Quality & Quantity of Life, Part II: Flying Angels & Ankle-Angles

In the prior post, I presented Rolfing® Structural Integration as a consummate method to increase our quantity of life. By potentiating our vital energies, & by establishing us in a condition of continual embodiment, Rolfing SI augments the breadth & depth of our living experience; we receive life at higher bandwidth. Not only is the bandwidth bigger, but it’s also better—the scope of our experience widens & the content improves. This is to say that Rolfing SI increases the quality of our lives along with the quantity.

This phenomenon is actually not difficult to convey—even the following modest thought-experiment should succeed to demonstrate it:

If I suffer from plantar fasciitis symptoms, then I suffer from plantar fasciitis symptoms. That sucks, veritably. From the moment I hop out of bed & my soles touch the floor, my sentient soul is inconveniently ravished with every footfall. Indeed I probably won’t “hop out of bed” at all, but rather reluctantly drag myself out of the bedding as something undead, bearing the dread of ambulatory discomfort like a zombie with a lead ingot around its neck. The pain of this affliction will colour every aspect of my experience in even the most subtle ways. Consider further that any chronic discomfort is a sore depleter of energy & general joie de vivre. Because of this, I invariably find myself with fewer resources to devote to those people & pursuits I care about.

Evidently, physical ailments generate negative experiences and they taint our positive ones. Nevertheless, cheer up! Through Rolfing SI I might encourage the muscles & connective-tissue along the posterior compartment of my lower-leg & ankle, as well as the fascia on the plantar surfaces of my feet, to release into sufficient suppleness that it might again accommodate normal range of ankle-motion (i. e. dorsiflexion.) Then, once I am no longer aggravating my condition with every ginger foot-fall, the natural processes of my body can re-emerge & return to work their Aesculapian wonders.

Not only will Rolfing SI benefit my quality of life by mitigating the bad aspects, but it will also augment the good ones. There are few fountains of contentment where one can taste such clear and simple draught as the wellspring of kinetic ease. One comes spontaneously to enjoy the activity of life itself. “The angels fly because they take themselves lightly”…G. K. Chesterton wrote it I think. They probably don’t have many fascial adhesions either. When the latter develop, everything gets stuck together so that to lift a finger, we practically have to drag the rest of our body with it. Life feels therefore heavy. We have thrown down the gauntlet in defiance of Newtonian physics: we challenge the cosmos, gravity prevails, we loose levity & our quality of life suffers proportionally. Rolfing SI reestablishes a balanced relationship to gravity. In Ida Rolf words:

Rolfers make a life study of relating bodies and their fields to the earth and its gravity field, and we so organize the body that the gravity field can reinforce the body’s energy field. This is our primary concept.

Rolfing SI re-awakens the kinetic melody that is intrinsic in our bodies. Gravity & levity fall in step and dance together to this primordial tune.

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