Climber/Software Engineer, Boulder, CO
"Ten years prior to discovering Rolfing I had a herniated disk in my back(L4-L5), a ruptured disk (L5-S1) and had surgery to repair the damage. That 'repair' lasted for about three years before the pain started coming back. The pain became part of my daily life. Everyday was painful, some days severely, but I managed to continue on. After seeing me hobbling around the office a coworker told me about Rolfing and how it had helped his back problem. I was ready to try anything so I called the Rolf Institute and that's how I met Allison.
Allison was very patient, understanding and was able to sense my pain. She was always making sure that nothing we did caused me further pain. Allison's professionalism really showed when my hip/back 'locked up' on the table and I couldn't even sit up. She very calmly rolled me over and started working on my sacrum and hips. It was one of the most amazing experiences of my life. I didn't feel anything distinct occur, like the crack of a chiropractic adjustment, but my body knew something drastic had changed. It was very emotional. After that session my back pain was greatly reduced. Since completing the full 10 session series I've had very little, short term, back pain. Perhaps one day a month do I even think about my back. Working with Allison and going through the Rolfing series has changed my life. I used to spend many nights laying on the floor in agony, desperately trying to crack my back to relieve the pain. Now, I am able to enjoy life again. My wife has noticed the improvement in my attitude and general disposition, as have I. And my climbing has improved as well."
Hairstylist and Yoga Teacher
I began seeing Allison Benner in 2009. As a mother, a hairdresser, and a yoga teacher, I thought that I had a pretty strong grasp on how to live in my body, especially since I'd had it for a few decades. Allison's practice had moved in next door, so out of curiosity, I decided to give it a try. If you had asked me about my health, I would have said it was good. I had no real problems, maybe tight-ish shoulders from wielding a blow drier for a number of years, but nothing out of the ordinary.
I didn't really know what Rolfing was and I thought maybe an aggressive form of massage, so I was surprised when Allison asked me to walk around the room as she observed my gait. It's been a few years, so the details are foggy, but in the hour and a half we spent together, my experience of my body changed forever.
This might sound funny, but I didn't know that I had been suffering from low grade chronic pain for as long as I could remember. I just assumed how I felt was normal. Mistakenly, after years of teaching yoga, I thought that tucking my pelvis and lifting my ribcage was the ideal posture to hold on and off the mat. This had created a tightness between my shoulder blades that was impacting every other part of my body.
In that first session, Allison taught me how to walk with greater ease and gave me tips and stretching techniques to work with between visits. She re-acquainted me with my natural posture and after my second session, I had no more pain in my body. By spending the time to introduce me to my natural state of balance, she gave me an example of what's possible, and all the tools I needed to continue the work at home.
I have been gratefully seeing Allison for five years now. She is my consistent go to when my body needs support. Every time I leave I feel that I have wider range of motion in all of my muscles and joints, and simply put, more room in my body. I see her every couple of months or so, and am consistently impressed with her dedication to ongoing education & her devotion to learning new techniques. Allison is a master in her field, and I love that she has something new to share with me every time I see her.
"My 7 year old son, Dean, is a very active and wild boy. He has complained of headaches and backaches in the past (too many flips on the trampoline!) Allison suggested Rolfing. When she began working on him, I was so amazed at how much of his body tissue was twisted and knotted! After all he is still so little and perfect, right?! After she had Rolfed him only once, his complaints went away. I am so grateful to Allison and Rolfing because now I can do something to prevent injury down the road for my active kid." - Danielle, Dean's mom
I was a little hesitant and apprehensive before my first visit with Allison. I had heard about Rolfing and how painful it could be. But, at that point in my life, I was tired of being in pain all the time and feeling like, as I got older, it would only get worse. I have scoliosis in my back and neck and I was finding that my pain resulting from how my body had adjusted itself to the curvatures was creating more and more pain. When I met Allison, I found her very knowledgeable about Rolfing and body mechanics in general. She has a great energy about her that immediately put me at ease. She worked on me that day and I already started feeling a difference in my body. Rolfing can hurt but Allison is very aware of this and she is very attuned to how my body responds to what she is doing. She never wants anything to be painful as it will not produce good results if the body has to react to the pain it is feeling. I have been seeing Allison now for about a year. I really wish we had taken “before” and “after” pictures. I really did not think it would ever be possible, but she has been able to transform my body from being in pain to actually being virtually pain free. I would highly recommend Allison as I could have never gotten to this place without her.
