (in his case, stomach upset) made us believe that medication didn’t seem to be a good long-term solution.

A friend referred us to Briah, saying that she had a strong interest in working with children, especially those diagnosed with ADD, through Rolfing. I knew a little about Rolfing, and through the reading I had done about alternative treatments for kids evaluated for ADD, I knew that it could be an effective treatment. The balancing of body and mind through neuromuscular integration was intriguing and seemed to make intuitive sense. And the fact that it is a holistic approach to the issue seemed like we were making a positive investment in Joey’s future.

Joey was not excited to go see Briah. Since we had been working for the last few months with his doctor and school, he was not feeling good about himself or the situation and was not happy about seeing Briah.

The first session with Briah was difficult for Joey. He was uncomfortable taking the “Before” pictures and having someone work on his body. Briah warned us that the Rolfing process can also release various emotions in the body and we should not be surprised by angry outbursts, frustrations, etc.

We definitely noticed more anger – and for longer periods of time – in the first few sessions with Briah. It seemed that little things set him off and he would be angry for much of the evening.

We started to notice a change around the 3-4th session. Although Joey had resisted going to the first 3 sessions, that soon started to change. We began to notice differences in behavior. Instead of becoming as impatient with his friends if things didn’t go exactly his way – he started to become more tolerant and cooperative. Not only did we notice he started to work things out more – and also we saw more sharing.

And school has improved dramatically for him. While the medication allows him to focus much better in school – I believe the combination with Rolfing has been tremendous. Everything seemed to start “clicking” – his reading and spelling improved dramatically. He’s now spelling so well that he’s qualifying for the most difficult spelling words most of the time. And he’s very proud of his accomplishments and his grades.

By about the 7th Rolfing session, we noticed that although Joey still got angry, the anger seemed to dissipate more quickly as he seemed to process it faster. He became not only more cooperative in seeing Briah, but has become much more cooperative with everyone in the family.

Although we had never thought of Joey as crooked or mis-aligned, we definitely noticed changes in his body as he went through the Rolfing process. He became straighter and stood taller. At the end of the 10th session when Briah took his “After” pictures, we were amazed at the dramatic difference in less than 3 months! Not only was he physically taller after ten weeks of Rolfing (evidenced by his pants getting shorter), but the alignment of his shoulders, legs and overall posture was astonishing. He actually looks and acts a little “older” and more mature. And he’s started to fill out – making some of his “Slim” pants become difficult to button.

Joey loves participating in sports. He started running track this spring and he feels some of his fast running can be attributed to Rolfing.

Before Rolfing, Joey was an often restless, easily frustrated, impatient boy. He still remains a driven little boy – but there has been a shift in his personality. He is a more reasonable, more cooperative, much more articulate, much less impatient, more tolerant and happier boy who is more enjoyable to be around. His tremendous success in school has taken him from feeling “dumb” – to having strong confidence in his abilities to read and write and be successful.

Above all, he is very proud of his accomplishments with Briah, his straight posture, his perservance through the Rolfing process and he is most proud of the Rolfing pin that Briah gave him at his completion.

We are so thrilled with his progress that we are having his sister start her Rolfing sessions, knowing that the benefit it gave Joey will be a gift that we can give her as well.

©2011 Briah Anson