Avid Mountain Biker
I don’t believe in miracles, I only believe in what is proven to work.
I am not really sure what I expected when I walked into my first Rolfing appointment with Allison Benner. Perhaps more pain and theory or another therapy that helped but didn’t ultimately live up to its promise.
Whatever I had thought was wrong.
After half of my life being repeatedly injured ( I was a terrible and clumsy motorcycle racer) and the second half trying to repair the damage, I had finally found a process that worked.
A healer instead of a practitioner… I rarely had to tell Allison what I needed, she already knew.
I turned 71 last week and my back and hips are virtually pain free, and have now been longer than for any period in my long adult life. Joints, muscles, hands and feet are working as they haven’t for decades.
And that’s the truth.
Thank you Allison.
Fitness Instructor & Mom of 3
What first brought me to Allison was a right hip issue. While teaching a group exercise class, I could no longer demonstrate lunges because it was so painful. A friend recommended I see Allison and explained what Rolfing was to me. I had NEVER heard of it before, and even had to ask my friend how to spell it. At this point, I had been teaching exercise classes for 20 years, and had 3 C-section deliveries within the last 5 years. All these factors, plus daily life stress, led up to my hip issue.
I asked around to see if anyone else I knew had heard of Rolfing. The ones who had responded with “Man – that is excruciating, but totally worth it!” As much as my hip hurt, I really wasn’t interested in MORE pain to fix the problem. I called Allison after checking out her website, explained my issue, and asked her to please be up-front about the level of pain. If it was as bad as everyone else said it was, then I would find a different solution. Allison said on a scale of 1-10, most clients would say the intensity is never more than a 4. Okay, I thought, I can handle a 4, so I set an appointment.
I have told the story of my first appointment with Allison MANY times – it is something I will never forget. I had not told my husband about the appointment, afraid he would not be supportive. I was also still skeptical, but figured I had nothing to lose. Allison did an initial assessment, asking lots of questions, then watched me walk back & forth. When she had me lie down on the massage table, she started messing with my right foot. It felt as if one of my kids was gently poking me to get my attention. In my head I thought, “Oh great! This is it? My husband is going to kill me if he finds out I spent money to get my foot poked. What does my foot have to do with my hip? Not sure why other people said it was excruciating – it doesn’t feel like she’s doing anything.” Then Allison broke my internal conversation and asked me to walk again.
The moment I stood up from that table, my right foot went flat against the ground, my hip shot back in place, and I could stand up without any pain. It felt like a miracle, and I was completely sold on Rolfing and Allison’s expertise. I know others have not had as dramatic of an experience, but anyone I have ever referred to Allison has had a positive experience working through their own muscle & alignment issues WITHOUT experiencing excruciating pain – including my husband ☺
WHAT KEEPS ME COMING BACK:
A painful issue got me in the door, but Allison’s ability to help me create muscle symmetry is what keeps me as a client. Having Allison’s help to keep my alignment intact allows me to live an active lifestyle without “working through pain.” Whether it is teaching classes, going on hikes with the family, playing tennis, or enjoying the occasional run, I want to enjoy ALL these activities and more without complaining about back/hip/knee/foot/shoulder, or any other kind of pain for as long as I can.
Allison is a remarkable in many ways. She is an excellent listener, and is incredibly thoughtful & gentle in her recommendations. I always feel “lifted up” after leaving a session with her, never beaten down by what I haven’t done right. I’m constantly amazed at her passion for further education in her field, and feel I always benefit from the latest research and techniques in regards to Rolfing. I am very proud to have been one of Allison’s clients for the past 5 years, and would whole-heartedly recommend her services to anyone looking to bring balance to their bodies.
Allison Benner allowed me to realize I did not have to live with the pain I had been enduring for more than 15 years. After countless sports injuries, a car accident, and working in front of a computer for 10 hours a day, I felt spent and depressed that the condition of my body and spirit would never change.
The first time I met with Allison, the pain in my lower back was extremely intense, but had been with me for so long, that I did not realize how bad it had become. I no longer touched, leaned, or otherwise engaged my back and hips. My feet would go completely numb and my calves seized up when I went for a walk. This was because I was holding my posture and joints in such a tense state to mitigate the pain in other parts of my body. My shoulders were constantly sore from holding the same working position, creating a numb sensation in my neck and shoulder blade. I felt that this was simply the way my body worked, and that I had to accept it, which left my body and spirit feeling disconnected.