I was diagnosed with idiopathic scoliosis 37 years ago when I was thirty years old. The ever increasing pain I experienced made it difficult to continue my active lifestyle and even daily activities like standing and walking. The surgeon I consulted told me I would be a “crippled little old lady” if I didn’t have a spinal fusion so deciding out of fear, I had three back surgeries and a hip replacement (because one “fix” caused the next problem). PTs and new docs and pain meds were of little help and then I found Allison. I now am able to walk without pain. Because of the radical changes I’ve experienced so far, I am confident that soon I’ll be hiking and snowshoeing again! Because I have more energy and I’m feeling so much better I am now able to, fairly consistently, focus on self-care in all dimensions of my life.
Allison is an amazing woman; wise beyond her years. Her healing gifts provide the foundation of her work and she is continually pursuing additional knowledge and training in order to provide her clients the most current healing treatments. She is gentle, very intuitive, curious and very funny! Her positive attitude and perspective are inspiring.
Hello my name is Gavin and I'm 17 year old boy. During Rolfing with Allison, the experience is great. She is very caring and nice. The environment is peaceful and soothing but to be honest there is just a little bit of pain but that's to be expected and the more Allison works on that area the better that little bit of pain will get. The reasons why I chose to try it was because I went through about 13 -15 surgeries on my feet (honestly lost count after 13) and I could tell that a lot had been done. Everything was sore and not in the correct positions. Like my one side of my hip was more stiff and tight compared to the other. Also after all my surgeries, when I began walking again my feet would be aching if I walked 10-20 minutes and my back had a kink in it. After Rolfing with Allison, I notice my pain has gone down my back was straighter and I'm playing hacky sac for more than 3 hours . Also, after talking to her you have good tips and advice on how you can keep the pain away.
I have been working with Allison for a over a year and I am amazed at the changes in my body as a result of her work and guidance. My posture, which has been poor my whole life, has improved dramatically and the knee pain which was the original cause of my visits has dissipated significantly. I find that my gait is better and my overall physical health has improved as a result of the Rolfing Process. It's hard to explain to people the difference between Rolfing and Massage but all I can say is it works wonders over what a massage can do for your body! I could never do deep tissue/sports massage and yet with Rolfing, deep tissue work is different and doesn't cause continued discomfort. I was skeptical at first, but every time I leave Allison's office I can actually feel the difference in my body, the way that I walk and the way that I carry myself. I have continued to go because I am an avid water skier and I find that she continuously helps me overcome the minor injuries that go with the sport and my other activities. Working with Allison has been a pleasure because of her personality, experience, knowledge and dedication to her craft. I also like that she continues to grow and challenge herself to learn new things. I just wish I could go more often!
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.
I received Rolfing a number of years ago, which was helpful but extremely painful. I started having hip pain again and was referred to Allison by a co-worker, who raved about Allison's expertise and gentleness. Since then, Allison has helped me in so many ways. Her sure and subtle work has helped unwind old habits and inefficiencies that have hindered my movement and balance. Hips, back, ankles, feet, jaw, ribs – all are more functional, fluid and flexible as a result of Allison's work. Allison's experience with yoga, dance, breath and other healing modalities inform and compliment her work. She approaches each person in their wholeness, educating, encouraging and celebrating along the way. Allison provides an amazing array of ideas, referrals and resources: practices, exercises, poses, props, shoes and classes, all to support one's health and healing. I feel so fortunate to have found Allison and to continue to benefit from her extraordinary gifts, and would encourage anyone who would like to inhabit their body better to experience her work.
Both my husband and I are such believers in Allison's abilities that we have referred at least seven of our friends and family members to her. Each person has been thrilled with the help they they've received and amazed by the depth of her knowledge.