After meeting with Allison for the first time, I realized that I did not have to live this way. The release I felt within my back was immediate and long lasting. Allison worked with me to regain my natural footfall and end the numbness in my calves and feet. She gave me stretches and exercises to do outside of our sessions, and encouraged me to get up from my computer hourly, do pilates, yoga, go for long walks, and dance. I had never even thought I could dance without pain. Now I try to dance at least once a week, hike with my daughter, take yoga classes when I can, and otherwise live my life feeling whole. I was able to have a natural birthing experience with my daughter, which I was once told by a doctor would be impossible given my injuries.
Allison has not only helped my body to recover through her Rolfing technique, but has connected me to a network of natural health practitioners in Denver which I now consider part of my continuing healing process. I don't know where my mind and body would be without the thoughtful, caring, and experienced approach Allison Benner offers.
I originally went to see Allison for help with an old injury that negatively impacted my balance and posture and caused pain in my hip. As a result of her work, I walk with more ease and energy and feel I have a much stronger, more balanced foundation from which to move. Since then, I've seen Allison for a tennis injury, which definitely aided my recovery. I'm now seeing her in preparation for shoulder surgery. Through working on alignment and muscular organization, I believe I'll have better results both from my surgery and in my recovery.
I so much appreciate the assistance I've received from Allison, but what I really got from her is that I didn't have to live with deficits. I've really learned how to take care of myself and have taken addition steps, including Pilates and Yoga, to be able to move with more efficiency and fluidity. I've told Allison numerous times that she has wise hands.
Owner, Jagged Mountain Brewery
I first approached Allison with some lingering shoulder issues and overall pain from years of playing sports. Over the last year she has corrected my posture, my gait, and the pain is gone in my shoulder, as well as I now have full range of motion. Allison is very attentive to any discomfort while working on an area. I continue to see her for general maintenance and any new issues that pop up due to work or sports. She also has a wealth of knowledge in other areas that are helpful in overall mind and body balance. And she is always a pleasure to see and catch up on exciting adventurers she’s been on.
Tele-skier and Climber, Denver, CO
A year ago I survived a serious neck injury. I broke three vertebrae in my neck, C1, C6, and C7 from a diving accident. Throughout my recovery, I have been interested in learning and experimenting with different modalities to relieve my neck and low-back pain, and my deteriorating posture.
I am always excited yet a bit skeptical when trying a new practice of any kind. After my first session with Allison, I felt an immediate response from my body. Not only did my body seem more relaxed and at peace, but it felt balanced and realigned. Since my first session was such a positive experience and because I felt instant relief from Allison's work, I returned to become a regular client of Rolfing. After a few more sessions with Allison my neck and low-back pain had significantly decreased and I could sleep comfortably through the night. Range of motion in my neck increased dramatically and my entire body was more at ease. I feel very comfortable with Allison and really enjoy her style of practice. She has an amazing energy while working with you and is very tuned into your body. She is very specific and clear in the way she explains her techniques as well as the results from her work. I am a complete advocate of Rolfing and love what it has done for me physically as well as mentally!
I have been going to Allison since early 2011. At that time, I was 55 years old and it seems when you get older your body does not respond as it did twenty years earlier. Being in the amusement business from my early 20s moving pool tables, pinballs, etc. I had plenty of time to abuse my body as well as gain additional weight due my metabolism slowing down over the years. In my early 40’s, I started to go to a chiropractor for my back aches as well as have an occasional massage, which only provided me temporary relief. In my late 40s, I partially tore both meniscuses simultaneously when I sat back on my legs cleaning a floor. I went to an orthopedic doc who wanted to use the knife. I decided otherwise and just dealt with the pain. A few years later I tried Synvisc to lubricate my knee joints. That provided temporary relief for a few years but the pain never completely went away. I exercised less because of my knees and got to weigh more than I had ever before. About a year before I went to Allison, I decided that to help my knees I would lose weight through diet and exercise. In the mean time the wheels continued to fall off. I hurt my shoulder picking up a 100lb 14 year old dog who at the time was having trouble getting up.I could not move my arm above my shoulder ("frozen shoulder"). I went back to the doc who wanted (you guessed it) to use the knife, so I went to the chiropractor who helped unstick my shoulder but could not restore my full range of motion. By this time my wife said " Why don't you go to a Rolfer?" Not knowing much about Rolfing, I read up on it and figured I had nothing to lose. I booked an appointment with Allison after doing a search on the internet. It was one of the best choices of my life. I started out seeing Allison about twice a month. She has helped me with my problem areas- shoulders, back, knees, posture, carpal tunnel and more (losing 25 lbs and casual exercise has not hurt either).Through her gentle but firm touch she she has awakened parts of me that I never knew existed and helped blood flow back into the tissue she would break up through her whole body approach.This has allowed me to get my full range of motion back in my shoulders. Allison helped my posture that has helped my back ( I have not been to a chiropractor since Rolfing). My right knee no longer has any pain and my left one probably would not either, if our new dogs had not clipped me from behind, but it is still far better than it was when I started with Allison, plus I have no scar tissue or rehab from surgery. My carpal tunnel is gone thanks to Rolfing and some simple exercises she recommended. Besides Rolfing, what makes Allison special is that she continues to educate herself about the human mind and body and takes that knowledge and applies it in her practice. I still and will continue to see Allison about once a month for maintenance as I am not getting any younger although I feel a lot younger due to seeing Aliison. One thing to remember, although you may experience some immediate relief from Rolfing in one session, it will probably take several sessions and in my case what took 55 years of abuse to develop, I could see dramatic change in the way my body felt and continues to feel within a year. Thanks Allison! By the way I continue to move amusements devices. I just hope I will still be able to get an appointment after this testimonial, as she is already popular.
I first came to Allison for help recovering from a leg injury. I had torn my calf muscle on an easy run. I was beginning to believe that my injury, slow recovery and multitude of deep aches and pains were just symptoms of getting older and that I should resign myself to lowering my expectations about how healthy feels at forty years old.
After seeing Allison for a little over six months, my tune has seriously changed. I have experienced profound changes in the way I feel, look and move. My body has never felt more like home than it does today. A strong, stable, relaxed, grounded and flexible home.
Allison possesses an amazing amount of wisdom about the structure, alignment and kinesiology of the human body. I will be forever grateful that our paths have crossed.
Finance & Sales
First and foremost, Allison is simply an amazing person and therapist. Before meeting Allison, I believed Rolfing was a place to go and get 'pounded' on with some really deep tissue work that makes you sore for a few days and eventually better. To my surprise, Allison's practice isn't in the same dimension - She is incredibly gentle and extremely focused. Further to my surprise, I've see more immediate and long term improvements in reversing the negative effects of 15+ years of highly competitive club and college soccer in one session than I've ever experienced in multiple PT, chiropractic or massage sessions combined. Finally, Allison has also introduced me to the idea of feeling great. This, I have learned, is a very different experience than just the absence of pain. I currently don't have much pain but have, over the past 6-8 months, begun to feel great :)
Rolfing has complimented my lifestyle in so many ways. Growing up and through my 20s I was an avid sports enthusiast. Soccer, tennis, running daily... I played soccer since I was 5 and then competitively through college. It was about 4 years ago that I was having ultra-tight calves after doing any activities for longer than 30 minutes. The tight calves were leading to many other muscle issues even up into my shoulders….It was time to give Rolfing a chance…luckily Allison was close.
Once I spoke with Allison about my issues she walked me through the program. I did 10 visits in 6 months. After my first visit I was confident this could work…by the 4th visit I was well on my way. Allison explained Rolfing throughout the process and educated me on each and every area she worked on. I was back to running and playing soccer within 3 weeks of visits. I finished the first 10 sessions and continue to go back every 3-5 weeks for tune-ups. The tune-ups work on pretty much any issues from tightness in the forearms from being on a computer all day to sore hips…the tune-ups sometimes are just top to bottom to help posture.
My question is always- "How do people not
get Rolfing done in order to maintain quality of life?"